Running head: EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION 1 The Effectiveness of Collaboration Between the Classroom Teachers and the Library Media Specialist Ashton A. Booher University of South Carolina
EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION 2 Abstract The importance of collaboration between the classroom teacher and the librarymedia specialist is reflected in this paper. It is made extremely clear that collaboration is a process that takes time, but in the end is an extremely effective resource for the classroom teacher. This paper also reflects the research conducted that verifies the benefits of collaboration. Students’ achievement levels are improved when there is collaboration between teachers and the library media specialist.
EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION 3 The Effectiveness of Collaboration Between the Classroom Teachers and the Library Media Specialist Collaboration is more than just working with each other. According to ElizabethW. Simmons in The Impact of Home/School/Community Collaboration on StudentAchievement: An Analysis of Reading Renaissance, “It is a group planning or problemsolving process, in which decisions are made in an atmosphere of trust, mutual respectand open communication” (Simmons, 2006). Sometimes it is easy to say thatcollaboration is straightforward and effortless, but based off this definition it seems thatcollaboration has multiple parts that could easily be forgotten about. Since collaborationis not simple to achieve there are indicators that can help show successful collaboration.These indicators include face expressions, spatial relationships, and body language(Simmons, 2006). Not only are these good indicators for administrators to see ifcollaboration is taking place, but these are also signals that the students will pick up onover time. It is important for the students to receive the message that their teacher andthe library media specialist can work together. The main part of collaboration betweenthese two people is that their goals match up. According to Patricia Montiel-Overall inthe journal article A Theoretical Understanding of Teacher and Librarian Collaboration(TLC), the library media specialist and the teacher should have at least shared goals inorder for collaboration to take place and student achievement to improve (Montiel-Overall, 2005). Thus, it is important to note that multiple methods of collaboration canwork, but the importance is that collaboration takes place and the students achieve theirgoals.
EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION 4 One way to measure students’ achievement of their goals is the AcceleratedReader program. Accelerated Reader is a system where reading levels are assigned andbooks are marked according to each level. Then the students are able to takecomputerized tests that show their progress on their reading goals. This system requires ahuge amount of collaboration between the teacher and the library media specialist. Thiscollaboration includes figuring out what level the students are on and helping them pickout books all the way to promotion of the program. There has been research conductedon this program that shows if the program is implemented in the correct way it canactually improve students’ reading skills (Simmons, 2006). This is just one example ofcollaboration that would benefit student achievement, but there are many more ways tocollaborate with each other and improve success rates. Why is collaboration an effective method? Collaboration between the teacher andthe library media specialist lowers the feeling of isolation and allows teachers to becomemore innovative and effective. A recent study found that unexpected achievement in lowpoverty schools was caused by collaboration between classroom and special teachers(Simmons, 2006). This study further proves that when collaboration takes place, studentsachieve at higher levels. It is important to remember that collaboration is not simple; it isa process that takes place throughout the school year. Collaboration between theclassroom teacher and the library media specialist, once achieved, has been proven to beeffective and will increase student achievement.
EFFECTIVE COLLABORATION 5 References Montiel-Overall, P. (2005). A theoretical understanding of teacher and librariancollaboration . Retrieved from http://murraylib604.org/TheoreticalUnderstanding.pdf Simmons, E. W. (2006). Retrieved fromhttp://chiron.valdosta.edu/are/Litreviews/vol1no1/simmons_litr.pdf