Beth Wilkie, Plymouth Elementary School
When Beth joined the faculty at a PreK-8 school, she walked into a traditional role of providing read-alouds in a jam-packed, fixed schedule. After building professional relationships for several years, the breakthrough came when when an innovative classroom teacher sacrificed plan time with Beth to teach collaboratively two and three times a week, developing research strategies and information literacy skills. The class moved forward into a research project that attracted the attention of grades 3-5 teachers, and so began the work for a collaborative and flexible library program.
The big picture changed for Beth when one of these teachers began teaching grade 6, which is part of the middle school. Toting her partnership with Beth to the middle school has sparked the revolution with upper grades as well. These two now manage a 20% project in which students spend 20% of their class time pursuing a meaningful topic of their choice using the Engineering Design Process. Students now understand that becoming independent finders of information is the key to true knowledge, and their time in the library is more about comparing strategies and notes rather than avoiding reading class.
Follow Beth on Twitter @bthelibrarian #libraryleaders