More on collaboration and snake!

Adding to the previous post on collaboration, it has always struck me that some of the literature on collaboration is not only overly optimistic but often ignores reality. Where there is but one professional librarian (teacher librarian or school librarian) in a school, that person cannot collaborate with all staff at all times. Collaboration has to involve professional engagement and it is very difficult to do this with a large number of teachers at the same time. So collaboration needs to be distinguished from cooperation, which is manageable with a large number of teachers. Collaboration means giving close attention to the needs of a small number of teachers in any one term. Good collaboration also means saying no (in a nice way) to some teachers, with a promise of future collaboration. This creates future demand for services.

Picture the scene. I’m hanging out my washing on Sunday morning (a blogger’s work is never done..) when I hear, over the fence in the senior citizens’ block of houses, “Mary says there’s a snake in her toilet. It’s a brown snake”. “What?” – one woman is obviously deaf. Another voice says “You’d better get the snake man – I think I’ve got his number”. “What?”. “The snake’s gone”. “What?”. “The snake’s gone. It’s gone under the fence”. “What?”. When I hear about the snake and the fence, I look at my washing, look at the fence, set a world record for hanging washing and dash into my house. Ah, the joys of living in rural Australia. You should know, if you’re not familiar with brown snakes that “They have venom which can cause death to humans relatively quickly if left untreated”(from brown snakes link). Maybe that’s why some people in Wagga Wagga have indoor driers.


2 Responses to “More on collaboration and snake!”

  1. Kate Says:

    Hi James!
    I was just cruising by and thought I should say hello from way down here in Tassie 🙂 I’m finding your TL content a timely reminder of how fast things move, (hee hee) and am quietly gloating about the dearth of dangerous snakes in Hobart!
    bye for now
    Kate Reid

  2. Dianne Says:

    I read Julia Bale’s paper called The Myth of collaboration and felt it was an accurate presentation of my experiences in school libraries.
    -I also feel schools can have a culture of collaboration. My most truly collaborative TL experiences were in a school where many classes had collaboration happening with a range of support personnel such as Aboriginal education assistants, Special Ed assistants and integrated teaching projects across key learning areas.
    At the other end of the collaboration spectrum for me is a school where every grade and subject department is a single teacher. They are used to doing it all and become very self contained.

    Oh and by the way there are plenty of beautiful snakes here in northern Thailand:-) banded kraits,bright green tree vipers, cobras and the daddy of all who eats the other cobras-the King Cobra.

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