In my paper for the ASLA conference referred to the in the last post, I discussed the idea of the teacher librarian or school librarian being “Driven” or “Drifting”. This aspect arose when I was doing some workshops in Perth (Australia) when I was asking TLs to think about their own role and what they might change about it, if they could or if they wanted to. Driven and drifting of course are perhaps 2 extremes, with the driven TL being a forward planner, a strategist, a collaborative colleague, a welcomer of Web 2.0 and a leader in the school and the drifting TL being someone who has been doing more or less the same things for a few years and may or not be a forward planner etc. Most TLs, I suspect (and please correct me) are somewhere in between these two. The point about my paper and workshop session is for TLs to think about their role, to take some time e.g. to write out (in a list or concept map) what they think they actually do and what they would like to do. This is not easy as it’s challenging and most of us would rather get on with what we’re doing (and there’s SO much to do) rather than reflect. The novelist John Updike said that the hardest part of being a writer was explaining to people that when he was staring out of the window, he was, in fact, doing his most difficult work.
On Sunday, a 65K cycle to Glenkinchie Distillery on a bright but cold morning. The countryside in East Lothian (aka the garden of Scotland) is a lush green at the moment with rolling fields of barley and wheat and the stalks of early potatoes (tatties) showing through the neatly crafted rows or drills. A good few hills on the way there and, at the distillery, we stopped for a drink – but before you think it was a wee dram that we stopped for, the distillery was still closed. Back home against a distinctly coolish east wind but again with panoramic views across the hills.