One way I have been able to use GID as the Instructional Specialist for Library Services is in training new librarians in my district. In the four years since coming into this position, we have hired over 50 new librarians. All new teachers/librarians (and teachers/librarians new to the district) have an opportunity in my district to get professional development and training before teacher work week.
I get the new librarians for a whole day on curriculum. Part of that day is to go over the instructional models and expectations of library services in CCPS. GID is part of that day. To model blended learning, I use School Library Connection’s edWeb.net community to have new librarians view two archived webinars Leslie has given in the past: Getting Started with Guided Inquiry and Research with Rigor: Guided Inquiry Design Reaching to the Higher Expectations of the Core . They develop a “Need to Know” list of questions they have about GID that will be answered during the actual PD day.
I love Simon Sinek’s TEDx talk “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Action” (https://youtu.be/u4ZoJKF_VuA) and I make sure to include the what, the how, and the why when doing training on GID (well, with all my PDs), but specifically for this training because Leslie is not there for at these trainings. After going over their “Need to Know” list, I give them some practice using a sample library lesson from AASL’s Standards for the 21st-Century Learner in Action book and they collaborate on how these lessons can become GID lessons using a template that Leslie designed for CCPS. Because we are using the Buck Institute for Education’s model of Project Based Learning (PBL), I incorporate PBL and Understanding by Design (UbD) to show that school library lessons need the same pedagogical look as lessons they may have done in the classroom when they were teaching. This provides data to administrators of the instructional role librarians have in student academic achievement. As they collaborate together, they are working in the same formats as students would in their libraries, and I model the scaffolding techniques described in the GID books.
Based on feedback, the librarians have said this approach has better helped them understand the process both in theory and practice, and they are comfortable to start thinking and using GID in their library planning and instruction. I am looking forward to working on GID with my new crop of librarians when they come this August.
Lori Donovan, Instructional Specialist, Library Services, Chesterfield County Public Schools