Posted by: eheino | May 9, 2013

Promoting Collaboration between TLs and classroom teachers

Overcoming teacher resistance

Despite the overwhelming evidence indicating the benefits for collaboration between TLs and classroom teachers, many TLs still face resistance when initiating collaborative practice. One way of overcoming this problem is to present the staff with evidence of the impact of collaboration on student achievement (Montiel-Overall, 2005 & Todd, 2008). They should also emphasise the many pedagogical advantages of collaboration, such as integrated learning, the ability to give more individualised attention to students and the support that staff have when working together (Todd, 2008). The TL should also approach their principal for support. If they can convince the principal of the importance of collaboration, they are more likely to enable collaboration to happen.

An argument for collaboration.

The school I work in the most doesn’t have a qualified teacher librarian unfortunately. It is only a small school with less than 150 students. This is a shame, because the students in Stage 3 are very ready for an introduction into information literacy. So first I would have to convince the principal to employ a qualified TL in the library (me, maybe?!). Assuming I did this, these are the arguments I would offer for collaboration between myself and the Stage 3 teachers particularly.

  • I would point out the abilities of the stage 3 students, and how ready they are to get stuck into their own guided inquiry projects.
  • I would show them the evidence of how guided inquiry benefits student achievement levels
  • demonstrate how guided inquiry can address many aspects of the curriculum
  • reassure principal and staff that GI is an extension of what they are already doing, not adding something extra.
  • Point out that collaboration allows staff members to share the load, and give students more individualised attention
  • If more convincing was necessary, I would show them the evidence made available to me through this course of the benefits of collaboration and guided inquiry, and use it to explain why it would be beneficial in the school.


Montiel-Overall, P. (2005). A Theoretical Understanding of Teacher and Librarian Collaboration (TLC). School Libraries Worldwide, 11(2), 24-48.

Todd, R. (2008). The dynamics of classroom teacher and teacher librarian instructional collaborations. Scan, 27(2), 19-28.



  1. […] Heino, E. (May 9, 2013). Promoting Collaboration between TLs and classroom teachers.  In A Maze of Discoveries [Blog Post]. Retrieved from: […]

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