Begin With An Essential Question



As I begin my new journey as a Teacher-Librarian, I am feeling overwhelmed with all that needs to be done.  This feeling is probably because I did not actually receive the position until August 24, 12 days before school started.  Not a lot of time to pack my old classroom, move, unpack, organize and plan for a brand new position.  Yes,  I have been working towards this goal, but we all know how much we don’t learn in class.  So, I believe that the class in which I am currently enrolled, LLED 462, has begun at the perfect time.

In order to guide my learning throughout the course, I need to create an essential question.  A new TL has so much to learn, so determining a place to start was challenging.   When I’m overwhelmed, I create lists.


Lists provide a way to organize my thoughts and then I create categories, or keywords, that help to guide me towards a question.


I discovered as I created my keywords –administration, curriculum, collaboration, technology, balance – that they are all connected in some way.  Instead of creating a web that contains five different categories, I could, and may, by the time this course is complete, create a circle demonstrating how  all of these keywords are connected.  I only have 13 weeks, so I decided to narrow in on curriculum and technology.


 For the past four years, my teaching focus was Grade 3/4, and previous to that, Grade 6/7.     I am new in the library, and will be teaching Kindergarten to Grade 7, which requires me to have a better understanding of the new curriculum for these grades.   One main process that is embedded across all grades is inquiry.  I would like to explore the question:   How can technology support the teaching of the inquiry process across all grades?


The new BC curriculum focuses on inquiry based learning, and some teachers would like concrete examples for teaching the new curriculum in their classrooms.  I am hoping that by teaching students the inquiry process through technology, that I can provide school-based examples, collaborate, and co-teach some lessons with teachers to increase their comfort level.   The library, or library learning commons, should “promote personalization, inquiry, and the integration of technology through the implementation of innovative curricular design and assessment (Leading Learning, 5)”. 

 Some resources that I plan to use include the British Columbia Teacher Librarians’ Association’s  ‘Points of Inquiry’, together with IQ: A Practical Guide to Inquiry-Based Learning and Spirals of Inquiry  As I discover others, I will add them to my list of resources, and share them with the teachers on my staff.


Canadian Library Association. (2014) Leading Learning: standards of practice for school library learning commons in Canada. Ottawa:ON.


One thought on “Begin With An Essential Question

  1. Pingback: A Learning Summary | A Teacher in Delta

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