By Jeanie Phillips, standards implementation task force member
If you are at all like me, you may be feeling like you should already be implementing the new AASL Standards. “After all, they were released a full month ago,” says my inner taskmaster. Surely in that time I could realign my entire curriculum, transform my teaching, and share the new frameworks with the school library community. Obviously, these expectations are way out of whack. Even if all of this was achievable, rushing would lead to a shallow implementation, not a thoughtful and well-considered one.
I encourage you to go slow now so that you can go fast later: First, use the Six Action Steps Infographic to get to know the new AASL Standards well. The familiarity that comes from exploring the Shared Foundations in the spirit of each Shared Foundation (very meta, I know!) will lead to deeper understanding and more intentional teaching practice. Personalize your learning by choosing a starting point, they are in no particular order, and using 1 (or 2, or all 6) prompts to reflect on your practice. Your resulting implementation plan will be one that builds on your strengths and outlines strategies for your areas of growth.
Inquire: Curiosity is the essence of inquiry. Bring a sense of curiosity to your own professional role: what questions do you have about your practice? If you have a copy of the National School Library Standards book, read Chapter 2. If not, peruse the Learner Standards Framework and the Shared Foundation Infographics for a similar overview. Which Shared Foundations seem related to your questions about your practice? How might you use them to transform your practice?
Explore: Exploration is about approaching the world with wonder. Bring this sense of wonder as you browse all six Shared Foundation Infographics. As you explore, allow yourself to speculate about your own practice as a librarian. Which shared foundation do you already feel confident about? Take a moment to reflect on your skills in this area. Which one feels like you have some work to do? What are some steps you might take to gain confidence?
Collaborate: Community is the soul of collaboration. Connect with your community, in person or online, to discuss the new AASL Standards. How are librarians in your district approaching implementation? Join the conversation online using #AASLstandards or by visiting the AASL Standards Discussion Forums.
Curate: Relevance is the core of curation. Find relevant material for your own professional growth to help you as you implement the new standards. Start with relevant work from your students: collect three or four performance tasks, assessments, or portfolio pieces from your students. Reflect on the strengths you see in the student work: what does this tell you about your instruction? Which Shared Foundation(s) might help you build on this learning? Next, find some professional resources that are relevant to growth in this area. Knowledge Quest, the KQ blog, and the standards portal are great places to start.
Include: When you boil down the Include Shared Foundation you get equity. It is easy to overlook student voice as we implement new standards. Invite a group of students to share their thinking about the six Shared Foundations. What does Inquire mean to them in their own words? How do they approach Collaboration? These videos will inspire you to collect stories from your student body and to learn from their understandings of these core concepts.
Engage: Engagement is all about responsibility. How will you take personal responsibility for your learning and growth? Share your next steps with colleagues in person or by using #AASLstandards in your social media posts.
Author: AASL Standards and Guidelines Implementation Task Force