Can a teacher librarian be seen as a good teacher?

22 10 2008

YES! If we can judge by a recipient of this year’s NSW Quality Teaching Awards.  It is our very own Hubber, Sharon McGuinness, Thirroul Public School, Wollongong.

Teachers' gongs

Teachers' gongs


This award in funded by the NSW Minister for Education and Training and assessed by the Australian College of Educators, NSW Branch.

It recognises teachers who are outstanding in their chosen field in a government or non-government school.

The process is intense.  Three referee reports and a portfolio with three year’s evidence of pedagogy, curriculum content, assessment and reporting, professional values, learning and development and how each relates to the nominee’s teaching. 

Sharon prepared the portfolio as a webquest on its own website, entitled “Just how much quality is there in Mrs Mac’s teaching?” This provided links to both learning activities she has designed plus other sites and supporting documents and readings. She also had documentation in hard copy in a folder. Sharon says, “I tried to push the message of information literacy and the important role that libraries and, in particular, TLs play  in the lives of our students throughout the portfolio.”

After the portfolios are submitted, a shortlist of candidates is prepared and then a site visit by two assessors is conducted. The nominee is observed teaching at least two classes, and focus group discussions are held with members of the school community. Then a recommendation is made which goes to a committee for final assessment.

Here’s the link to the awards. 

Sharon stated, “I hope the award will help to focus attention on the work of a teacher librarian and the important role a school library AND a qualified TL  plays in the education of all children.”

She is only too happy to discuss the process with interested NSW TLs and hopes many more become nominated! You can contact Sharon through our Hub email address, 

Congratulations, Sharon, for demonstrating the successful teaching role of a committed teacher librarian!