If your boss is seen as a librarian, she becomes a resource, not a limit. If you view the people you work with as coaches, and your job as a platform, it can transform what you do each day, starting right now. "My boss won't let me," doesn't deserve to be in your vocabulary. Seth Godin Moving Beyond Teachers and Bosses
Godin sees teachers as limiters, not enablers:
We train kids to deal with teachers in a certain way: Find out what they want, and do that, just barely, because there are other things to work on. Figure out how to say back exactly what they want to hear, with the least amount of effort, and you are a 'good student.'
He says we form the same relationship with our bosses when they act as teachers.
Do classroom teachers need to start performing more like librarians? I've thought so for a long time. Fifteen years ago, when the Internet was just starting to be used by students in our schools, I watched as some boys looked up information about the Ebola virus at the Center for Disease Control using a library computer. To me, the ramifications were astounding.
When those boys returned to their classroom, they were suddenly the content experts on this topic, not Ms Anderson, the teacher. If Ms Anderson had always viewed herself as the content expert and dispenser of that content, she was in for a rude awakening.
But if she sees herself as a process, rather than content, expert, Ms Anderson still has a valuable place in the information age. When those boys came back from the library, she needed to be able to ask questions like:
- Where did you get your information?
- How do you know if the information is reliable?
- Is the information important for others to know?
- If so, how will you communicate this information?
- And how will you know you've done a good job?
The teacher is asking the same kinds of question, performing in the same kind of role as the librarian.
With an increasing number of students carrying Internet-connected devices, they don't even have to leave their seats to be "content experts." This shift from content to process expert is accelerating, not diminishing.
And librarians ought to be helping teachers make the transition.
Good librarians have always also been good teachers. Are good teachers also good librarians?