The Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) is a discipline that emphasizes instructional development and enhanced student learning through the dissemination of practitioner theory and experience. The discipline, however, primarily considers the role and perspectives of higher education and K-12 faculty. Yet SoTL also has pragmatic implications for librarians as it promotes instructional improvement, collaborative research, networking, and professional development across the academy.
Teaching librarians are always seeking opportunities to improve their professional practice. Traditional forms of professional and personal development—attending workshops and conferences and reading the scholarly and practitioner literature—are valuable and useful, but often ignore the powerful personal connections we have between colleagues. Using a narrative approach, this article will provide two teacher librarians’ stories about their experiences with team teaching as a method of professional development. Turning the traditional mentorship model on its head, each librarian contributed equally to the relationship and took the risk of being vulnerable in order to learn from one another. A newer librarian, looking to expand her teaching toolkit, become acculturated to her new institution, and develop her teacher identity, taught alongside an experienced librarian looking for new teaching techniques, a way to prevent “burnout,” and a more intentional and reflective approach to teaching. In addition, the authors will discuss the theoretical underpinnings of the benefits of team teaching and will provide recommendations for others through an account of how they planned, managed the classroom, and assessed student work.