Immersion: Bringing it all together

In my request for travel support to attend the Association of College & Research Libraries Immersion ’12 Teacher Track Program, I pledged to blog about my participation in Immersion. To read more about my Immersion experience, check out my posts tagged immersion or my Immersion tweets.

Bringing It All Together was the theme of Friday’s Closing Plenary.

I’m still processing my Immersion experience. I’ve yet to teach since Immersion and haven’t had the opportunity to put all the pieces together in my own instruction. One of the Immersion faculty members suggested we “let Immersion sink in” and work itself organically into our own practice, which seems like good advice.

In a recent College & Research Libraries News article on their Immersion experiences, Erin Davis and Pam Martin write the following: “Immersion provides librarians that all-too-often rare opportunity to immerse themselves in pedagogy—to learn how to be a teacher rather than just a librarian who occasionally teaches” (483). I hadn’t realized it until I read Pam and Erin’s words, but I think that’s one reason why Immersion was so meaningful to me; I consider myself a teacher, not a librarian who teaches, and it felt really good to be part of a community of others who feel, at least to some extent, the same way.

I also saw my Immersion experience reflected in this from Pam and Erin:

[quote]As the demand on instruction librarians continues to grow, Immersion offers the breathing space needed to reimagine and inform your instruction practice. It provides foundational information for novice instructors and reflective time for those with instruction experience. Immersion creates a safe space for librarians to thrive and take risks. As we are reaching out to increasing numbers of students in the classroom, our impact on those students needs to be more meaningful. It is not enough to reach greater numbers of the student body if we are not having a positive impact. With each track and each class of participating librarians, Immersion ensures we are truly benefiting the ever-growing number of library instruction students.[/quote]

Immersion also emphasizes the idea of becoming a more authentic teacher, something Andy Burkhardt wrote about at Information TyrannosaurBring Your SELF To Work Day.

Before Immersion, I wrote that “a successful Immersion experience will mean not only developing skills and knowledge to apply in my personal practice but also returning to the Libraries better prepared to help others in their own teaching and learning.”  I am already working with my department head to develop a workshop to share some of what we learned at Immersion about active learning and, though I’ve yet to teach this semester, can already sense that I am becoming more authentic and reflective in my practice. By any measure, Immersion was a great success.

Certificate of Completion for participating in the Immersion '12 Program, an intensive, 4.5 day program of training and education, July 22-27, 2012.