Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Word of the Week: Singleton

I spent last weekend on a beach retreat with a group from my middle school library media PLC. We were a group of six women who love to read young adult literature, to talk about the latest and greatest instructional technology, and to bounce ideas off one another in regards to improving our library media programs.

Most recently we've been discussing how our colleagues, other library media coordinators, are often alone in a school. We're one person, sometimes two, managing the library media program, doing collection development, managing the facility, designing and implementing reading incentive programs, planning and collaborating and instructing. We are often a singleton in a school of many core content teachers.

And we've decided that we don't like the term singleton!

For some reason the term has a negative connotation: an outsider. In this collaborative environment, I don't want to be an outsider. I want to be an insider, one who is in the know and who is sharing my expertise with my colleagues, one who is working with others to impact student achievement.

A slip of the tongue and singleton becomes simpleton. Maybe not for most, but it's too close for comfort. And as one colleague reminded me, our principal is only one person in her position. Do we call her a singleton? Of course, not! She's our administrator!

So now we have to come up with a better term for singleton. I'm kinda partial to expert, but then I suppose there are many experts in the building. How can I define a single/one individual in a program area who most likely works collaboratively with all? (The singletons in my school also include academically gifted teacher, guidance counselor, music teacher, Spanish teacher)

Fellow experts, specialists, individuals, educational beings, what do you think of the word singleton?

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