Librarians are Gold!

Let the Learning Begin…..

ETL504 – Assignment 1 Reflection

on March 15, 2014

Part B: Reflect upon your own understanding and practice of leadership in a school library.

By reflecting, then making comparisons with my prior and current teaching experience in schools, I have learnt that innovation, leading change and collaboration are essential attributes when striving to be an effective leader in a school library. I agree with Hudson (2014) that “leaders of the future have to be innovative.” Innovation in school libraries is a critical component of meeting the needs of a rapidly changing educational environment.

I found it fascinating to learn about the many complex leadership theories, especially the distinction “between management and leadership” (Kotter, n.d.). I have reflected on the many TLs that I have worked with in schools, and applied these theories to their leadership styles. At my previous school, I have been inspired by many innovative TLs who emerged as leaders, simply because they were influencing colleagues way beyond the power that had been appointed to them in their current role description. These TLs emerged spontaneously into a leadership role because they willingly put their hands up and volunteered for additional projects, such as being on the ‘K-12 Professional Learning Committee’ and the school wide ‘eLearning Committee’. This demonstrates that these TLs are middle leaders, they are modeling best practice by sharing their expertise about technology with colleagues, as well as suggesting strategies for teachers to be innovative and creative in their teaching. It is an expectation that committee members provide professional development relating to classroom technology, during this time, they demonstrate the integration of innovative Web2.0 tools both formally and informally in front of staff (Dees, 2007).

TeachMeets are professional learning meetings where teachers from a range of schools and schooling sectors come together in a relaxed atmosphere to share ideas relating to good practice. I collaborated with many inspiring TLs when organizing and hosting TeachMeets for educators. After attending many TeachMeets and reflecting, I realised that TLs are the main educators in this movement and are demonstrating the concept of “leading from the middle” (Winzenried et al., 2010, p. 16) These TLs are leaders and have a powerful ability to empower and inspire other educators. They are utilizing their skills and expertise by modelling best teaching practice for others via 7 minute PechaKucha, 2minute micro presentations or through conversations held during networking time.

Effective TLs who are leaders in a school library believe that “collaboration is essential to leadership success” (Collay, 2011). The Head of Library at my current school demonstrates outstanding leadership skills. She is a dynamic and effervescent, ‘mover and shaker’ who thrives on working collaboratively with teachers across the globe.

Since exploring the many complex leadership theories, I am now able to formally label her leadership style as being both instructional and transformational. Prior to this subject, I would have simply labeled this TL as leading librarian with energy. She goes beyond collaboratively planning during weekly team meetings and assisting library users to achieve their goals, by engaging in collaboration on a daily basis across her global community via her extensive professional learning network. She uses many social media tools such as twitter, Google circles, Facebook and her own personal blog to be a connected educator who collaboratively plans engaging global projects for her students.

References

Collay, M. (2011). Teaching is leading. Everyday Teacher Leadership: Taking Action Where You Are (pp. 75-108). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Retreived from http://www.csuau.eblib.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=675256&echo=1

Dees, D. (2007). Today’s school library media specialist leader. Library media connection. Retrieved from           http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=e058800b-3e55-46a5-b170-a755ddfb3a76%40sessionmgr4&vid=2&hid=27

Hudson, K. (2014). How an Innovation Coach Can Help Leaders. In SmartCompany.com.au. Retrieved March 31, 2014 from http://leadingcompany.smartcompany.com.au/innovation/how-an-innovation-coach-can-help-leaders/201402115093

Winzenried, A., Law, D., Hughes, P., Johnson, D., Healy, S., Warner, D., Hannan K., & Giovenco, G. (2010). Visionary leaders for information. Wagga Wagga NSW: Centre for Information Studies, 2010.

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