My knowledge and understanding of the essential role of Teacher Librarian as Leader within this subject has evolved and expanded dramatically. In addition to this, I have a much richer understanding of the reality of executing change within the school itself. Conducting, considering and reflecting on activities and readings have allowed me to establish a deeper understanding of the essential role of the Librarian as Leader and essentially, how best to facilitate change.
In addition, this course has making me more aware and driven to implement change. I am now coming to the realisation that in order to successfully achieve this change, I need to prioritize the most essential and important aspects first. I can recognise that for students to become more engaged 21st Century learners, they need to not only demonstrate their Information Literacy skills in the school library but additionally engage these skills in the classroom and their everyday activities. Furthermore for this to occur, professional development of TL and staff is essential in order to maintain and implement innovative change within the school environment. This realisation was driven by a desire to implement 21st century learning more effectively within the school community.
Reading and considering other students’ forum posts has provided me with an insight to the functioning in a variety of school libraries. The ability to clarify ideas and read other people’s opinions challenged my thinking and ideas, especially as I am not currently working in a library. This additionally allowed clarity questions on a topic whilst building a sense of belonging within a collaborative environment.
However, I can now recognise that it is unrealistic to think this change can all occur immediately and this process is not solely driven by the one decision maker. I now recognise that is will be more successful if driven by a committee of like-minded people with clearly defined goals. Jennings (2008) discussed collaboration as being the way forward and this concept illustrates dramatic change in my thinking.
Upon reflection on my initial blog posts I considered this role of leadership as more singular, however my understanding has now evolved dramatically. Stone, Russell and Patterson’s (2004) concept of dynamic leadership that is both proactive and reactive, whilst providing multifaceted, where as a leader I can lead, guide or alternatively support and provide others with the tools to implement change is essential. This was without a doubt my single greatest learning curve within the subject. Prior to this I was so driven to guiding change by explicitly teaching and demonstrating changes I wished to implement, that I had failed to engage and provide others with the tools to help me achieve these goals. The ability to work and lead successfully in a collaborative environment is essential in every school. I had however underestimated the importance of working with those around me to achieve these shared goals. This has allowed me to recognise that an effective leader isn’t always the face and driving force that I once considered, but is a leader that additionally enables and supports others in order to achieve a purpose.
Additionally, the ability to communicate, collaborate, resolve conflict, negotiation skills and working with others in a respectful and positive environment is essential and should be demonstrated and reinforced by successful leaders (MBA, 2012).
Macbeath & Dempster’s (2008) “Leadership for learning” article further reinforced that learning whilst leading can result in mistakes. In comparison there has been times where I had been hesitant to take a leadership role for fear of making an error. In reflection however, I can now recognise that in the past, I should have had more confidence because despite the fact that I may have made a mistake I was one of the best education and most qualified there to undertake the leadership role. In addition to this, I can also recognise that working with a collaborative committee or group within this same context would have additionally improved the overall outcomes.
Critically analysing and comparing my ideas within this modules has allowed me to realise that I have additionally expanded and reinforced my ideas and beliefs influenced by Marzano, Waters, and McNulty (2005). These beliefs are that successful leaders guiding teams with expertise, knowledge and understanding. I feel that the knowledge and understanding obtained by completing this assignment does not conflict my beliefs prior to commencing my studies but has provided a much deeper and enriched concept of leadership allowing me to more successfully implement and plan change for the future. Additionally the course has prompted me to look past leadership in schools and libraries to expand my understanding of skills that strong leaders in other industries implement that can be transferred or adapted with a school setting.
Jennings, M. (2008). Dynamic Educational Leadership Teams : From Mine to Ours. Retrieved from: http://www.csuau.eblib.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=467027
Marzano, R., Waters, T. and McNulty, B. (2005). School Leadership That Works : From Research to Results. [e-book] Alexandria, Vancouver: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. pp. 13-27. Available through: Charles Sturt University http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/docDetail.action?docID=10089219
MBA, (2012). Let your ears do the talking: how good managers listen. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk1VnXTC1_I
Stone, A., Russell, R. & Patterson, K. (2004) Transformational versus servant leadership: a difference in leader focus. Emerald.