At the beginning of this subject I had a limited awareness of leadership theories. The readings that I have down up to this point of time on leadership has been enlightening. I have become more conscious of what a significant impact leadership can have on the success of student learning and how different styles of leadership affect everyone within the school community. I am beginning to understand how teacher librarians (TLs) can be leaders in a school context and really make a difference to the learning and teaching that occurs. TLs have many opportunities to influence positive change and create innovation in how the school library is used by the school community. TLs can lead the way in developing teaching strategies for the incorporation of information literacy into the curriculum across the all levels of the school learning community.
I am not currently working in a school, so it is hard for me to comment on how I practice leadership in a school context. On completing the concept map and narrative for this assessment I feel excited about the future prospect of being able to put into practice many of the leadership concepts and ideas that have inspired me from my reading so far.
In particular, I was inspired by Don Tapscott’s (2012, June) video on the four principles for the open world and how this relates to leadership and leading change. The four principles are collaboration, transparency, sharing and empowerment. The first principle of collaboration was one of the key concepts used in my concept map. Initiating and participating in collaboration with classroom teachers, principles and students is one way that TLs can practice leadership in schools. Collaboration is vital if the TL is to be instrumental in integrating information literacy into the curriculum and being a leader in curriculum design (Walker, 2013). On the completion of my concept map it became apparent to me that the principle of sharing can include a shared vision and shared leadership which can be fostered in a collaborative environment. Collaboration also fosters and environment where team members can feel a sense of a shared purpose and empowerment (Aguilar, 2012, para. 4 – 5). The transparency principle that Tapscott talks about can be practiced by TLs that continually communicate with the school community about what is going on in the school library, what is new and what are the plans for the future. TLs can use different modes of communication to do this, traditional and technological. Some ideas include contributing to the school newsletter, creating a library website and a library blog. Pinterest is a useful tool to keep the school community up to date about what is new in the library (Walker, 2013). Talking to teachers, students, parents and other members of the school community enables the TL to practice communication skills and active listening. Active listening can help the TL to get feedback and ideas from the school community (Rubenstein, Miles & Bassi, 2009, p. 46). Effective communication skills can aid the TL to gain a deeper understanding of the school context and its learning and teaching needs.
It will be interesting to see how my thoughts and understanding on leadership develop over the course of this subject. It is exciting that a TL has so many opportunities to be a leader in their school and make a real difference to the learning experiences of students.
Aguilar, E. (2012, November 28). Effective teams: The key to transforming schools? [Blog post]. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/teacher-teams-transform-schools-elena-aguilar
Rubenstein, H., Miles, F. M., & Bassi, L. J. (2009). Leadership development for educators. Retrieved from EBook Library.
TEDGlobal. (2012, June). Don Tapscott: Four principles for the open world [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.ted.com/talks/don_tapscott_four_principles_for_the_open_world_1.html
Walker, M. (2013, July 29). ETL504 module 2: Don Tapscott’s 4 principles of an open world [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://marieleewalker.wordpress.com/