In these readings, I read something I feel was deeply significant. The quote is:
The goal is not to increase collaboration; the goal is to improve student performance. The goal is not to force staff to attend professional development; the goal is for them to improve their practice in order to improve student performance. The goal is not to garner more respect for the learning specialists; the goal is for the interactions between learning specialists and staff to help the system improve its overall performance. (Zmuda & Harada, 2008)
This really stood out to me, because in this unit we have been talking about the teacher librarian as a leader but no one has spelt out exactly why. Why are we promoting ourselves? What is so special about the role of the Teacher Librarian that makes them natural leaders in a school?
Simon Sinek (TED, 2010) talked about the golden circle and reversing the conversation from What? How? Why? to Why? How? What? and this did not make a lot of sense to me until I had read this quote. Having read this quote I can now ask myself why should the TL hold a leadership role in the school?
TLs should have a leadership role because interactions between TLs and staff to help the system improve its overall performance. They do this by working together with teachers to improve their practice. They do this by collaborating with teachers about various aspects of the curriculum, resourcing and technology.
Makes more sense now!
Another interesting element I picked up on was why schools need the TL to take on a leadership role. While the principal is very busy as an instructional leader, they are facingan increasing ‘download’ of community issues and complaints. This means that they do not have time to devote to curriculum and content. This void must be filled by Teachers and Teacher Librarians. They can act as transformational leaders. (Belisle, 2005)
Belisle, C. (2005). The teacher as leader: Transformational leadership and the professional teacher or teacher-librarian. School Libraries In Canada, 24 (3), p. 1. Retrieved from http://www.clatoolbox.ca/casl/slic/SLICVol24issue3.pdf
TED. (2010, May 4). Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp0HIF3SfI4
Zmuda, A. & Harada, V.H. (2008). Librarians as learning specialists: moving from the margins to the mainstream of school leadership. Teacher Librarian, 14811782, Oct2008, Vol. 36, Issue 1