What have you learned as you examined leadership in depth during this subject?
To show growth, one of the things I would like to share is that fact that I was dubious about this subject. In the ACT we refer to principals as SLA (School Leader A), deputies as SLB (School Leader B) and executive teachers as SLC (School Leader C). A leadership role for us is to act in an executive titled position. There is a huge push for experienced teachers to be aiming for these roles. To apply successfully you have to show ‘vision’. Where do you see yourself taking the school? Personally, I am happy effecting change in my classroom. I had a leadership role at my old school and it meant that I was off class dealing with angry parents, administration and disciplinary issues. Not my idea of fun.
My first blog post showed that I thought that leadership was more about management with vision. ‘For me, leadership is about management and vision. I have worked in schools where the leadership is invisible and I have also worked under a micromanager. While I believe I am a proficient worker and perfectly capable of completing my job, there are those who need the push and direction of a leader. We also need a leader for when problems arise; an arbiter or a sounding board for ideas. (Young, 2015a)
The first two modules of this unit expanded my knowledge of leadership in looking at management styles and after reading Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005) I had expanded on this knowledge as I had never heard of Transformational leadership. I was so used to traditional hierarchies. I was able to expand on this knowledge in my first assignment where I spoke of how I would appreciate a flatter structure meaning everyone has the opportunity to contribute and be appreciated for the role they play.
The readings in these first two modules expanded my understanding that leadership does not have to come from the top. We can all affect leadership. I used Discuss Tapscott’s 4 principles for an open world (TED, 2012) to see that we can all make a difference. I also examined the role of distributed leadership and that we can all contribute in our own way. I was happy that my knowledge of what is leadership was expanding and I was happy with my blog reflection following my first assignment and how it showed my expanding knowledge of the leadership role of the TL. (Young, S. 2015b)
There were two other leadership styles we examined during the unit and these were Learning for Leadership and Leadership from the Middle. My blog post for Learning for leadership showed that I was still not quite certain as to what is meant by it but did try to work it out. After reading other posts by fellow students I gained an understanding by reading the following post which helped explain this theory to me. (Ahilleos, 2015) I quite liked the theories suggested by leading from the middle.
How has this subject extended your knowledge of the role of the TL?
I have discovered through this unit that students today have different needs and we have to adapt our teaching to make sure we cater to their different needs. Traditional subjects are still important but we have to give students a new skill set. There is a lot of reference to the 21st Century Learner throughout this unit. The role of the TL is changing to create the TL as a facilitator to bring about this new style of education. TLs can help bring in these changes and in this way they are acting as facilitators and leaders.
From my readings on advocacy I have discovered that the TL must embrace and even lead change along with being ready for the demands of an evolving profession. In order to do this, TLs must be visionaries. They need to be able to imagine what the future holds in technologies and libraries 3-5 years down the road and they need to plan for this rather than concentrate on the now. I rebranded the library and gave it a vision in my assignment.
Now that you have the vision, the necessary procedure is to break this down into achievable steps. Doucett’s (2011) book gave some good pointers for being able to do this. A SWOT or STEEP analysis gives you a good look at your situational analysis. From here you can begin strategic planning. This involves thinking through goals and actions so that any subsequent actions are based on some method and plan. In this way the TL can act as a visionary transformational leader.
To complete these tasks you will need the support of the principal and executive staff. There will be challenges as staff may be resistant to changes and you will have to work through change management strategies. You may also have to deal with conflict. To change teaching in your school to make learning more 21st century it will be worth it.
Libraries are the digital learning hub of the future. A 21st century library is a place where print and digital resources come together and assist students and teachers to be co-learners. The TL has the role of leading, promoting, and facilitating new learning for all. It will be exciting to act in this role and know you were at the forefront of change.
Ahilleos, I. (2015, July 29). RE: Task 1: Introduction: Leadership for Learning. [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?action=list_messages&forum_id=_32373_1&nav=discussion_board_entry&conf_id=_6711_1&course_id=_6073_1&message_id=_297156_1#msg__297156_1Id
Doucett, E. (2011). What they don’t teach you in library school. Chicago: American Library Association. Retrieved from http://www.csuau.eblib.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/patron/FullRecord.aspx?p=731890
Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). School leadership that works: From research to results. Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved May 29, 2014 from www.csuau.eblib.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/patron/Read.aspx.
TED. (2012, June 28). Don Tapscott: Four principles for the open world [Video file]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfqwHT3u1-8
Young, S. (2015a, July 27). Task 1: What is your understanding of leadership? [Online forum comment]. Retrieved from https://interact2.csu.edu.au/webapps/discussionboard/do/message?restrict_start_datetime=2015-10-9%200%3A0%3A00&conf_id=_6711_1&pickname=&pickname=&search_type=message&pickdate=&pickdate=&isSearch=Y&restrict_end_date=09%2F10%2F2015&forum_id=_28756_1&restrict_end_datetime=2015-10-9%2010%3A57%3A00&restrict_end_time=10%3A57&restrict_start_time=00%3A00&action=collect_forward&nav=discussion_board_entry&nav=discussion_board_entry&origRequestId=F3C8C767D00909E700FC73237C9D85FF_1444348686392&course_id=_6073_1&filterSearch=thread&thread_id=_247131_1&restrict_start_date=09%2F10%2F2015&
Young, S. (2015b, August 24). Teacher librarian as a leader. [Blog post]. Retrieved from https://shelleeyoung.wordpress.com/2015/08/24/teacher-librarian-as-a-leader/