Reflection on Teacher Librarian as Leader CSU

Teacher Librarian as Leader has clarified the types of leadership represented at my school, promoting analysis of how different types of leaders and leadership roles may be harnessed to implement change. Leadership for Learning emphasises collaboration, activity and interaction, promoting real learning experiences (O’Connell 2012) and optimal learning environments for students, simultaneously fostering professional learning of staff and broader connections with community (Donoghue & Clark, 2010). Consistent open ongoing communication and transparency are essential (Caldwell, 2010) empowering ongoing purposeful exchange promoting sustained improvement.

This concept is closely related to sustainable leadership that is cyclical and energizing, focusing on motivation and multi-level engagement (Levin & Fullan, 2008). To promote sustained attention in the change process teachers need more than a moral purpose, shared vision and ownership learning from peers in context builds capacity and motivation feeding energy back into a sustainable system ( Levin and Fullan, 2008).

My initial ideas on leadership are a response to involvement in community arts events. This involved working collaboratively and organically with a group of people dedicated to a moral purpose, using collective skills to gain outcomes greater than or even different to what was predicted. The line between process and outcomes is blurred and the outcome again leads into further processes. Often this may require a charismatic leader, however this role may change with the shape of the process as different abilities or contexts become evident. It is a process of transparency and sharing, develops skills in all members of the group and empowers the outcome. This type of sharing helps to develop skills in all members of the group and empowers change.

To lead from the middle a TL needs to be proactive and look for ways to engage with the school community in teaching and learning, resourcing and promoting 21st century skills in a welcoming connected environment. Leading from the middle develops a positive pressure that disrupts a stagnant equilibrium promoting change adaptive to a new environment; like the idea of disrupted equilibrium in ecological science. The library is an excellent place and space to harness the development of new technologies in combination with other sources of information to develop new approaches and teaching practices to develop 21st Century learners who are critical, capable and ethical users and producers of information (Lorenzo, 2007).

In looking at the role of TL as leader, I felt that collaborating with teachers on delivering General Capabilities skills and Cross Curriculum Priorities integrated across the curriculum would be the best mechanism to connect broadly across the school. The National Curriculum also provides an excellent platform to collaborate with teachers to ensure the library’s resourced effectively to support those changes. Working closely across the school would allow for engagement on a number of committees and promote collegiality promoting a supportive network. This approach to resources and instruction was purposefully designed to encourage usage and to socialize all stakeholders in the process (Lewis, 2011), connecting users and resources, creating authentic learning experiences engagement across a range of mediums and learning styles (Nelson, 2008).

In my first unit of study Role of the Teacher Librarian, I looked at Curriculum Integration, but now have an understanding of how the collaboration towards these teaching and learning experiences is linked to promoting leadership for learning and advocacy.

The development of a mind map representative of leadership and change lead me to thinking about regeneration. I wanted to represent something that was sustainable and adaptable in two collaboratively developed initial projects; an Aboriginal Bush Food Garden as an ongoing Project connecting across curriculum and connecting broadly with community and a GATS program developed initially for year 7 and progressing laterally through the year levels.

The promotion of 21st Century learning the library needed to provide dynamic stimulating engagement with virtual and textual resources in a welcoming user focused environment (Freeman, 2005). Small changes in the library enabled areas for group or individual work, reading and a library webpage providing easy 24/7 access to quality information. Both of these programs and changes to the library environment and resources were designed to facilitate social engagement, authentic learning experiences and immediacy of information, providing support with analysing, synthesising and using and producing information.

To develop a strategic plan to enable the vision statement I used two approaches. Olsen’s (2012) plan was neat and effective an Articulated Plan- Vision, Strategic Differentiation- Curriculum Integration, Organizational Engagement- who, what and how, Organizational Transformation- broad engagement promoting collaboration, capacity building and empowerment promoting positive change.

I also looked closely at Levin and Fullan’s Seven Strategies for Change (2008), particularly effective use of resources. The changes I envisioned were possible with positive concerted effort from the school community without the need for high cost. This was strategically planned to empower the school community, place the library at the centre of the school and provide a strong platform to apply for a larger amount of funding in the next three year plan.

I really enjoyed studying this course, like the other units I have completed at CSU it is directly relevant to understanding an enacting the role of being an effective and knowledgeable Teacher Librarian and I particularly appreciated the extensive multi-media aspect of the course design which related closely with the role of 21st Century learning requirements for students.

References

ACARA, (2013) Australian Curriculum v5.0 F-10,  F-10 Overview, retrieved from

www.australiancurriculum.edu.au/Curriculum/Overview

Caldwell, M. (2010). Becoming a champion of change. Retrieved from

http://vimeo.com/hrdg/becoming-a-champion-of-change

Donoghue, T.A., & Clarke, S. (2010). “Teachers learning and teachers leading. Leading     learning: Process, themes and issues in international contexts (pp. 87-99)                     London, Routledge.

Lewis, K.K. (2011), Organisational change: Creating change through strategic          communication, Blackwell Publishing, Chichester.

Levin, B. & Fullan, M. (2008). Learning about system renewal. Educational Management

            Administration & Leadership, 36(2), 289-303. doi: 10.1177/1741143207087778

Lorenzo, G. (2007). Catalysts for change: Information fluency, Web 2.0, library 2.0, and      the new education culture. Retrieved from http://www.edpath.com/stn.htm

Freeman, G. (2005). “The Library as Place: Changes in Learning Patterns, Collections,      Technology, and Use” In Library as place, rethinking roles, rethinking space,

            Council on Library and Information Resources, Washington, D.C.

Fullan, M. (2005). “The intriguing nature of sustainability. Leadership & sustainability:          System thinkers in action (pp.13-27). Thousand Oaks, Corwin Press

O’Connell, J. (2012). Change has arrived at an iSchool library near you. In Information

            literacy beyond library 2.0 (pp. 215-228). London: Facet. Retrieved from

http://www.csu.edu.au/division/library/ereserve/pdf/oconnell-j1.pdf

Olsen, E. (2012, April 19). What is strategic planning really? Virtual strategist.

            Retrieved from

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=playerembedded&v=mLJ34L5UW4E

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About tanialibraryquest

I am a drama/ history teacher and have just started a Masters of Education Teacher Librarian. I have been involved extensively in the arts, mostly in dance and theatre. I have worked in community theatre through federal arts funded projects and also worked with Ausdance National at National Youth Dance Festivals. I have worked in schools as an "outside professional", and decided to complete and Grad Dip Ed. I was very keen to work in drama in schools but have since gained a number of blocks as teacher librarian. I enjoy the dynamic nature of the work, team teaching, collaborating, management and developing relationships with students who access the library. I have done some renovating and re-organising of teaching areas. I am having a crash course in Oasis library catalogue and also technology! Looking forward to the masters and all it has to offer!
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