This assignment has helped foster ideas for me to develop leadership in my school through the delivery of information services to our school community. Prior to taking on this unit I admit I had never really thought or known about leadership theories or change management as a process that can be carefully executed. I have found it very useful to engage with these and now have a deeper understanding of leadership as a dynamic process and a result of the complex interactions that can happen in a school (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber, 2009).
Previously I think my thoughts on leadership were more focussed around a definition of management. I now understand that leadership can appear at any level of the school hierarchy and is most powerful when shared. The quote from Sergiovanni (2005, p.95), “Wise leaders try to rely on others and build upon their leadership capacity”, has resonated with me and I feel empowered by the realisation that the teacher librarian in a school is well positioned to take on a leadership role.
Reflecting upon my practice during this unit I realised that I do show leadership in decision making in the TL position already in areas such as resourcing the curriculum and (currently) developing policies. I have identified that I need to now make myself part of the overall decision process that will affect my library, such as belonging to more committees, such as the ICT committee, and I understand that I can show leadership by implementing such things as inquiry learning scope and sequence across the school, take initiative to demonstrate and implement staff PD of new technology/web tools and sharing of new resources, creating a digital literacy program and being more proactive to collaborate with teachers to implement it in units of work, and generally participate and contribute to planning meetings and other initiatives in the school.
As mentioned in Collay (2011) creating and sustaining collaboration is powerful and a necessary form of leadership. What has become very obvious to me is that our school library is not using best practice in regards to adopting 21st century learning culture of inquiry. My hope is that armed with some tools from this unit I can begin to create a collaborative culture and to begin to manage change in our school library to benefit all of our school community and to create a library that enables 21st century skills to be developed.
The TL should be a trusted and valuable resource for staff and students who can change their leadership style to suit the context, task and purpose (Marzano, McNulty, & Waters, 2005). In order to be useful I know I must be a life-long learner who reflects on my practice and commits to ongoing personal professional development. As stated in MacBeath & Dempster (2009, p.32), “Leaders need to learn and leaders learn as they lead”. With this in mind I actually enjoyed reminding myself of prominent pedagogy theories during this unit and feel it has benefitted me already in my teaching.
While I am hesitant to say that I will be a transformational leader, I would like to be, and the fact that I have learned some tools to achieve this has affirmed my position and excited me to create a vision for the future for my library and our school.
Avolio, B. J., Walumbwa, F. O., & Weber, T. J. (2009). Leadership: current theories, research, and future directions. Annu Rev Psychol, 60, 421-449. doi: 10.1146/annurev.psych.60.110707.163621
Collay, M. (2011). Teaching is leading. Everyday teacher leadership: Taking action where you are (pp. 75-108). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Marzano, R. J., McNulty, B. A., & Waters, T. (2005). School Leadership that Works: From Research to Results (pp. 13-27). Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.