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My reflection2 ETL504

 This subject has provided me opportunities to become familiar with the theories and practical aspects of the leadership role of a Teacher Librarian (TL). Furthermore I have found that the TL can apply and adapt these aspects of leadership in the school library in 21st century..

 Through my studies in ETL504 I have come to improve an understanding of what leadership is and the role of the Teacher Librarian (TL) as a leader. When I started studying this subject, I did not see why leadership should be part of the TL’s role. However, throughout the study of this subject, I have come to understand that leadership is significant to the role of the TL and I have a clearer understanding of the role of the TL as a leader.

 According to Sergiovanni (2005), a lack of trust within a school will create serious disadvantages, including teachers not sharing ideas and not supporting each other. Building trust is therefore, a significant element of school leadership. Furthermore he states that lack of trusting relationships limit collaborative work, learning and improvement of performance (Sergiovanni, 2005).

 In order to build trust, communication skills such as effective listening and questioning skills and providing constructive feedback are significant as they build “productive relationships” between leaders and school community members (NSW Department of Education and Communities, 2006).

 Looking back to my own experience, I have sometimes felt my communication skills lacking. For example questioning and negotiating skills are weak points for me. Throughout a “Conflict Resolution Questionnaire “activity, I was found to be a teddy bear who does not like conflict with others. I understand I have to improve on my weak points; however I wonder how to do this. Rai, U. & Rai, S. M’s “Barriers to communication” in Effective Communication (2009) has opened my eyes and given me new perspective on the matter. I will read the article repeatedly if I lose confidence in communicating with people since communication in the school community is very important in order to share a clear vision for the school library.

 When I started studying this subject, my perspective of leadership was as a natural talent that I do not possess. I felt that I was not in a leadership position, and that I would make a poor leader. However I have learned that leadership is a skill that can be developed and improved, and anyone in a school can become a leader, not only teaching staff, but also others, including students.. As the TL needs to demonstrate leadership within school and in professional communities (the Australian Library and Information Association & the Australian School Library Association, ALIA/ASLA, 2004), this means I have to strive to improve my leadership skills in order to become an effective leader.

 The module on strategic planning was very informative. I had never heard of a strategic plan before. The video clips were a very practical tool to develop my knowledge on processes such as conducting a SWOT analysis (My Strategic Plan, 2008 July 28), and I am sure it will aid me in strategic planning in the future.

 Creating a strategic plan focused on student learning was very difficult. However the plan provides not only guidance and direction but also sends strong messages to the school community (Wong, 2012). Furthermore it can concrete the position of the TL inside and outside the school community (State Library of Queensland, 2009). As such, it is essential to understand the importance of strategic planning and a TL must emphasise this when creating a plan to develop their library.

 I believe this subject was critical to my learning as I have never thought about my leadership skills. I have now learnt more about the many types of leadership and I hope that I can become a valuable TL with transformational leadership qualities and elements of distributed leadership. Furthermore if I encounter difficulties in communicating with people, I will try to find what prevents them from receiving or conveying a message effectively in order to overcome these problems.

 I now think I have the practical tools to support this aspiration, and have the potential to turn my vision for creating a 21st century school library into a reality.

REFERENCES

Australian Library and Information Association and Australian School Library Association. (2004) .Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians Retrieved  May 12, 2013 from http://www.alia.org.au/sites/default/files/documents/ALIA.ASLA_.2004.TLstandards2013.05.30.JB_.pdf

My Strategic Plan. (2008, July 28) SWOT Analysis: How to perform one for your organization. [Video file]. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLF47BA7BC6BDA46B1&feature=player_embedded&v=GNXYI10Po6A#!

NSW Department of Education and Communities. (2006). Professional learning and leadership development. School leadership capability framework. Retrieved from https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/proflearn/areas/sld/frameworks/slcf.htm

Rai, U., & Rai, S. M. (2009). Barriers to communication. In Effective communication (Rev. ed., pp. 57-67). Retrieved May 8, 2013 from http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/docDetail.action?docID=10415143

Sergiovanni,T.(2005). The Virtues of Leadership. The Educational Forum, 69 (winter), 112-123. Retrieved March 16, 2013, from http://www.scribd.com/doc/7375166/Sergiovanni-Thomas-Virtues-of-Leadership

State Library of Queensland.(2009). Your library strategic plan a guide to its development Retrieved May 10, 2013 from http://www.slq.qld.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0008/148688/SLQ_-_Strategic_Plan_Instructions.pdf

Wong, T. (2012). Strategic long-range planning (for school library media centers) Library Media Connection, 31(2), 22-23. Retrieved May 10,2013 from http://web.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/ehost/pdfviewer/pdfviewer?sid=2df1d3bc-7792-45b2-a86b-e58bc3eeae33%40sessionmgr12&vid=2&hid=23

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Assignment 1 PartB refelection

  When I think of leadership, I think of the principals who I have previously worked with, especially when I was in Japan. Most principals were very conservative and did not act even when the school absolutely needed changes to improve the students’ learning environment.  Only one principal was fearless of challenging the status quo. I do not think he was familiar with the concepts of transformational leadership; however his attitudes to teachers and students followed the concepts. For example, providing clear vision to prepare students as members of society, encouraging teachers to develop new ideas and showing his communication skills as an effective listener and questioner.

 According to Marzano, Waters & McNulty (2005) there are many leadership theories that impact on school leaders. Especially transformational leadership and transactional leadership have been discussed in education field.

Transformational leadership seems to be well adapted to leadership in the library environment.  The Australian Library and Information Association & Australian School Library Association (ALIA & ASLA) states “the excellent teacher librarians (TL) provide effective and transformational leadership to school library and information services staff” (ALIA & ASLA, 2004) as the leadership meets the challenges of this rapid changing world (Bass & Avolio as cited in Marzano, Waters & McNulty 2005).

 However the Teacher Librarian Role Statement by School Library Association of South Australia (SLASA) (2003) states that a qualified TL must lead in all aspects of their role such as “Literature Promotion” and “Curriculum Involvement” if they are to be viewed as leader within the organisation.

  Thus before playing the role of leader, TLs need to enlighten the school communities as to the various aspects of their position as the role of TLs is often not recognised properly. Without the broad recognition as to the role of the TL it will be difficult to take a leadership position. Despite the fact that the importance of the school library and their impact on student outcomes has been stated in media releases such as School libraries 21C (NSW Department of Education & Training) (NSW DET, 2010) the value of TLs remains poorly understood. This perception is further exacerbated by the fact that many school libraries are unfortunately managed by unqualified librarians (Tarica, 2010).  Why do many schools not employ qualified TLs? Often this may simply be a budget issue, as budget is limited and there is strong competition for limited resources. However if TLs increase and improve their value and the school understand the value, it makes winning in budget cut battle more likely (Tarulli 2005)

 How should TLs establish their value in the school community? It is argued that building productive relationship and communicating with all members of the school community, including students will facilitate the task. Since productive relationship underpin trust and trust is an element of leadership (Sergiovanni, 2005), strong relationships will increase the perception of value within the community.

 There is the suggestion that if there is well- established relationship, it is very strong catalyst to support TLs as a leader.

I thought only people in high positions such as principals are leaders. I have not worked as a TL, however I have looked back to my experiences of leadership. This is just a starting point to understanding leadership.  I would like to further extend my knowledge through studying this subject.

References

Australian Library and Information Association & Australian School Library Association (ALIA/ASLA) (2004) Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians

Retrieved April 2 2013 from

http://www.alia.org.au/policies/teacher-librarian.standards.html

Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). Some theories and theorists on leadership in School leadership that works: from research to results (pp. 13-27). Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development ;.Retrieved March 7, 2013 from http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/docDetail.action?docID=10089219

NSW Department of Education & Training. (2010). School libraries 21C. Retrieved March 20, 2012 from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/assets/pdf/21c_report.pdf

School Library Association of South Australia (SLASA) (2003) Teacher Librarian Role Statement Retrieved March, 30, 2013 from http://www.slasa.asn.au/Advocacy/docs/rolestatementslasa.doc

Sergiovanni,T. (2005). The Virtues of Leadership. The Educational Forum, 69(Winter), 112-123. Retrieved March 16, 2013, from http://www.scribd.com/doc/7375166/Sergiovanni-Thomas-Virtues-of-Leadership

Tarica, E. (2010, August 6). Library Specialists Being Shelved. The Age. Retrieved from http://www.theage.com.au/national/education/library-specialists-being-shelved-20100806-11o9t.html

Tarulli, L (2005) Taking the Leadership Initiative: How You Can Fight the Budget Cut Battle in the Profession of Teacher Librarianship, A Journal of the Canadian Association for School Libraries (CASL) 24(3) 63-72