Monday, 7 April 2014

Third rung - ETL504 - Part B: Reflective Journal

As usual, my understanding of the role and responsibility of the Teacher Librarian has continued to be hampered by not working within the school system. My experience of Librarians as leaders must be drawn from the context of TAFE libraries where I have been employed, and the various styles of leadership I have worked under.       

My interpretation of the prominence of the TL as a leader has changed significantly in the interval between the start of my reading and the submission of this reflection. Leaders have always been those in positions of authority, didactically passing down instructions, which I dutifully completed. 
This assignment has prompted me to to reflect on the leaders and their styles that I have interacted with, in my 20 years of working in libraries. This includes four managers in the last six months. In relating the readings to the the various styles and methodology of my previous leaders, one thing became apparent, very few of my managers had ever examined these texts, of those who have, even fewer had put the concepts into practice. I believe that the majority had no idea of the extent to which theories of leadership applied to their role (Burnett, 2014).

I now know that leadership is not restricted to formal leadership positions, it is a development of the interactions between colleagues within the school community, not limited to one entity it allows both teachers and TLs to achieve collaboration as peers, encouraging the group’s mutual stimuli leading to successes that exced the results of the individuals (Avolio, Walumbwa, & Weber. 2009.: Dubrin & Dalglish, 2003). I believe currently my role as a TL, is, within the ‘servant leadership’ doman to cultivate a nurturing ‘hub’ within the school, supporting and empowering both staff and students to first achieve and then go beyond themselves. The final stage of Transformational leadership, inspiring others to develop growth and process change within the school environment, is a goal I aspire to generate in the future (Marzano, Waters, & McNulty, 2005).
I experienced a great deal of difficulty in creating my concept map, 10 designs were created and amended, removing this concept and adding that one before the final draft was distilled into what was presented. Expressing the concept map as a narrative was illuminating, it condensed my research and expanded my understanding of my place in leading.
I realised that comunicating a shared vision is at the vanguard of successful leadership, The culture of an organisation, that creates exclusion, ambiguity and uncertainty will also influence the ethical behavior of individuals. Interpersonal relationships within such a diverse workplace as a school must be founded on an ethical platform (Robbins, Bergman, Stagg, & Coulter, 2008).
That leadership results in the development of a learning community where relationships information sharing, inquiry, discourse, reflection and risk-taking is standard, where team members are motivated by a desire to learn and to collaboratively seek better ways of developing a participative methodology, eventually enabling staff to become leaders themselves, through their own contributions to the process.

For centuries people have debated whether leaders are born or made….. I now believe that leaders are created by other leaders, Teacher Librarians are uniquely placed to be and to create these leaders.

Avolio, B., Walumbwa, F., & Weber, T. J. (2009). Leadership: Current Theories,
Research, and Future Directions. DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln. Retrieved from.

Burnett, S. (2014, 10th March). Remote leaders. [CSU forum posting]. Retrieved from.

Dubrin, A. J. & Dalglish, C. (2003). Leadership, an Australian focus. Milton, QLD.: John
Wiley and Sons Australia

Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). Some theories and theorists on
leadership. School leadership that works: from research to results (pp. 13-27). Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved  from

Robins, S. P., Bergman, R., Stagg, I. & Coulter, M. (2008). Management. (5rd ed).

Frenchs Fores, NSW.: Pearson Education Australia.