Reflecting on this task has highlight to me the multifaceted nature of Leadership in a school library and the challenges faced by the Teacher Librarian regarding leadership in the school. It has also highlighted to me the benefits of creating a concept map to communicate understanding, for it is this process which challenges to more deeply analyse the nature of leadership in schools and create a visual representation highlighting the Teacher Librarian.
It revealed, in the study of leadership, there are many recent developments in research and thinking, with studies, projects, and evaluations of leadership processes occurring globally. This makes it vital for schools consider these global events, as valid knowledge, by considering and implementing suitable techniques which will result in the school benefiting from the research conducted by others.
For example, it is now considered favourable for all teachers to take part in leadership training. For, if teachers see themselves as leaders then the gap between the teacher and the school leader is automatically narrowed (Townsend, 2011). As a leader each teacher will be equipped to draw from their repertoire of leadership styles such as Transformational, Situational, Servant, Instructional, and even Transactional Leadership when trade-offs are required in negotiation. The teacher may also draw on more recent inclusions such as Authentic, Cognitive, Complexity, and Distributed leadership styles.
It has been revealed to me, that to position the Teacher Librarian within the school leadership structure is situated as an innovative collaborator, a navigator, and problem solver who is passionate, transparent and sharing, and will drive development both within the school library, and on a school wide, as well as global scale. They will adopt a more Transformational style of leadership and will demonstrate vision, appropriate modelling, and acceptance of groups as well as high performance expectations. They will offer individual support and provide intellectual stimulation (Peet et al., as sited in Browning, 2013) for their colleagues. From the learning common of the library, the Teacher Librarian is uniquely placed to communicate with the entire teaching community directly, overcoming the faculty communication hurdles that sometimes exist.
From this base, as part of the complex leadership structure of the school, my understanding is that the teacher Librarian can look to needs and directions within the school and collaborate with colleagues towards equitable resources for all. They can offer instruction leadership through designing innovative learning events for staff and students. They can support individuals using servant leadership to address specific issues, but will consider the strengths of a situational leadership style and ready to adapt or modify to respond in the most appropriate manner. Bogotch and Townsend (2008) commented on this by saying – school leaders must have knowledge about what they have to do, and knowledge about how to approach an unique set of circumstances and conditions that create the uniqueness of every school… that true leadership is artistry and is the place where the ‘what’ and ‘how’ (or the ‘whow’) of school leadership comes together. (Peet et al., as sited in Townsend, 2011).
In conclusion, I now have a much deeper understanding of leadership than I did before, but also realise there is so much more to learn.
Browning, P. (September, 2013). Creating the Conditions for Transformational Change. Australian Educational Leader: v.35 n.3 p.14-17. Retrieved March, 2015 from http://search.informit.com.au.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/fullText;dn=200657;res=AEIPT>
Townsend, T. (2011). School leadership in the twenty-first century: Different approaches to common problems? School Leadership and Management, 31(2). (p. 93-103). Retrieved February, 2015 from http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13632434.2011.572419