ETL 504

Assess 1 – Concept Map and Critical Analysis
Part B – Blog Post

Early in the topic one forum, we were asked how we understood leadership and how we showed this at our school. My response was, ‘My understanding of leadership is someone who can guide, educate others and facilitate the achievement of a common goal. This person is a mentor that assists others in reaching their potential on a personal and societal level’ (Abiwahab, 2014). I found determining how I showed leadership in my school more difficult as the simplest and most obvious aspect was that I have another staff member with me in the library.

By reading and researching leadership to create a concept map, I realised that leadership is more than the hierarchical structure which stems from the Education Department to a vertical leadership of executive staff members as found in most schools. These leaders are in positions which reflect power in a systemic setting. I failed to see how teachers are leaders within our classrooms, even though it appears we work in the isolation of a room with four walls (Avolio, Walumbwa & Weber, 2009; Collay, 2011; Townsend, 2011; Youngs, 2009). As Teacher Librarian, my setting and domain is the library and from this I am able to display leadership qualities which contribute to the school’s purpose of education.

I was particularly enlightened by the adaptation of the ‘cake model’ depicting the levels of learning and leadership (MacBeath & Dempster, 2009). This model displays the interconnected levels of student, professional, school and system learning whereby leadership occurs on every horizontal plane and activities flow bi-directionally in a vertically connected manner. This learning and leadership model truly reflects my new understanding of how we as Teacher Librarians are connected as leaders at every learning level within the school community.

Creating the leadership concept map and limiting elements, clearly displayed the dynamic complexity of leadership. Leadership involves exhibiting different styles and qualities, inspiring and creating a positive and productive environment in order to achieve a common goal (Marzano, Waters & McNulty, 2005). A Teacher Librarian’s role is multi faceted and daily exposure to various situations provide many opportunities for displaying leadership.

As Teacher Librarian, I am in a unique position which exposes me to various faculties and aspects of school life. Creating a presence and being seen, contributes to my leadership capabilities and identity. Communicating effectively, working collaboratively and effectively within a team environment and building trust is a necessity in a Teacher Librarian’s role (New South Wales, Department of Education and Communities (NSW DEC), 2006; Orridge, 2009; Sergiovanni, 2005). By doing so, we are able to combine our expertise with others (Schifter, 2008) in resourcing the library appropriately and; display our flexibility and adaptability in leading and facilitating change essential in meeting the needs of a changing education environment and the emergence of challenges faced by the 21st century learner.

This first assignment has provided a better insight and understanding of how my role as Teacher Librarian is also one of leadership. I am better informed of how my daily interactions with others develop my knowledge and skills to become an effective leader within my school.


Part B – References

Abiwahab, J. (2014). ETL 504 Teacher Librarian as Leader. Topic One. Organisational Theory. Forum Post. Charles Sturt University.

Avolio, B., Walumbwa, F., & Weber, T.J. (2009). Leadership: Current Theories, Research and Future Directions. DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Retrieved from, http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/managementfacpub/37/

Collay, M. (2011). Teaching is leading. Everyday Teacher Leadership: Taking Action Where You Are, pp. 75-108. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

MacBeath, J.E & Dempster, N. (2009). Leadership for learning. Connecting leadership and learning: principles for practice (pp. 35-52). London: Routledge.

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, USW: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved from, http://site.ebrary.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/lib/csuau/docDetail.action?docID=10089219

New South Wales Department of Education and Communities (NSW DEC). (2006). School Leadership Capability Framework. Professional Learning and Leadership Development. Retrieved from, https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/proflearn/areas/sld/frameworks/slcf/slcf_more.htm

Orridge, M. (2009). 75 ways to help sustain organisational transformation. Change leadership developing a change-adept organisation (pp. 35-52). Farnham, England: Ashgate Publishing Group.

Sergiovanni, T.J. (2005). The Virtues of Leadership. The Educational Forum, 69(2), 112-123. Retrieved from, http://www.scribd.com/doc/7375166/Sergiovanni-Thomas-Virtues-of-Leadership

Schifter, C. (2008). Chapter 14. Effecting Change in the Classroom Through Professional Development. Infusing technology into the classroom: continuous practice improvement, pp. 250-279. Hershey: Information Science Pub.. Retrieved from, http://www.igi-global.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/gateway/chapter/full-text-pdf/23780

Townsend, T. (2011). School leadership in the twenty first century: different approaches to common problems? School Leadership and Management: Formerly School Organisation, 31(2) 93-103.

Youngs, H. (2009). (Un)Critical times: Situating distributed leadership in the field. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 41(4), 377-389. Retrieved from, http://www.tandfonline.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/doi/pdf/10.1080/00220620903211588

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