Final submission ETL504 ?

Well a new title is in the offing, Start a new conversation…Improve your school by distributing leadership. We have a clear audience, principals, a clear peer reviewed journal and a set of arguments to convince the publishers and the principals. our selected LO is number two related to leadership and decision making but will it be enough? Watch this space!

I am now officially the spanner. I keep asking questions which I’m not sure is a good thing. After looking at Law and Glover again I think I am a Resource Investigator (If any of team 9 read this I’d appreciate your comments on this one!) A resource investigator identifies ideas and resources from outside the team ( I’ve done that and really like doing that) I question and explore…. that’s why I’m called the spanner! My positive qualities are supposed to be that I’m positive, have a networking capacity, curious, communicative, cheerful and good at sustaining challenges. I’m not so sure about all of those , but it would be nice if I was! I also agree with the weaknesses…I tend to lack self discipline, I can be impulsive and quickly lose interest. What I’d really like to know is what my team mates think I am and what they think they are. I think it would make for interesting reading, would we have a balanced team? we certainly have a motivated and committed one.

Tonight’s Skype session was yet again very positive. We are questioning each other more and don’t seem to be afraid of asking for clarification. perhaps this is the storming phase I mentioned earlier on in the week. I’m not sure Arthur will say yes however I am feeling more positive than I did at the beginning of the week despite the set backs. I think going through the process so far has made me reflect on how teams are formed, what my contribution to the team is and how distributed leadership can work.

Today was a great day in school as the children took action to raise money for Japan. The children could wear a variety of colour specified by the Japanese community and also buy cakes and sushi and snack time. we raised around $30,000HK.
Well done, it makes me proud to be part of such a caring community.

Effective teams ETL504

Law, S. & Glover (2000) Leading effective teams. In education leadership ad learning: practice, policy and research (pp. 71-86).

Team leadership is the only form of leadership acceptable in a society where power is shared and so many people are near equals. ( Belbin 1993: 107 Team roles at work)

So our team has come together … we share a common purpose and have some interconnectedness however I’m not sure the other attributes are in order. We don’t yet have a team identity… number 9 is not really an identity, only a label and I’m not sure we have agreed values. We are regulating our behaviour but I don’t know the other members well enough to say we have the same values.
We have to belong to this team but I don’t yet feel I completely belong. I am having to try too hard. I think there is at present a lack of fluency between members and certainly no intimacy as I don’t even know what some of them look like. As a group I think we all have concerns such as where we will be placed within the group and if we have anything valuable to offer. Other questions and issues are will the group like me? Will they think I am a positive addition? Will I have any influence within the group?
So we are still forming but we don’t yet seem to have entered the storming stage as there has been no real conflict.
We have conformed to an established line but more openness is beginning to appear and a common ground is being sort. By working together these norms will begin to appear.
We have yet to reaching the performing stage or “mature stage’ but hopefully it won’t be long. Will we be the A team?
If we can get the subject right we might just well be.

Off to find more cheese! ELT504

I’m not sure if Arthur is making suggestions to make us feel disheartened and test us so that we can reflect on our leadership skills or not. So I’m assuming that he is deliberately putting obstacles in our way to test us therefore I am going to be able to do this and do it well. I am going to stay motivated despite feeling quite angry and fed up this morning, and i will be enthusiastic with the rest of the team.
To help my thinking I’ve used bubblus, a simple mind-mapping tool that is worth exploring in the classroom. I wanted to share it with team 9 but it won’t upload for some reason. Now I’ve managed to map that out I realise we need to be very clear about our objectives and slim it down some what. We have highlighted a few journals that we could approach and our audience is principals. We now need to ensure that we are very clear about the purpose and why the publisher should take this on.
I’m still unsure if we are proposing a journal article or if we are proposing that we do some research. Uncertainty certainly reigns tonight. So I’m off to find some more cheese as perhaps the cheese we have is a little stale and if I’m going to keep on my toes and be ready for more changes I need to be prepared for any eventuality. More reading!

Meeting 2 ETL 504

Well tonight was our second meeting. Arthur didn’t reject the first suggestion out of hand but there has been a flurry of work, research and ideas. This has lead to a narrowing of the title and an attempt to link it to only one LO. Challenging your hierarchical structure in order to improve school performance: recognising the power and potential of the teacher librarian. Now it would be great if we got the green light and then we could start work and focus on the task at hand.
There have been lots of emotions this week, particularly uncertainty. I think there has been a bit of stepping carefully around each other and a worry that we are not contributing enough or that we don’t know enough. I have definitely felt that I need to work harder…not that anyone has suggested it but I don’t want to let the team down. At present we are going through the forming stage ( Hough &Paine 1997 Collaborative decision making with teams. In Creating quality learning communities pp 110-127)
We are obviously forming a collaborative decision making team. We need to be dynamic and creative and hopefully share some core beliefs. ( Would these be that the TL has an important role? That learning is vital and valued? Literacy and information literacy are the most important vehicles for learning?)
There is obviously going to be a great emphasis on team learning and as we all bring ideas, experiences and knowledge to the group.

Leading from the library

So the new assignment has got me thinking. The group have come up with some great ideas but I’ve thrown a spanner in the works and am now looking forward to what hearing what they all think. The group is working well and we are being supportive, co-operative and being collaborating but after initially agreeing we are now starting to question each other more…a sign of trust perhaps? I worry I don’t know enough and yet again I’m going through the Kulthau’s ISP.

One of my suggestions is about leading from the middle and recognising the power and potential of the TL.
TLs are in a great position of power, one in which they can influence much of what happens in the classroom beyond. How?

1. Teacher Librarians provide resources. This has great implications for the learning community and the learning outcomes of the community. This is not always recognised, Winzenreid (2010) p16, but is important non the less. By providing materials that the students want and those that support the curriculum the TL impacts learning. provide the ‘right’ resources and the community benefit, provide the wrong ones and learning can not be supported.

2. Teacher librarians promote learning through technology, literacy and collaboration; each of which provides ample opportunities for leadership. As an instructional partner the TL is able to teach and learn simultaneously, building up a sense of trust and community. They are able to model good practice and provide materials to support this. They can inspire and provide guidance as to what is the most important to the education of their students or/and to members of their professional community. Much is this is achieved by expert power; demonstrating skills, co-operative planning and administrating and managing of the learning resources within school. Burdenuk (1992) Leadership and the teacher librarian. School libraries in Canada, 12(2) pp.16-27 This develops the respect of people within school giving the TL support and thus more power.

3, Referent power is gained through support, endorsement and the backing of the staff and community. Burdenuk (1992) Leadership and the teacher librarian. School libraries in Canada, 12(2) pp.16-27 This is dependent upon inter personal skills and a positive enthusiastic personality on the part of the TL.

Skills needed….
Ability to deal with change.
Understand how adults learn as well as students.
What effective learning looks like…sleep, eat and breathe it.
Collaboration
Communication
How to deal with conflict
How to build a team
How to build a positive culture of trust and mutual respect
Be able to create a vision and verbalise it
Persevere…Roman wasn’t built in a day
Maintain integrity
Learn; co-operatively, independently, collaboratively
Know your limitations, build on strengths and understand your sphere of influence
Take risks… seek forgiveness not permission! (Burdenuk 1992)
Celebrate the good things
Network and learn from others
Prioritise
Learn to say no sometimes
Think big, start small (Burdenuk 1992)

Book week is nearly here. The extreme reading pictures are beginning to come in. Jamie made these fantastic posters to promote book week. There are a whole series of them and they are all causing much hilarity with staff and students alike.

Forming and storming!

Great to collaborate with such a positive group of people today. Everyone seems ready for the challenge and to get going. Your school library, a case study in effective change management. Sounds really interesting, seems to fit the LO criteria…now we just need to see if Arthur approves. A bit scared that everyone seems to know more than me but I suppose that is always going to happen and that the others maybe feeling uncertain too.
I used Wordle to highlight the key words from the LOs in the hope it might help guide us/ I’m not sure it will but it was worth a try.
Wordle: ETL504 learning objectives

The importance of data.

Collection mapping may have seemed like a drag but the work paid off tonight. Tonight I presented my bid to the PTA for an extra $300,000 based on the gaps made apparent by the collection map. I was able to use the data to argue the need for materials related to history, geography, religion, festivals and mythology. The readings I’d done previously made me knowledgeable and appear confident. I could argue that if we want an exemplary library program we need to spend the money and be prepared to invest. They asked me if it was a one off…I told them honestly no it wasn’t. I would become a bugbear and be returning again and again to update the materials we have on offer. If materials are outdated they need to be replaced if we want a program that places inquiry at the heart of the curriculum.
Anyway to cut a long story short, I got it! How fab is that? A glass of wine is in order and I’ll raise a toast to collection mapping and the advantages it offers the TL who is prepared to fight their corner and use the data to support investment needs.