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.
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
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.