Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Teacher Librarian as Leader: ETL 504 (Insights from Donham Reading)

Who is an Educational leader? “Educational leaders are people who care deeply about teaching and learning and who work, often very, very hard, to make enterprise function more effectively..... one main goal: to improve our students’ education.” (Lerman 2004, p. vii) The TL as leader: Leadership attributes (Warren Bennis 1999) * Visionary – ways in which the library program intersects with all aspects of the School community and curriculum. A comprehensive view of the school. Fullen (1996), suggests 3 attributes for a sound vision: sharedness, concreteness and clarity. Continual reflection and self assessment. Strategic leadership. * Works collegially – with teachers, parents, staff and administrators. People skills: communicate effectively, listen attentively and negotiation. Do not work in isolation. Establish Collaborative learning. Communicate, Inspire and delegate. * Bring Expertise – Literacy, Information Seeking Process, applications of technology appropriate for setting. Unique Technical competence. Models best practices. * Conceptual skill – procedural knowledge , principles that guide their policy making (organisation, access, confidentiality, ethical use of information) and concepts (understanding information systems) that inform resource management and information dissemination. * Decision maker/Judgement – Make daily decisions promptly, even with imperfect data, regarding purchases, resource allocation, scheduling, work assignments and instructions. High say-do ratio. * Character – Strong set of beliefs related to the principles of Librarianship and the principles of the Education profession. Primary beliefs include – commitment to open access to information, confidentiality for information users, affirmation of intellectual property rights and equity. Internal and External locus of control in Leadership External locus TL – looks at others/facilities and how that may affect effective learning taking place. “There is nothing I can do”. Internal Locus TL – listen to concerns and offer/find alternatives/solutions to make learning work for the students’ sake. Embrace responsibility to make good things happen at their school. “I can find alternatives/compromises”. Proactive – looking for change opportunities, anticipate and prevent problems, take action and persevere. Seizing every opportunity. Jim Collins suggests 2 important things to keep in mind to become great leaders as TLs: 1) Understand what you can and cannot be best at. 2) Pursue what you are deeply passionate about. Having influence and leading from the middle = Establishing expertise, working collegially with others, articulating one’s ideas clearly, maintaining a high say-do ratio and establishing processes for continuous reflection and assessment. Learning and teaching: Identify your special expertise to develop Library media Program. Establish relationship with teachers. Develop skills in other areas to meet needs.

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