Posted by: leish79 | August 20, 2013

ETL504 Part B – My thoughts on leadership so far …

I first encountered the notion of leadership within the role of the teacher librarian (TL) whilst studying ETL401. At that time, the thought of the TL as a leader worried me as I had thought I was studying to enter an easier career path … well a little less demanding at the very least. Leadership is not something I shy away from. My current employment involves me leading a minimum of six people on a daily basis and I am quietly confident about my abilities to undertake the role, but leading from a position of unacknowledged power is not something I have had to undertake regularly.

Prior to undertaking any of the readings for this subject, I felt like I had a good understanding of leadership as a result of my current employment. I have attended many leadership courses throughout my employment, and although they haven’t been aimed at the TL, there was surely going to be some common ground.

It didn’t take long to come across the idea of the heroic leader. A concept which has never really sat well with me. The idea of one person leading while others blindly follow just never appeared an effective way of getting things done. I have always celebrated the diversity of backgrounds and viewpoints of others around me and have found that collaborating with others on decision making has generally led to a sound decision, which everyone takes responsibility for, as well as leading to me learning from the experience. This has always seemed the right way to do things, but from the readings it is clear it’s not the only way.

Turning my attention to the task at hand, the leadership role of the TL, I had to think about it from a different angle. My experiences of leadership have almost always taken place whilst I was in an assumed position of power and therefore imparting my views on the way things should run have been easy to implement. However, the TL role is different. There is no assumed position of leadership afforded to the role and therefore being seen as a leader whilst remaining a colleague appears to be a tricky proposition.

The key to effective leadership clearly appears to be clear communication and collaboration. Everything else appears to depend on getting this right. This is clearly a skill that the TL should be proficient at given they are required to communicate about resources within the library and collaborate to form teaching teams and implement inquiry learning across the curriculum. It would appear to me that when looked at this way, other teachers may never view the TL as a leader within the school, however they will follow their lead and the result will be increased student achievement.

Looked at in this way, the idea of leading from the role of TL doesn’t seem such a scary proposition. It would appear that truly effective leadership doesn’t need to emanate from a position of power and that ultimately my pre-existing views on leadership support what I have read thus far.

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