July 2014 archive

Thinking about leadership…What leadership styles are demonstrated in your school? What type of leader do you think you are?

Our school had a change of school director two years ago and he came with a very clear focus on leading our school from a ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ grading according to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) school rating system. The director has a continued focus on implementing change with the desired outcome of overall school improvement. He is extremely clear on the expectations, desired outcomes and next steps for the school as a whole which is a feature of the ‘constructive transactional leadership’ style (Marzano, Waters, & McNulty, 2005, p. 14). This type of leadership is associated with others being included in the management process and connects to what Elmore describes as a distributed model of leadership (as cited in Marzano et al., 2005, p. 22) whereby responsibility for leadership and management is distributed throughout the school. In my current school this includes a hierarchy of director, principal, vice principal and phase leaders as well as management responsibilities given to teachers leading year groups and curriculum subject areas. In addition to this, opportunities to build leadership skills exist through taking part in ‘teaching and learning’ curriculum sessions and leading professional development sessions.

Within my role as a teacher librarian  and working with my colleague, I think I display traits of ‘situational leadership’. In this type of leadership the level of assistance and leadership style relates to an individual’s motivation and ability levels. The librarian administrator I work with is an extremely proactive, forward-thinking, motivated and hardworking individual. This means I can trust her to carry out tasks or start new initiatives. We work very closely together and spend a lot of time discussing decisions and forming action plans.

I took part in the  Xq questionnaire which assesses leadership styles. It takes into account attitudes and behaviours in relation to the organization, team and the individual.  Six key principles of leadership assessed in the questionnaire overlap with many of the principles highlighted in Marzano’s article on leadership. Results from the questionnaire showed my commitment to the school and team to be high as well as personal motivation.  However scores for accountability were low and this is making me think about how to start measuring impact within my team.

In the ‘Leadership style quiz’ I came out as a ‘delegative leader’ which makes sense to me in relation to who I am working with at the moment. Trust can be placed with my librarian administrator because they are highly capable and we also work well as a team. If I had completed this quiz in relation to another working environment however, I think the results would have been very different which fits with my theory that I take a ‘situational leadership’ position within my role as a teacher librarian.

References

 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.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. Retrieved July 15, 2014 from http://www.csuau.eblib.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/patron/Read.aspx.