October 7

ETL504 Assessment Item 2: Part B – Reflection

Post a reflective commentary on your blog outlining your understanding of leadership and leadership roles for the teacher librarian.

When I introduced myself to ETL504 (Murphy, 2019, July 21), I noted my desire to learn about leadership styles, and see how the teacher librarian (TL) fits into leadership. Looking back, I can see how much I have learnt about both of these elements.

Early in Module Two, I read Colvin’s piece on organisation theory (2000). This reading struck me as important, particularly the section about shared values.

… lots of people with aligned values constitute an awesome power.” (Colvin, 2000)

In my corresponding blog post (Murphy, 2019, July 24), I connected this reading to my work at Sundrop Farms. During the early stages of their operations, the management team were frequently reminding us about the company’s values, quoting them during toolbox meetings to inspire the crew. Although it was hard to instil the values in everyone, I felt a sense of unity among my co-workers as we wandered off each morning to start our days.

As I learnt about leadership styles, I discovered that shared values was a common theme. Developing a shared vision formed part of our strategy to tackle the disinterest amongst library staff in Case Study (CS) Three (Case Study Group 9, 2019, August 18). For CS Two, I recommended a review of the school vision in consultation with staff (Murphy, 2019, August 2). Again, in CS Four, my group aligned the library’s work to the school’s vision (Case Study Group 9, 2019, September 6).

Based on my experiences at Sundrop Farms, and in the group tasks, I can certainly see the value of a shared vision. In future, if I am employed in a library, this is something I would look to introduce early on, to give my staff and the library direction and purpose.

I was in CS Group Nine. My introductory comments in the forums (Murphy, 2019, July 21) held true – although I waited for other group members to make the first moves, I was ready to contribute my best work, and keep the CS cogs turning.

When blogging about CS Three (Murphy, 2019, August 27), I found it difficult to pinpoint a leadership style that came to the fore. However, when it came to CS Four, I realised that my perspective on leadership styles in a broader sense had limited my previous reflections (Murphy, 2019, September 13). I was then able to identify a number of transformational leadership qualities from both case studies, such as taking risks (Smith, 2016, p. 67) and showing concern for individuals (Moir, Hattie & Jansen, 2014, p. 36). I noted the absence of instructional leadership and Marika agreed, highlighting that “no-one is really able to trailblaze and lead the instruction from a place of relative expertise” (Marika, 2019).

Although the CS scenarios were hard to relate to without practical library experience, I found it useful to examine concepts within them, ready to apply in future. As a TL leading from the middle, effective communication between upper and lower organisational levels is critical (Farrell, 2014, p. 693). As such, communication was a concept used to address poor relationships and team culture in CS Three (Case Study Group 9, 2019, August 18). I saw this played out within our group, identifying the link between communication and improved work quality in CS Four (Murphy, 2019, September 13).

References

Colvin, G. (2000). Managing in the info era. Fortune, 141(5). Retrieved from https://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2000/03/06/275231/index.htm?iid=sr-link1

Farrell, M. (2014). Leading from the middle. Journal of Library Administration, 54(8), 691-699. doi:10.1080/01930826.2014.965099

Marika. (2019, September 14). Re: Case study four [Blog comment]. Retrieved from https://thinkspace.csu.edu.au/danielm/2019/09/13/case-study-four/

Moir, S., Hattie, J., & Jansen, C. (2014). Teacher perspectives of ‘effective’ leadership in schools. Australian Educational Leader, 36(4), 36-40. Retrieved from http://www.minnisjournals.com.au/acel/

Smith, B.S. (2016). The role of leadership in creating a great school. SELU Research Review Journal, 1(1), 65-78. Retrieved from https://selu.usask.ca/documents/research-and-publications/srrj/SRRJ-1-1-Smith.pdf

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Posted October 7, 2019 by murphda75 in category ETL504 Teacher Librarian as Leader, Personal Reflection

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