ETL 504 Reflection.
As a teacher, the skills of good leadership are both inherent and something I have honed and developed over years of experience. Applying this throughout this study and reflecting on past leadership moments through the lens of my new knowledge, considering ways I could have approached things differently, has been a great learning experience.
Working on the case studies and module readings enabled me to explore TL challenges that I hadn’t previously considered. I hadn’t deeply considered my role as a team leader and change maker, nor the possibility of resistance to change. It has opened up the possibilities of leading from the middle and being integral to dynamic teaching and learning structures within the school. Leading from the middle offers the opportunity to work with the whole school community, leading change and driving teaching and learning across the school; it is something I look forward to exploring in a real world situation.
Learning about leadership styles and considering which is appropriate to different situations has been interesting. Initially I was swept up in the idealism of transformational leadership – as evidenced in my response to Case Study 2 – Relationships, I refer to transformational leadership as showing increase in teachers commitment to organisational change, creating a collaborative staff culture, motivating staff, appreciating the value of teams and the benefits of project work to create a deeply connected team with the same goals. This style of motivational leadership appealed to me, it is what has worked for me in the past as a domain leader, and is what I value in my leaders. I also reflected on relationship building as a keystone to leadership in this blog post.
I have been able to see the strengths of instructional leadership, distributed leadership and servant leadership through the readings, case studies and assessment items. Different situations require different leadership which all have benefits in different ways. I did not clearly articulate this in my assessment task 1 and recognise the need to create stronger viewpoints in my work. Academic writing is not something I enjoy and is a constant challenge for me.
The case studies have made me consider how to engage those who are resistant to change and gives me confidence to enlist the support of the principal and other leadership figures as advocates. This is reflected in Case Study 6 discussion, where I propose engaging and utilising the support of the principal and leadership team. It is important for the TL to advocate for the library, but it should not be an uphill battle alone. Enrolling the principal team is an important step in implementing change in how the whole school views and engages with the library and TL.
Group work is challenging, establishing relationships is helpful when trying to collaborate, this can be difficult online, as discovered in the case study group work. Setting up clear expectations of engagement and processes and honest communication can help ensure that group work does not become overwhelmingly frustrating. At times it is important to take the lead, at times to encourage commitment gently, and at times it’s important to step back and trust/hope others will step up. Real life situations are (in some ways) easier as there is time to build rapport and working relationships, utilising the strengths of group member’s abilities and supporting areas of weakness.