My understanding of leadership is that it is dynamic and of various styles but is built from trust (Moir et al, 2014; Baker, 2016). Through an interaction, reflection and implementation the leader learns to be effective and develops their ability showing that leadership is essentially ongoing learning (Strauss, 2014). The readings and the modules, particularly modules 1-4 developed my understanding of what leadership is. Initially, I had this vision of a very defined and structured management rule book however module 2.1 changed this image when it pointed out that organisations are like organisms, growing and breathing and that is why leadership must be dynamic. The literature, modules, activities, case studies and assignments, whilst mentioning different leadership styles, seem to champion transformational leadership as the most impactful for a teacher librarian. It fits well with the teacher librarian’s leadership roles in the areas of ICT, curriculum, reading and strategic/operations management. I agree with this direction however I would argue that it is not necessarily any one leadership style that stuck out to me but in fact the value of trust in leadership. Most pieces of literature mentioned trust as a foundation for any leadership action. Holmes et al, 2013; Moir et al, 2014; Smith, 2016; Fleet et al, 2016 are just a few who focus on trust in some capacity or another. This repetition has led me to reflectively develop an idea of leadership that is born from the development of trust with various managers and leaders and how I can implement this myself. Sheila Baker’s transformational model (2016) has become the most influential piece of literature on my leadership style. Baker notes trust as one of the six Ts within her model giving practical examples of how to build trust through co-developing, co-teaching and generally building those relationships (Baker, 2016, p.152). In my practice I can start from the bottom and begin to use Baker’s model to develop trust with my peers and start my journey to becoming a transformational leader.
In a practical sense Group Number 14 had a variety of leaders, once again I can see the interplay of trust. From the very beginning we had two members who became the front leaders, they did this by taking initiative to introduce and set the scene like instructional leaders from that action we trust they would commit. This was followed by the servant and transactional leaders who began to produce some of the work and make ‘deals’ about how to get the work done through this we trusted each other with the work. I saw myself in this section but I made sure the tone of my messages where encouraging and exciting. I was attempting to be a transformational leader in this manner. Suddenly, I was hit by a very heavy family situation and unable to participate much more. The communication from myself was great with my lecturer but not with my team which showed my understanding of transformational leadership but highlighted lack of action. At this later date I can reflect and see I have the spirit of transformational leadership but my communication needs work if I am to develop that trust from which effective leaders are born.
Baker, S. (2016). From teacher to school librarian leader and instructional partner: A proposed transformation framework for educators of preservice school librarians School Libraries Worldwide, 22(1), 143-159. Retrieved from http://www.iasl-online.org/resources/Documents/PD%20Library/11bakerformattedfinalformatted143-158.pdf
Fleet, A., De Gioia, K. & Patterson C. (2016). Engaging with educational change. Retrieved from ProQuest Ebook Central.
Holmes, K., Clement, J. & Albright, J. (2012). The complex task of leading educational change in schools. School Leadership & Management, 33(3), 270-283. Retrieved from doi:10.1080/13632434.2013.800477
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. (2016). The role of leadership style 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
Strauss, V. (2014, October 24). Teacher spends two days as a student and is shocked at what she learns. The Washington Post. Retrieved from https://www.wabisabilearning.com/blog/7-characteristics-define-good-learners