Throughout my career as a classroom teacher, I have sought out a variety of committees and other professional growth opportunities that would allow for two goals: 1) The chance to contribute to my school community in a facet other than my classroom position and 2) The opportunity to drive change and innovation in school plans and goals. While I think I have made in-roads on a small scale, I still feel the desire to pursue opportunities that allow for greater personal and professional growth in the area of leadership, and where I can make more of a difference. A focus on leadership is striking to me as I do not readily consider myself a “leader”. When I think of leadership I have an image of an individual with more experience, a bigger voice, a designated role, to name a few. Yet the further I progress in my coursework in the teacher-librarian program, the more I see that this is not necessarily the case.
In reading through the Leading Learning document, I took note of how often the word “leadership” is used. And of course the title alone speaks to the role of teacher-librarians as leaders. Both Leading Learning and the IFLA document depict teacher-librarians as leaders by virtue of their extensive roles and responsibilities that “support teaching and learning for all” (IFLA School Library Guidelines, p.28). In reading IFLA School Library Guidelines, my aforementioned goals can be realized in a position as a teacher-librarian: “A school librarian’s main role is to contribute to the mission and goals of the school” and “…should be expected to participate in the school-wide planning and other leadership teamwork”. (p.28). Furthermore, in a time when many teachers are looking for support and guidance with the implementation of the revised curriculum and the philosophy for learning that accompanies it, the opportunity to “lead learning” is at my doorstep.
As I read the above documents, as well as Module 1, ideas were brimming for my inquiry around leadership. I began to envision a web of the various aspects of teacher-librarianship, with leadership weaving through them all.
While I recognize that leadership is foundational to the roles and responsibilities of a teacher-librarian, do others? I value being able to contribute in moving school goals and learning forward. I foresee being able to accomplish this on a broader scale as a teacher-librarian. I need to ensure that those around me recognize the potential for teacher-librarians to lead in a variety of ways. With a passion to pursue creativity and welcome change in my professional life, combined with the intent to make a difference in my role as an educator, I want to explore the essential question: How does one foster the perception that the teacher-librarian is a leader in the learning community?
I created this blog earlier this year as part of my Children’s Literature course. I am choosing to continue to use this medium to further my learning and present my learning curation.
Below you will find my efforts and the trial and error of crafting my essential question.
“Essential question, where for art thou?” and then…there it is!
Canadian Library Association. (2014). Leading learning: Standards of practice for school library learning commons in Canada. Ottawa: ON.
International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions. (2015). IFLA School library guidelines, 2nd revised. Ed. Den Haag, Netherlands.