Selecting the best style of leadership for different levels in a school hierarchy can be the key to the success of the school. The job of the teacher librarian (TL) involves undertaking many roles in a school, which may require them to be a leader. Due to this, they must utilise certain leadership styles to fulfil each role. As outlined in the concept map, in part A the TL needs to be a leader of classroom teachers, library staff, the learning centre team, the literacy team and students.
The first blog task for this subject asked what my understanding of leadership was. From this blog post it is clear that I was able to list a set of skills and abilities that a good leader needs (Valenzuela, 2014, August 4). These ideas have been built upon by developing my understanding of different leadership styles.
As outlined in the concept map, the TL will lead the library staff using a transformational leadership style. This leadership style responds to and empowers followers. It does this by matching the goals of the followers with the TL and further, the school (Bass & Riggio, 2005, p. 3). Transformational leadership has four components to it according to Marzano, Waters & Mc Nulty (2005 p. 14). These being idealised influence, inspiration motivation, intellectual stimulation and individualised consideration. In the idealised influence component, the TL must gain the respect and build a rapport with the library staff as they must trust their leader before they consider the vision. The inspirational motivation component requires the TL to express the vision to the library staff in a transparent way to give them an understanding of the need for a future plan. The TL will encourage the library staff to innovate and problem solve in the intellectual situation component. Lastly, the individualised consideration component requires the TL to support the library staff when they require.
The TL also needs to be proficient in the shared leadership style as they will be working in many groups that require this kind of leadership including with classroom teachers, the learning centre team and the literacy team. The shared style leader aims to work as a team and requires an understanding that there will be a different leader according to each individual’s strengths. Pearce and Conger (2003, as cited in Avolio, Walumbwa & Weber, 2009, p. 431) highlight this by defining shared leadership as “ a dynamic, interactive influence process among individuals in groups for which the objective is to lead one another to the achievement of group or organisational goals or both.” The TL will need to communicate, collaborate and delegate when working with the groups outlined in the concept map. As well as the TL will need to cooperate when others are leading the group.
The TL will need to lead students using a transactional leadership style. Transactional leadership focuses more so on short term goals. Students are continuously moving up in year groups meaning they are therefore always changing. This makes it difficult to set long term goals for such a group. This style of leadership still allows for follower contributions to goals however if goals are not met the leader will intervene (Bass and Riggio 2006, as cited in Smith & Bell, 2011, p. 58).
Overall, the TL must take on many roles in a school environment, which will require them to masters multiple leadership styles. If the wrong style is used or a style is used incorrectly it could prove detrimental to the overall vision of the school.
Avolio, B., Walumbwa, F., & Weber, T. J. (2009, September 14). Leadership: Current Theories, Research, and Future Directions. DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska – Lincoln. Retrieved July 30, 2014, from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/managementfacpub/37/
Bass, B. M. & Riggio, R.E. (2005). Transformational Leadership. Retrieved from EBook Library.
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 August 04, 2014 from www.csuau.eblib.com.ezproxy.csu.edu.au/patron/Read.aspx.
Smith, P & Bell, L. (2011). Transactional and transformational leadership in schools in challenging circumstances: a policy paradox. The Journal of Professional Practice 25(2) 58-61. doi: 10.1177/0892020611399608
Valenzuela, H. (2014, August 4). ETL 504: Module 1-Post 1. In ETL 504 Teacher librarian as a leader. Retrieved from https://hannav102.wordpress.com/2014/08/04/etl-504-module-1-post-1/