Sunday, July 26, 2009

What do I know about communication, organisational theory and strategic planning?

We've been asked to add a blog entry to help us with one of the assignments. It says to make note of what you already know about the subject's content.

So here goes: I don't know how much clarity and depth this blog entry will have, but I suppose that is the idea. Find out our starting point and reflect later how much we have learnt.


  • What I already know (or possibly think!).....

There are plenty of people a teacher librarian needs to communicate with. They include students; staff members; library helpers; members of the community and I would imagine there to be many more. Communication is a major part of a Teacher Librarians' job. It is integral to their position as leader. Being a good communicator leads to a library and school running smoothly and efficiently.

Another part of communication could be looking at different ways to communicate and the role a teacher librarian has in this area. Different forms of communication and technology are used in the library and it is the role of the librarian to teach both students and other staff how to use it efficiently. Another role is to use the technology to enhance students learning and ability to access different forms of information.

Communication as a topic fits into all aspects of teaching. The way we communicate as teachers is extremely important as it can influence whether a child understands what you are trying to teach them or not! The same applies to working with other members of staff. Communication is important when planning programs, interventions, events etc so that it runs smoothly and all parties agree.

Organisational Theory

  • What I already know (or think I know)...

If I use the heading as a starting point, I think this section would be about the organisation of a library or school and the processes used to organise it. Leaders have a major role in an organisation and the way it is set up. Organisations have many parts, some of which include employees, clients and products (being both material and possibly ideas). An organisation has to have rules, ideas and visions. Hierarchy and planning are also very important. I feel this is an area that I will need to focus on through discussion with others and the readings as I am really only guessing!

Strategic Planning

  • What I already know (or think I know)...

To me the idea of strategic planning is that leaders need to plan in order for improvement to be made. There are different ways of planning that will lead to good or bad outcomes. Teacher Librarians have 2 planning roles as I see it:

1. Plan units of work based on curriculum to teach to classes in the library

2. Help teachers to plan by teaching them about different resources and ways to teach using different technologies.

Strategic planning means (to me) different strategies that can be used in planning to ensure appropriate and effective teaching and learning takes place.

How does this fit into the idea of teacher librarian as leader?

I can really only guess an answer to this question because unfortunately I have not had much experience in a library.

It is very important that librarians communicate with many groups of people, particularly students, teachers, management and community members. This will ensure that the library 'works' on all levels. Relevant people will be able to voice their needs and wants and planning and organisation will be more likely to take place.

A library is an organisation that is part of a bigger organisation (the school) and their are different skills, roles and responsibilities required of a librarian to ensure the needs and wants of the 'clients' are met.

As previously mentioned, librarians have different roles to implement in the planning processes within the school. It is important that they teach the students as well as the teachers.

I really hope that when I look back to this blog, some of it makes sense and has something to do with the aims of this subject!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Leadership" reading 1 of module

As I am trying to keep ahead and stay on track, I have started some of the readings a little early! The first reading in the module on Leadership really opened my eyes to the challenges and importance of a Librarian in a school. We are not 'someone who reads books'! Some of the more interesting points made in this chapter are as follows:
  • Leaders need to act from an "internal locus of control". They are "can-do people who look to themselves to make programs great and inspire others to join in". I love this quote as it is inspirational and really shows me again why I want to be a teacher librarian. It is not up to others to make you look good or succeed. You are the only person that can do this and if you inspire others at the same time, then it is even more worthwhile.

  • You can't be exceptional at all the skills required of a librarian. All you can do is work best at the areas you have strengths in and strive to be as good in other areas. I could apply this statement to many aspects of my life. It puts things in perspective really. You can only ever try your best and play on your strengths. Although I hope to add to my strengths throughout the duration of this course!

  • "Acknowledging and pursuing one's passion can help sustain one's own energy as a leader." I am already finding that I am becoming passionate about being a Teacher Librarian even though I have just started my journey and have not had much experience in a library.

The information found on page 303 of this reading has really helped with the aims of this blog. It says that "Journaling is a strategy that helps sustain the energy that leadership demands." As I am required to write a learning journal I feel it will help me become a better leader. Mmmm I think I need to think that thought through more!

To get started in the process of becoming a leader, the reading asks the leader to answer 4 questions each entry:

  • What did I learn today?
  • Whom did I nurture today?
  • What challenge did I confront today?
  • How did I make a positive difference today?

I would really like to use this idea in my everyday teaching to reflect on my lessons and the way I am presenting them.

Lastly, the end of the reading gives interesting action strategies for a librarian. I found them helpful in identifying some of the jobs and roles a Librarian has.

Bibliography: Donham, J 2005, 'Leadership', in Enhancing teaching and learning, 2nd edn, Neal-Schuman, New York, pp. 295-305.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

I heard that this was very interesting and informative. Haven't looked at it yet, but will let you know whatI think as soonas I have!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Getting started....

As I have been looking through the forums and other peoples' blogs it has become apparant that there is quite a lot of work involved in this course. Reading the subject and reading outlines tells me how much there is to read. It is with this information that I take my readings and computer with me for a holiday up the coast to my Mother-in-laws! I think I would prfer to be ready to go with readings and activities, as I feel the technology aspect will be one I will need to practice and work hard on. Thankyou to those of you who have done detailed blogs about the readings. It is really interesting to get a different perspective on something you have read.

Wow! I started and it wasn't that hard!

Hi everyone. This is actually my first time ever using a blog. I am a bit excited that I did it without any trouble (well so far). I am looking forward to completing the subjects this year because it will introduce me to a lot of new technology!