As I start to get my head around planning my Programs for Term 4, and how I can lead my colleagues in embedding information literacy throughout the curriculum, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learnt so far in “Teacher Librarian as Leader”. Particularly Bill Ferriter’s article, “What does leadership on a professional learning team look like?” (Center for Teaching equality). I believe that being a leader doesn’t mean that you have to hold a particular position in an organisation or school, but you have to have the skills to be able to identify the problem and harness the talents of those around you, those who you can influence and guide, to create significant change. In his blog post, Ferriter discusses the three essential elements of “moving teams forward”. He says that they are: 1) strong relationships, 2) clear vision and 3) translating vision into action.
From my own perspective I have developed strong relationships with some key teachers across the stages but I have more work to do here. Borrowing from Matt Church (“Sell the Problem not the Solution” at Library Lost and Found“), unless I can help my colleagues see that there is a problem with viewing information literacy as the exclusive realm of the Library Program, then I am going to have an uphill battle in my attempts to push information literacy into their classrooms. No one wants to be forced to change. We all like things to go on the way they are. It’s comfortable and easy and change is confronting and difficult, but, as Church argues, unless people can see the problem, they will be very unlikely to want to listen to a solution. They need to take ownership, they need to recognise that something isn’t right and they need to be able to entertain the idea that things could be done differently and it would make life easier.
Given the imperative of implementing the new Australian Curriculum, I can see an opportunity to bundle information literacy into some of the new elements and focus of the English curriculum (and further down the track, the Mathematics, History and Geography Curricular). I am well-placed, as a member of the English Committee, to be able to influence the development of new practices in English Curriculum development so that information literacy can be embedded in our Quality Teaching and Learning Framework.
But relationship building/collaboration is only part of the planning for my new, great adventure. Elements 2 and 3, suggested by Ferriter, are significant elements. The Vision and it’s associated Strategic Plan for action are vital. If I can’t clearly articulate where I want the Library to go and how to do it, then I cannot expect my colleagues to pack their backpacks and come with me.
So off to develop that clearly articulated Vision and Strategic Plan to inspire my colleagues and provide a pathway for us to follow on our adventure further into the ever-changing digital environment.