I am reassured by two bits of advice from Jim Collins’ Good to Great (in Donham, p. 297). The first is to know what you can and cannot be best at. Teacher librarianship, as I have come to realise over this course, is a very broad field. In fact, not long into the very first subject, ETL401, I had the OMG response and wondered if in fact I could manage it – did I actually want this job? Collins advises that it is important to be capable at all aspects of the job but to recognise and maximise your strengths. I would also add that it is important to know who you can ask if you need help with certain parts of the job. For example, I would identify my strengths as teaching, literacy and literature, anticipating and meeting library users’ needs, organisation and people skills. The area in which I am merely capable is technology and I would seek to develop relationships with staff members in the school whom I could call on to assist with technology if necessary. The second point Collins suggests is to pursue your passion, as passion is a hallmark of great leadership: “the passion for one aspect of the field will generate the intense enthusiasm to invigorate and inspire students and to keep oneself energized.” For me this would be reading, literature and the pursuit of learning. Reflecting on these two points reassures me that yes, I do want this job and yes, I would more than manage it, I would be great at it!
Donham, J. (2005). Leadership. In Enhancing teaching and learning : a leadership guide for school library media specialists (2nd ed.) (pp. 295-305). New York : Neal-Schuman Publishers.