'Gargoyle Supporting An Ornamental Pillar At 575 Seventh Street, NW (Washington, DC)' photo (c) 2007, takomabibelot - license: there is a strong vision and plan for a school, which has been discussed and negotiated with the school community and actively embraced by the staff,  all staff are able to proceed in their roles with confidence. When this process is led by the Principal who encourages teacher leadership at all levels, having and using this school plan is very important in providing the structures and scaffolds necessary for the freedom entrusted to staff.

Oberg (2006, p.13) suggests that the Principal’s contributions in terms of ” vision building, evolutionary planning, empowering others, resource mobilization, and problem coping and monitoring” are critical in implementing change in schools. Having the support of the Principal, and through her/him the school plan means that the investment of money, time, effort, resources, planning,  and collaborating must have a real pay off in terms of student learning.

For the teacher librarian to have the support of the Principal means that the work done in and through the Library programmes is visible, validated and contributes to the learning outcomes of the whole school.The Principal’s expectations evidenced in the support (in various forms including time for collaborating, focus, prominence of information literacy programs) offers the TL (teacher librarian) opportunities to affect learning in many areas across the school:

  • students
  • classrooms
  • Teacher Professional Learning
  • resourcing
  • committees
  • special interest groups – both Teacher or Student
There are many down sides and difficulties in trying to work effectively as aTL without the active support of the Principal, but I know of  downsides and difficulties in trying to work with TLs who have the support of the Principal but who do not work actively to enhance and support school programs and vision. In the happiest of all worlds, the TL and the Principal would be a formidable team capable of envisioning and enacting change across the school. Bring it on!
Oberg, D. (2006) Developing the respect and support of school administrators. Teacher Librarian 33(3). pp. 13-18


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *