But if we blend the two, then we have an encouraging teacher that sets high expectations (Spiegel, 2012) and these teachers make a positive impact on student performance (Ellison, 2015). A colleague at a former school had the amazing ability to lift students up and expect more from them at the same time. He didn't just pay lip service to the "I'm amazing" Lorna Jane generation, he made sure that his comments were justified and genuine; "You are amazing because .....".
I've been reading a lot about leadership in organisations and as a result reflecting back on the leaders that brought the best out in me over the years. I came across this article on "Pygmalion in Library Leadership" (Matthews, 2012) where he talks about the habit of Librarians, and also teachers, to say "I'm just a Librarian" or "I'm just a teacher". In order for Teacher Librarians to take their rightful place in schools as curriculum engineers, they need to walk the talk. They are not "just teacher librarians", they are curriculum designers, learning engineers, motivators, organisational specialists, information disseminators.
The role of a Teacher Librarian in schools is going through a massive change at the moment.
When I first started teaching the TL was the quiet Librarian that helped those who came to them. The Library was quiet and the curriculum support was understated. As technology disruptors were introduced into schools, it has taken a while for Teacher Librarians to find their feet again in this changing educational landscape. Only a few school library leaders managed to make this transition work for them; esteemed educators such as Suzette Boyd who worked at Methodist Ladies' College in the 1990's and wrote a book called "The Connected Library".
Now, our Teacher Librarians need to be fearless. We know that there is a direct link between a properly functioning school library and academic achievement, however schools are decreasing their funding of fully qualified Teacher Librarians. We need a "call to arms"; we need to be proactive, supportive, researchers and enablers of evidenced based curriculum practices. Others will treat you the way that you perceive yourself (Matthews, 2018) and Teacher Librarians need to champion the good work that both they and their teaching teams are doing in schools. They need to "brand themselves" and carry the flag for curriculum innovation in their schools.
Don't be silent; a squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Boyd, Suzette (2006). The connected library : a handbook for engaging users. Utopia Press, Hawthorn West, Vic
Ellison, K. (2015). Being Honest About the Pygmalion Effect. Retrieved from http://discovermagazine.com/2015/dec/14-great-expectations
Matthews, S. (2012). Pygmalion in Library Leadership. Retrieved from https://21stcenturylibrary.com/2012/09/07/pygmalion-in-library-leadership/
Spiegel, A. (2012). Teachers' Expectations Can Influence How Students Perform. Retrieved from https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2012/09/18/161159263/teachers-expectations-can-influence-how-students-perform
Rosenthal's Experiment and the Pygmalion Effect. Retrieved from https://sites.google.com/site/7arosenthal/home