In Module 6 of ETL401, we were asked to read the following three readings, and pick three ideas from each that were new to us. Then we were to reflect on one thing we could apply to improve our current practice.
Gilman, T. (2007). The four habits of highly effective librarians. The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved Nov. 2016.
Wilson, T. (2009-2018). Time management for teachers – essential tips if you want a life outside school. Time Management Success. Retrieved June 2018.
Sanders, R. (2004). Conflict resolution. Chap. 3. In Australian library supervision and management (2nd ed., pp.127-132). Wagga Wagga, NSW: Centre for Information Studies. Retrieved Nov. 2016.
To be honest, pulling out three ideas from the entire set of readings that were actually new to me was more realistic than finding three new ideas from each reading. I have been in the working world for about 25 years, with the majority of that being in either educational settings or in public-relating administrative positions. Effective work habits, time management and conflict resolution concepts are not revolutionary ones to me.
With that in mind, some solid reminders from these texts included Gilman’s (2007) recommendation to cultivate Openness, Responsiveness, Collaboration and Communication to be a more effective teacher librarian. Perhaps the new learning in that context was that these were not qualities already in practise among teacher librarians. Sanders (2004) echoed the sentiments put forward by boibson Langford (2008) and Montiel-Overall (2005) in their work on collaboration, that conflict is a necessary part of change and collaboration and in itself is not negative. Poor strategies surrounding conflict resolution (or unresolved conflict) are what lead to negative outcomes. A relatively new concept here was the idea that different resolution patterns may be optimal for different situations. Optimal solutions are not always win/win scenarios, sometimes win/lose or lose/lose may be better profiles to pursue. (Reese and Brandt in Sanders, 2004)
Wilson (2009-2018) encouraged me to make better use of unstructured planning time by making specific to-do lists and realistic estimates of the actual planning time available to me. I found more new and helpful ideas in Wilson’s article on “How to Make the 80/20 Principle Work at Work”. The first was that making a list helps you recognise your priorities by what you choose to include in the list. Further, on any given to-do list there are approximately 20% of the items that will accomplish approximately 80% of your desired goals. Looking through the list and identifying the key items that will give maximum reward for effort -and actually doing them – can increase the effectiveness of available planning time.
So – what am I going to do about that?
I think the one thing I plan to implement going forward is to work on improving my use of unstructured planning time. I will do so by being realistic about the time I have available, creating lists and prioritising the high “bang for buck” tasks.
Gibson-Langford, L. (2008). Collaboration: Force or forced, part 2. Scan, 27(1), 31-37
Montiel-Overall, P. (2005). A theoretical understanding of teacher and librarian collaboration. School Libraries Worldwide, 11(2), 24-48.