Applied Practice in Context – Week 26
I have been thinking, talking and writing about reflective practice for the better part of a decade. I first publicly shared my thoughts about reflection on my professional blog, Senga’s Space in 2011, when I described how blogging was making me become more circumspect, reflective and analytical about my own thoughts and practices. I went on to say that “becoming reflective practitioners allows us to replicate the good results and minimise our frustrations when things don’t go quite the way we want them to. It’s not just what we read, it’s what we do with it that affects our day to day practice.”
I now find myself regularly returning to previous posts, partly to remind myself of where I was at that point in time in my professional journey, but also to re-engage with my thoughts about aspects of my practice. I shared my rationale about blogging in a post entitled, What’s obvious to you is amazing to me.
“Making the decision to share this publically with “the world” feels a little scary as you don’t know who might be reading it, whether others will agree with you, or indeed think you have anything valid to say at all!”
In his book, Building Influence for the School Librarian, Hartzell (1994) signals there’s a “difficulty for school librarians to plan the majority of their services and activities in advance, partly because the majority of our contributions are made in response to the expressed needs of others, which are often not articulated until the last minute.”
Interestingly, some of my best opportunities come from casual, unplanned conversations where I share an idea or a resource with someone, and then invite them to respond, connect or participate. Case in point is just such a conversation this week around incorporating digital literacy and digital citizenship into the curriculum with a wellbeing lens.
This is not specifically included in my action plan, but it sits alongside the actions I do have planned involving the new Digi Skills 101 sessions for Year 7 & 8 classes. It also responds to ideas which resonate with another staff member. This could provide a new pathway toward further progress.
The So What
What is exciting about this particular conversation, is that after sharing the resources discussed, with the intention of following up within a few days, this staff member approached me the next day very positively and suggested we continue the conversation.
This affirms my ongoing efforts to establish collaborative approaches. As another professional, non-teaching staff member, she holds a unique knowledge base within our community, which could lead to more widespread action beyond the one I have already planned.
The Now What
Should we reach the stage of actually using these resources to develop a trial for digital citizenship interventions, I would consider using the Gibbs Model to reflect on the work, as it lends itself to richer, deeper reflection, which is particularly important when it involves students.
Reflecting on leadership
After completing the University of Kent’s leadership style quiz, I discovered my two top scores suggest I favour transformational and participative leadership styles equally.
When I consider my responses to identifying leadership potential in an interview by the Library & Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa (LIANZA) Emerging Leaders Working Group, I now recognise that I identified traits of leadership solely as I understood it at that time. What is missing from my response is the recognition of why these traits are successful and linking them to leadership theory, something this Mindlab experience has given me a deeper knowledge of, as well as the confidence to use.
Finlay, L. (2009). Reflecting on reflective practice. Practice-based Professional Learning Centre, Open University. Retrieved from http://www.open.ac.uk/opencetl/sites/www.open.ac.uk.opencetl/files/files/ecms/web-content/Finlay-(2008)-Reflecting-on-reflective-practice-PBPL-paper-52.pdf
Hartzell, G. N. (1994). Building influence for the school librarian. Worthington, Ohio: Linworth Publishing Inc.
Ministry of Education. (2019). Student wellbeing spotlight. Retrieved from http://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/Curriculum-resources/Spotlights/Student-wellbeing
Sheard, C. (2013). Identifying leadership potential. Library and Information Association of New Zealand Aotearoa. Retrieved from https://lianza.org.nz/identifying-leadership-potential
White, S. (2011, September 5). Taking to blogging like a duck to water. [web log post]. Retrieved from https://sengawhite.nz/2011/09/05/taking-to-blogging-like-duck-to-water/
White, S. (2011, November 29). What’s obvious to you is amazing to me? [web log post]. Retrieved from https://sengawhite.nz/2011/11/29/whats-obvious-to-you-is-amazing-to-me/