From Megan Johnston in this week's Education section of the Sydney Morning Herald, an article about outstanding teachers and the impact of school leadership. It begins:
Pause a moment to ponder your school years. Most of us would remember fondly at least one teacher for their enthusiasm, spirited classes and willingness to push students to achieve their best. At some stage, however, many people have also encountered the opposite: a mediocre teacher who struggled with students and delivered dreary lessons.
Teachers at either end of the spectrum are now recognised as potentially the biggest influence on a student's academic achievement. Research has widely shown the effect is greater than the type of school or even who heads it.
But what separates top teachers from their lacklustre counterparts is not exactly clear. Creative nous, intelligence and resources obviously play some role, but the most dynamic schools are more than the sum of their teachers.
And, as many educators, parents and researchers will attest, the quality of a school is often determined by the people who lead it.
"You can have good teaching without having a good school but you can't have a good school without good leadership," says Professor Stephen Dinham, the research director of teaching, learning and leadership at the Australian Council for Educational Research.
"Leadership is an enabler, bringing the school together and driving it forward," he says.
But effective leadership is no simple matter. Many experts, Dinham included, believe it comes in many forms and is not restricted to the formal role of principal.
A senior education lecturer at Charles Sturt University, Dr Jane Wilkinson, refers to "lighthouse teachers" as those who guide their peers. "The ones with credibility, the ones others look to - we're talking about very influential teachers," she says. ''They … are recognised as leaders because of their credibility in the classroom."
Read the rest of the article here and consider the lighthouse/leadership role possibilities of teacher librarianship...