How do you become a change agent in your school?

Is it necessary to become a change agent in your work as a Teacher Librarian/Library Media Specialist today?

I like these definitions of what it feels like to be change agent from Dennis Stevenson on the Toolbox for IT blog;

  • A change agent lives in the future, not the present. Regardless of what is going on today, a change agent has a vision of what could or should be and uses that as the governing sense of action. To a certain extent, a change agent is dissatisfied with what they see around them, in favor of a much better vision of the future. Without this future drive, the change agent can lose their way.

  • A change agent is fueled by passion, and inspires passion in others, Change is hard work. It takes a lot of energy. Don't underestimate this. I like to think about the amount of energy it takes to boil water. From 212 degree water to 212 degree steam takes a lot more energy than heating water from 211 degrees to 212 degrees. In my experience, without passion, it is very difficult indeed to muster up enough energy to assault the fortress of status quo that seems to otherwise carry the day.

  • A change agent has a strong ability to self-motivate. There will be many days where everyone around does not understand and will not offer props. The change agent needs to find it within themselves to get up every day and come to work and risk being misunderstood and unappreciated, knowing that the real validation may be far in the future and may be claimed by someone else.

  • A change agent must understand people. at the end of the day, change is about people. If you change everything but the people, I doubt you'll be effective as a change agent. Change will really "stick" when people embrace it. Therefore, change is part sales, part counseling and part encouragement. It's all about people.

What are impediments to change in your workplaces?

Is it your team?

Is it administration?

Is it you?



Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy

The skill of any good leader is to have the vision for change, and the ability to motivate your team to help you realise that vision.

You have to get started to be great.


Understand that change takes time. You need to share your vision over and over again. You need to encourage and motivate your team to take ownership of your vision.


What do I do as a change agent in my school?

  • Make myself accessible.
  • Value the people I work with - both my immediate team and the wider school population.
  • Have good rapport with my students
  • Ensure I'm on committees that wield influence and make decisions that affect the library.
  • I teach an English class - the students see me as a teacher, not just someone who works in the library.
  • I write a blog that highlights where I teach and includes posts about the work being done at the school.
  • I have a PLN that keeps me up to date with the latest thinking.
  • I practice what I preach. I try to incorporate new thinking into my teaching and the library.
  • I learn the tools and simplify them for the staff and students.
  • I speak at conferences and give my school publicity in my own country and internationally.
  • I encourage students to use new tools and publish to the Web.
  • The work I've done has received external recognition. This helps my cause internally.
  • The library has become the centre for Digital Literacy understanding. We are the teachers running sessions about Cybersafety and establishing a positive digital footprint. We run the parent sessions. WE ARE THE EXPERTS.


ABC Australia's 7.30 Report - segment about Bullying featuring my comments and Toorak College.