ETL504 Leadership For Learning

ETL504 Leadership For Learning

Have you been able to identify any particular element of leadership practice in a collaborative environment that has made you stop and think about the practical professional opportunities that you may like to explore and adopt in your school?

 

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What is Leadership? My understandings so far……….

Leadership is vitally important in developing effective, innovative schools and in facilitating quality teaching and learning. (Dinham, 2007). As stated in the Leadership Capablilities Framework (2006) ‘An effective school will be one that is constantly striving to enhance its education.’ School improvement happens through a process of evaluation and is linked to professional development and most importantly strong leadership.

Throughout the readings for this course so far I have been developing my knowledge and understandings of:

  • The role of power within leadership
  • Leadership styles
  • The distinction between managing and leading.

From my experiences in schools, prior to undertaking this course, I believed that leadership was solely about the school principal and members of the executive managing staff and students, exercising power over people within the school structure. Now I see the importance of being a successful leader is about empowering people, developing a team of enthusiastic followers to jointly lead a school forward in a positive direction.  It is about displaying authority through influence rather than power. The Beare, Caldwell and Millikan readings deal with power as being an important element to organisational theory, school effectiveness and school improvement. They emphasise that power sharing is critical for ensuring staff willingness to participate.

 

Strong leadership definitely starts with developing a shared vision. It develops interest in the school as a professional organisation. Leading a school forward is not just about getting the job done but being made aware of the school’s goals and visions and believing in them. The study by Bezzina (2007) reinforces the importance of shared moral purpose and leadership.

 

The Marzano reading (2005) helped me to realise I value transformational leadership as a leadership style as I like how it fosters individual teachers’ personal goals and growth and development. It is important to be aware of how personal goals can support team goals to achieve the school’s main goal.

 

It has been interesting to read about how important creativity can be in the problem solving and decision making process. Good leaders in schools allow freedom, which breeds new ideas and positive directions in schools. (Dyer, 2010) That’s what we need. New and innovative ideas, although we can’t allow ‘the baby to be thrown out with the bathwater’. Rather we need to look for change opportunities and act upon them.

 

Remember…….

  • You don’t have to have the top job to be a leader!      and ……………
  • No matter ‘what hat we are wearing’ we all have one common goal: to improve our students’ education.

In conclusion, this quote on leadership is one of my favourites…..

‘There go my people. I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.’  Alexandre Auguste Ledru-Rollin

 

 

Blog References

Bezzina, M. (2007) Moral Purpose and Shared Leadership: The leaders Transforming learning and Learners pilot study.
http://research.acer.edu.au/research_conference_2007/14

Beare, Caldwell & Milikan (2003). School Leadership Concepts and Evidence. Retrieved from http://dera.ioe.ac.uk/5119/2/dok217-eng-School_Leadership_Concepts_and_Evidence.pdf

Caldwell (2007). Leadership for Radical Transformation in School Education. http://research.acer.edu.au/research_conference_2007/12

Dinham,J (2007) The Leadership Challenge-Improving Learning in Schools.  Retrieved from Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)

Dyer,J (2010). Learning to Lead Libraries. Connections newsletter, issue 74. Retrieved fromwww.curriculum.edu.au/scis

Marzano, R. J., Waters, T., & McNulty, B. A. (2005). Some Theories and Theorists on Leadership. School leadership that works: from research to results (pp. 13-27). Alexandria, Va.: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

NSW DET (2006). School Leadership Capability Framework.  

 

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503 Reflection

ETL503  Part C: Reflection

 

Throughout this Teacher Librarianship course I have been especially interested in all of the readings about library collections and their management. Whilst I was evaluating library policies and existing library collection practices it was a valuable to look through all the policies that are relevant to the library and the role of the librarian. Mitchell (2011) states that ‘the role of the school library continues to focus on working with learners and teachers, selecting resources to support the curriculum, organising curriculum resources and facilitating access to these resources at the school level.’

 

It is the teacher librarian’s role to be ‘resource manager’ and ensure teachers know about resources in the school library collection that can support their teaching. ‘All the resources in the world are of no use if teachers and students don’t know they exist.’ (Mitchell,2011)

 

 Up until recently my school library was a neglected space overflowing with old, outdated material of no interest to its users. Based on all the information I have gained throughout this course it has been especially valuable to learn about building up a library collection relevant to its users, a library which benefits the whole school. Building effective information services (ASLA 2013) is essential and a significant responsibility with far-reaching implications.

 

This course has taught me how to better evaluate a library collection and plan and prepare ways for de-selection in a more evidence-based manner before re-stocking it with new resources. After I was more informed of the practices of evaluation of resources and de-selection I could see the strengths and weaknesses in my current library school collection

 

I have found this course to be extremely practical in looking at the nature of my current library collection as it has helped me to prioritise jobs I need to carry out aswell as clarify my thoughts. It allowed me to make more informed decisions about future selection and acquisition of resources including the use of selection criteria and selection tools. I am now aware that professional selection tools, such as those recommended by Hughes-Hassell & Mancell (2005) are essential in ensuring a valuable and supportive collection is present.

 

Now that I have drafted my School Library Collection Policy it is a valuable document, even in its draft form, to show to my principal and maybe even ask for my library budget to be increased.

 

Most importantly a school library needs to keep ‘relevant’ and continue to reflect its usefulness to the school community. As stated by Mitchell(2011) with ‘there is no justification for maintaining 20th century models for resourcing the new Australian Curriculum.’

 

This course has shown me the importance of teaching information literacy skills and implementing an information search process model in a school, providing the relevant resources needed. In order to provide students with support in their research path ‘school libraries may first have to do a little spring cleaning, weeding out bland books with limited points of view, which just don’t cut it. Librarians need to hunt for databases and other online resources to supplement their collections.’ (Hill, 2012)

 

 

References

Hill, R (2012). ‘All aboard! Implementing Common Core offers school librarians an opportunity to take the lead.’ School Library Journal, 58.4 (Apr.2012): p26

 

Hughes-Hassell, S., & Mancall, J. C. (2005). Collection Management   for Youth:    Responding to the needs of learners. Chapter 4, ALA Editions, Chicago

            Mitchell, P (2011) Resourcing 21st Century Online Australian Curriculum: The Role          of School Libraries.FYI Autumn 2011,pp 10-15.

 

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Reflection on the role of the Teacher Librarian

How has my view of the role of the teacher librarian changed during this subject? 

When I started working as a teacher librarian I had no training or experience in the role and had been a primary school classroom teacher for 18 years. I entered the library, my new workplace, and was instantly captivated with the endless possibilities to make it all the things I thought a school library should be. I thought to myself, ‘I’m good at organising books and resources so teachers and students can find them! I love reading and sharing children’s literature! I love decorating! This is the job for me!’

Prior to fulfilling this TL role I regarded the school library as a place where children liked to visit and borrow books to take home. I didn’t consider all the other roles the teacher librarian position encompassed, especially the teaching role. This was due to my experiences of delivering classes to the library and leaving them in the librarian’s care for an hour once a week while I had release from face to face. This happened at one school where I worked for 14 years, my next school where I taught for 3 years and also at schools where I taught as a casual relief teacher.

I found the Statement on Teacher Librarian Qualifications (ASLA, 2009) and the Teacher Librarian Role Statement (SLASA, 2008) useful in increasing my understanding of the role the teacher librarian plays. The Standards of Professional Excellence for Teacher Librarians (ASLA/ALIA, 2004), also added to my understandings. Henri (1996) reaffirms the importance of retaining the word ‘teaching’ in the title of Teacher Librarian.

Now I see the role of the teacher librarian as:

  • A teacher and educator involved in programming, teaching and assessing and is responsible for literacy and information literacy skills development and the promotion of literature. ‘Teacher librarians, as collaborative teaching partners, support teaching and learning programs in information literacy, recognising that students need to be inspired, challenged and empowered with new knowledge.’ (Smith, 2013)
  • A resource manager who develops the school collection to suit the needs of teachers and students and manages both the physical and virtual environment. Gibbons(2013) states that ‘a good school library supplements the prescribed curriculum with that other curriculum, the world of favourite books, comics, DVDs and websites’.
  • An information specialist who makes information available for students and teachers. ‘Eventhough inquiry is a natural process for children, TLs need to help students with information retrieval through questioning and scaffolding.’ (Lupton, 2012)
  • A collaborator who is a partner in curriculum planning and design, a resource creator who re-shapes tasks to suit the learners. Purcell (2010) discussed TLs being ‘instructional partners’, helping teachers develop the curriculum further.
  • A leader who leads by example. eg. Implementing a guided inquiry approach to learning.

I have learnt that a school library should be a combination of both a learning centre and a place to enjoy books. Students, teachers and teacher librarians need to work together to access and use information. Libraries should not be as Thomas Frey describes ‘just storehouses for books’. The library is best described by Alan Gibbons(2013) as ‘the temple of information, research and narrative.’

The Library Policy for Schools (2012), states that the school library is to enhance teaching and students’ learning within the total program of the school by providing opportunities for students to develop information skills. Through my readings, forum interactions and reflections on my blog postings I have been able to share my thoughts, ideas and successes and learn how others are putting these ideas of guided inquiry into practice in their schools.             

I have learnt that a teacher librarian benefits greatly from collaborative teamwork with classroom teachers and most importantly the TL requires support from the school principal in order to make the library an asset to the school. ‘Principals determine the quality of the library program as much as the teacher librarians do because they influence and control factors which directly affect the library, such as adequate budget for resources and staffing, flexible timetabling and teacher collaboration. (Smith, 2013) Principals interested in developing their school libraries as ‘instruments of school improvement’ should support their teacher librarian in their role as specialised educators. (Hartzell, 2003) Anne Bailey (2013) discussed on the CSU forum, Topic 2, the benefits of principal support. She discussed how collaboration with the principal on the specifics of the library program has improved learning outcomes for her students.

 In conclusion, a well-managed school library can be the hub of the school, not just a place where lonely students come to read in their haven. ‘A school library can be a place of learning, a place where students and teachers search first for information.’ (Lonsdale, 2003)

References

Australian School Library Association (ASLA) (2009). Statement on teacher librarians in Australia Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/teacher.librarians.Australia.htm

Australian School Library Association, & Australian Library and Information Association (ASLA/ALIA) (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.htm

Bailey, A. (2013) Charles Sturt University.[ETL 401 Teacher Librarian]. csuInteract. Retrieved  from author website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL401

Frey, T (2010) The Future of Libraries: an interview with Thomas Frey. Retrieved from: (http://www.futuristspeaker.com/2010/07/the-future-of-libraries-interview-with-thomas-frey/)

Gibbons,A. (2013) Beating heart of the school. Retrieved from http://heartoftheschool.edublogs.org/

Hartzell, G. (2003). Why should principals support school libraries? Curriculum leadership: Education Services Australia. Retrieved from http://www.curriculum.edu.au/leader/why_should_principals_support_school_libraries,4639.html?issueID=9691

Herring, J. E. (2011). Improving students’ web use and information literay: A guide for teachers and teacher librarians. London: Facet Publishing.

Kuhlthau, C. (2010). Guided Inquiry: School Libraries in the 21st century. School Libraries Worldwide, 16(1),17-28.

Lonsdale, M. (2003). Impact of school libraries on student achievement: A review of the research. Victoria: Australian Council for Educational Research.

Lupton, M (2012) Inquiry learning and Information Literacy. Retrieved from: http://inquirylearningblog.wordpress.com/about/

Lupton, M. (2013). Inquiry learning and the Australian Curriculum: Voices of the Australian Curriculum 2013: Explore, Inquire, Collaborate. SLANSW Teacher Librarian Seminar Network. Retrieved 9th March, 2013.

New South Wales Department of Education and Training. (2007). Information skills in the school. School Libraries and Information Literacy. Retrieved from: http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/teachingideas/isp/index.htm

New South Wales Department of Education and Communities (2012). Library Policy-Schools. Retrieved from: https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/policies/curriculum/schools/libraries/PD20050221.shtml?query=Library+policy+

Purcell, M. (2010). All librarians do is check out books, right?: A look at the roles of a school library media specialist. Library Media Connection, 29(3), 30-33.

School Library Association of South Australia (2008). SLASA Teacher Librarian Role Statement. Retrieved from http://www.slasa.asn.au/Advocacy/rolestatement.html

Smith, L. (2013, 29th April) Online learning journal: The role of the Teacher Librarian and Principal Support. Retrieved from: https://lindalibrariansmith.wordpress.com/2013/04/

Smith, L. (2013, 13th May) Online learning journal: Information Literacy is more than a set of skills. Retrieved from: https://lindalibrariansmith.wordpress.com/2013/04/

Todd,R. Henri, J & Rowan,L (1996) Opinions on the future of Teacher Librarians and school library services. Retrieved from http://www.warriorlibrarian.com in discussion paper titled The Role of the TL by Credaro,A.

 

 

 

How has my view of the role of the teacher librarian changed during this subject? 

When I started working as a teacher librarian I had no training or experience in the role and had been a primary school classroom teacher for 18 years. I entered the library, my new workplace, and was instantly captivated with the endless possibilities to make it all the things I thought a school library should be. I thought to myself, ‘I’m good at organising books and resources so teachers and students can find them! I love reading and sharing children’s literature! I love decorating! This is the job for me!’

Prior to fulfilling this TL role I regarded the school library as a place where children liked to visit and borrow books to take home. I didn’t consider all the other roles the teacher librarian position encompassed, especially the teaching role. This was due to my experiences of delivering classes to the library and leaving them in the librarian’s care for an hour once a week while I had release from face to face. This happened at one school where I worked for 14 years, my next school where I taught for 3 years and also at schools where I taught as a casual relief teacher.

I found the Statement on Teacher Librarian Qualifications (ASLA, 2009) and the Teacher Librarian Role Statement (SLASA, 2008) useful in increasing my understanding of the role the teacher librarian plays. The Standards of Professional Excellence for Teacher Librarians (ASLA/ALIA, 2004), also added to my understandings. Henri (1996) reaffirms the importance of retaining the word ‘teaching’ in the title of Teacher Librarian.

Now I see the role of the teacher librarian as:

  • A teacher and educator involved in programming, teaching and assessing and is responsible for literacy and information literacy skills development and the promotion of literature. ‘Teacher librarians, as collaborative teaching partners, support teaching and learning programs in information literacy, recognising that students need to be inspired, challenged and empowered with new knowledge.’ (Smith, 2013)
  • A resource manager who develops the school collection to suit the needs of teachers and students and manages both the physical and virtual environment. Gibbons(2013) states that ‘a good school library supplements the prescribed curriculum with that other curriculum, the world of favourite books, comics, DVDs and websites’.
  • An information specialist who makes information available for students and teachers. ‘Eventhough inquiry is a natural process for children, TLs need to help students with information retrieval through questioning and scaffolding.’ (Lupton, 2012)
  • A collaborator who is a partner in curriculum planning and design, a resource creator who re-shapes tasks to suit the learners. Purcell (2010) discussed TLs being ‘instructional partners’, helping teachers develop the curriculum further.
  • A leader who leads by example. eg. Implementing a guided inquiry approach to learning.

I have learnt that a school library should be a combination of both a learning centre and a place to enjoy books. Students, teachers and teacher librarians need to work together to access and use information. Libraries should not be as Thomas Frey describes ‘just storehouses for books’. The library is best described by Alan Gibbons(2013) as ‘the temple of information, research and narrative.’

The Library Policy for Schools (2012), states that the school library is to enhance teaching and students’ learning within the total program of the school by providing opportunities for students to develop information skills. Through my readings, forum interactions and reflections on my blog postings I have been able to share my thoughts, ideas and successes and learn how others are putting these ideas of guided inquiry into practice in their schools.             

I have learnt that a teacher librarian benefits greatly from collaborative teamwork with classroom teachers and most importantly the TL requires support from the school principal in order to make the library an asset to the school. ‘Principals determine the quality of the library program as much as the teacher librarians do because they influence and control factors which directly affect the library, such as adequate budget for resources and staffing, flexible timetabling and teacher collaboration. (Smith, 2013) Principals interested in developing their school libraries as ‘instruments of school improvement’ should support their teacher librarian in their role as specialised educators. (Hartzell, 2003) Anne Bailey (2013) discussed on the CSU forum, Topic 2, the benefits of principal support. She discussed how collaboration with the principal on the specifics of the library program has improved learning outcomes for her students.

 In conclusion, a well-managed school library can be the hub of the school, not just a place where lonely students come to read in their haven. ‘A school library can be a place of learning, a place where students and teachers search first for information.’ (Lonsdale, 2003)

References

Australian School Library Association (ASLA) (2009). Statement on teacher librarians in Australia Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/teacher.librarians.Australia.htm

Australian School Library Association, & Australian Library and Information Association (ASLA/ALIA) (2004). Standards of professional excellence for teacher librarians. Retrieved from http://www.asla.org.au/policy/standards.htm

Bailey, A. (2013) Charles Sturt University.[ETL 401 Teacher Librarian]. csuInteract. Retrieved  from author website: http://interact.csu.edu.au/portal/site/ETL401

Frey, T (2010) The Future of Libraries: an interview with Thomas Frey. Retrieved from: (http://www.futuristspeaker.com/2010/07/the-future-of-libraries-interview-with-thomas-frey/)

Gibbons,A. (2013) Beating heart of the school. Retrieved from http://heartoftheschool.edublogs.org/

Hartzell, G. (2003). Why should principals support school libraries? Curriculum leadership: Education Services Australia. Retrieved from http://www.curriculum.edu.au/leader/why_should_principals_support_school_libraries,4639.html?issueID=9691

Herring, J. E. (2011). Improving students’ web use and information literay: A guide for teachers and teacher librarians. London: Facet Publishing.

Kuhlthau, C. (2010). Guided Inquiry: School Libraries in the 21st century. School Libraries Worldwide, 16(1),17-28.

Lonsdale, M. (2003). Impact of school libraries on student achievement: A review of the research. Victoria: Australian Council for Educational Research.

Lupton, M (2012) Inquiry learning and Information Literacy. Retrieved from: http://inquirylearningblog.wordpress.com/about/

Lupton, M. (2013). Inquiry learning and the Australian Curriculum: Voices of the Australian Curriculum 2013: Explore, Inquire, Collaborate. SLANSW Teacher Librarian Seminar Network. Retrieved 9th March, 2013.

New South Wales Department of Education and Training. (2007). Information skills in the school. School Libraries and Information Literacy. Retrieved from: http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/teachingideas/isp/index.htm

New South Wales Department of Education and Communities (2012). Library Policy-Schools. Retrieved from: https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/policies/curriculum/schools/libraries/PD20050221.shtml?query=Library+policy+

Purcell, M. (2010). All librarians do is check out books, right?: A look at the roles of a school library media specialist. Library Media Connection, 29(3), 30-33.

School Library Association of South Australia (2008). SLASA Teacher Librarian Role Statement. Retrieved from http://www.slasa.asn.au/Advocacy/rolestatement.html

Smith, L. (2013, 29th April) Online learning journal: The role of the Teacher Librarian and Principal Support. Retrieved from: https://lindalibrariansmith.wordpress.com/2013/04/

Smith, L. (2013, 13th May) Online learning journal: Information Literacy is more than a set of skills. Retrieved from: https://lindalibrariansmith.wordpress.com/2013/04/

Todd,R. Henri, J & Rowan,L (1996) Opinions on the future of Teacher Librarians and school library services. Retrieved from http://www.warriorlibrarian.com in discussion paper titled The Role of the TL by Credaro,A.

 

 

 

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Blog Task 3 : Information literacy is more than a set of skills

                               ‘Information literacy is more than a set of skills’.        

The Australian School Library Association (ASLA 2009) and the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA 2006) have defined information literacy as ‘an information process where students can access, use, organise, create, present and evaluate information.’

Teaching in a 21st century curriculum ‘is no longer a matter of teachers presenting expert information to students so that they can represent the information to show understanding.’ (Wall & Ryan, 2010) Information literacy is about students learning how to use information resources, extracting and then presenting the information. It is a multi-layered process that actively involves students following steps in an information search process to answer ‘the big question’.

There are various information skills models available for use in the teaching of the research

and problem solving process such as Herring’s PLUS Model (2007), the New South Wales

Information Skills Process (2007) and Kuhlthau’s Information Search Process (2009). The

main purpose of all these models is similar; to provide teachers and students with a

framework for the development of research skills.

Students come to the learning situation with some prior knowledge of the topic and it is the

teacher librarian’s role to tap into this prior knowledge, engage with students, stimulate and

build upon this knowledge, in order to encourage them to be actively involved in the

research process. Within an information process framework it is the teacher librarian’s role to

support the student through scaffolding learning tasks and providing tools such as concept

mapping or brainstorming tools, graphic organisers, note-taking tools and summarising tools.

Teacher librarians need to provide their students with practical strategies to then transfer the

information and knowledge they have gained to other areas of their learning. This is what

makes their learning meaningful to them.

 

The information search process models engage students in the learning process by asking

them to :

  • Define their information needs
  • Locate the information they think they need
  • Select the information that is relevant to them, accurate etc
  • Organise the information
  • Create and share their information
  • Evaluate the information

In a school setting where there is no information literacy policy in place it may seem difficult

to implement across the whole school so my advice is….. ‘Just get started!’ Choose a model

you think will suit a particular group of students. Start off with something simple if the

students have never used a research model before. Lead by example! Use the model as a

framework to build the students’ skills and thinking strategies necessary to work with

information. Use each step of the model to guide the students and support them in their

research process so they can start to control their own learning.  Hopefully over time the

understandings and skills that inform information literacy will start to become embedded into

the classroom practices of other teachers across the school and become part of the general

curriculum in the school.

A teacher’s knowledge of the information search process affects student learning outcomes across all year levels and all curriculum areas. Teacher librarians who have this knowledge are able to engage students in meaningful research learning, develop lifelong learning principles in their students, cater for individual students, challenge students to aim for higher goals and incorporate a variety of instructional strategies into their teaching. All of which lead to higher student learning outcomes as students taught by these teachers have a higher retention rate and a clearer understanding of core concepts and information. (Hattie, 2003)

 

The understanding and teaching of information literacy skills has a positive effect on student learning, students are able to identify their information needs, gather and assess information more readily and organise and present this information effectively  which are skills used across almost all of the curriculum areas. (ALIA & ASLA, 2001; Lange, Magee, & Montgomery, 2003)

‘A well-resourced school library that has a strong library program focused on teaching information literacy by a highly qualified teacher librarian increases student achievement.’

(Everhart 2006, Hartzell 2003 & Spence 2006)

As stated by Langford (1998), there seems to be a gap in the theory of information literacy and the everyday classroom practice. Schools are still grappling with the concept, often seeing it as an add-on and not a genuine part of the business of education.

 

So……..TLs let’s get started!  Let’s lead the way in information literacy in our schools!

 

References:

Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA)/Australian School Library Association (ASLA). (2009)

 

Herring,J.(2007). Teacher librarians and the school library. In S.Ferguson (Ed) Libraries in the twenty-first century: charting new directions in information (pp27-42)

Kuhlthau, C. (1991). Inside the search process: Information seeking from the user’s perspective. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 42(5), 361-371.

 

Kuhlthau, C. (1993). Implementing a process approach to information skills: A study identifying indicators… School Library Media Quarterly, 22(1), 11-18.

 

Kuhlthau, C. (2009). Guided inquiry: Learning in the 21st century. Paper presented at the IASL School libraries in the picture: preparing pupils and students for the future.

 

Kuhlthau, C., & Maniotes, L. (2010). Building guided inquiry teams for 21st-century learners. School Library Monthly, 26(5).

 

Langford, L. (1998). Information Literacy: A Clarification

Mitchell, P. &  Spence,S. (2009) Inquiry into Guided Inquiry. Vol.23, No.4, Nov 2009.

Upton,M. (2013) Inquiry Learning vs Information Literacy. ASLA Conference 2013.

Wall, J.  & Ryan, S. (2010) Resourcing for Curriculum Innovation: Learning in a Changing World

 

 

 

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The changing role of the TL!

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Rise above the stress of assignments and information overload!

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