The importance of speaking up

I do like to work with other teachers, through collaboration.  I admit, I am also slow to speak up and say I can’t do something, because I don’t want to be construed as difficult to work with.  I also like new challenges.  However, there are times when it is important to speak up.

Recently, I have been trained in how to give the new stardardized tests, and I was the test administrator for one of the groups that tested last week.  It went pretty smoothly, with some hiccups along the way, and now I have a better understanding of the test.

Last week, one of the guidance counselors let me know that she needed me to sub for her with junior high tests.  I agreed, that was reasonable, and I already had the training.

Friday, everything changed for me.   It turns out that a schedule had been created, but not sent to me, in which I was giving tests every day next week, often all day long.  Next Friday is also when all purchase orders are due, and while I have been working steadily towards that goal, I still have quite a bit of work to do this week.

At first, I was just upset about it, but I wasn’t sure if saying something would change the outcome.  After all, the testing is happening all this week, and there was not a lot of time to  make changes.  After discussing with the aide in the high school library, I decided to just talk to the counselor.  I let her know that I had not been given the schedule ahead of the time, and that it was not a great week for me to be pulled from the library.  She listened to me, and was able to figure out a solution by the end of the day.  I am still a test administer for several sessions, but not  all day every day.

Had I not said anything, I would have been upset – but really there would have been no one to blame but me.  The guidance office did not make a malicious error, they are overwhelmed with scheduling for next year, and also coordinating several major tests right now.  They are working hard, and still found time to find a solution.  Speaking up and seeking compromise are still powerful.

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Author: JSBennivan

I am starting my third year as a school librarian, my seventeenth year in education. I finished my school library certification courses in August of 2016.

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