For the second time today (Thursday, February 25) a member of our SCASL listserv has said they are not allowed to use their personal days to attend our state library conference (SCASL) planned for Charleston, SC March 24-26, 2010. I am stunned at this. I really wonder if a school or district can legally deny teachers (and in the case school librarians) use of the personal days to use as one sees fit, EVEN if it is for professional development/conferences. I can believe a school administrator maybe would ask that you not use them (due to the strain on a budget for substitutes) but I do not believe they can mandate you not use them, or that personal days can be taken away. This just DOES NOT make sense.
Is it subversive to go anyway?
One shared it almost felt subversive to use personal days after being told not too. How can using personal days for conference be construed as “subversive?” If you are denied using your personal days to attend a conference, this sounds indicative of a larger problem in your district than just finances, substitutes, and district policy. Not sure we are getting the total picture if you feel it is rightful or okay to be denied. Perhaps with more details about the specific request and why denied, I would understand. I’ll say this, I’m glad I don’t work for the principals who reportedly have denied conference attendance on personal days and the willingness to pay your own way.
I hope you are not alone!
I certainly hope for these two who have been told no to using personal or professional days for what I equivocate to the best professional development in our state for school librarians, your principals and superintendents are foregoing their conferences this summer as well, which I might add are held in more touristy places during high tourism season (and with a higher cost). They are singletons in their buildings just as much as we are.
Special thanks to my principal and district–I am going!
At the same time, I am overjoyed and very appreciative that I’m allowed to attend, and for the record I always pay for my own registration, travel, and expenses–I have for several years now. It’s tax deductible, and I can make choices I might not otherwise make were it on the school’s dime.
SCASL hears your cries-a virtual experience is in the works!
Those unable to go for whatever reason can rest assured that SCASL is making efforts again this year to bring a conference experience to them. As with every year, presenters are asked to share handouts to be placed online. Last year we successfully live-streamed three sessions. This year there are plans for “vodcasting” seven. So there will be a virtual portal for those who cannot attend or those in attendance who miss sessions. A group of us will also use the My Scasl Ning, our own blogs, twitter, and other online portals to help bring in a virtual experience.
Here it is word for word from our SCASL President-elect, Joe Myers:
As the Conference Chair, I and my team have been planning a great conference. I am aware that with the tough economic times we are facing that our members would benefit from some type of electronic delivery. As I have been working on the conference program, I am building a website with all the program information to be launched near our conference date. It will include electronic access to handouts from our presenters, some select Vodcasts of concurrent sessions, websites of tours, guests, and as much information about the conference as can be put out on the web. The best way to make sure that everyone concerns are addressed is to fill out the conference survey with your opinions and ideas. Those surveys are valuable to the success of our future conferences.
With that being said, I’ll see you in Charleston–either face to face or virtually!