photo © 2009 Blatant News | more info (via: Wylio)(From CBS) This week marks a bittersweet anniversary: It was 50 years ago, on a cold and snow-covered day in Washington, D.C., that a relatively young and untried man stepped forward at noontime to take the Presidential Oath of Office. But for many of us of a certain age it seems like yesterday…(Want to read more? click here.) I had the pleasure of watching this segment this morning on CBS This Morning. I don’t often get to watch the show, so it was a nice change of pace for me. The stories were no less than their typical quality that makes the show have cntinued success and ratings. I particularly enjoyed the segment on John F. Kennedy and his infamous Inaugural Address.
The line I’ve heard so often grabbed me today though in a different way.
“And so my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.” President John F. Kennedy, Inaugural Address, January 20, 1961.
As I listened to the story on CBS Sunday Morning today, I realized much of his thoughts, indeed even passion, could be applied to many areas of our lives. Nation. State. County. Hometown. Home even. So I began to think of it in other contexts as well. What about the job front?
What about me?
The ugly little head of job security on the school library front is raising its ugly head again and again, and I know many who fear for their jobs, threatened with replacement by paraprofessionals or parent volunteers. The indignity of it all is being voiced by many.
If it is to be, it’s up to me.
So I say to my colleagues along the same lines of this most famous quote from JFK’s Inaugural speech: Ask not what your school, your association, your national organization can do for you; ask what you can do for your school, your association, your national organization.
What can I do?
There are many sharing daily what to do in the trenches of the school library job. Get connected. Join in. Be a part of learning and being relevant in your school today. Stop waiting on TPTB (the powers that be) to control your future. Be proactive in plugging in for your school. What does that look like?
- Offering to bring a set of books to a class who could not come to the library due to scheduling.
- Creating pathfinders for class units (on your own or in conjunction with teachers and students–let them have an investment in the final pathfinder!)
- Share success stories with fellow colleagues, teachers, administrators, students, and even parents. Create your self a cheering section from the ones you interact with!
- Work with colleagues to know their needs and meet their interests.
- Get involved on the local, state, or national level in your profession!
These are just a few ideas running through my head today. Funny that someone was making fun of the fact that I think about school and my work all the time. I guess there is no question about where my passion lies. I will not ask forgiveness though. As my family knows me and loves me none the less for my passion. As I reflect on that list above, I can think of example after example of my own activities for each bullet point. Can you?
It starts with you.
If you are thinking like the JFK famous quote, you are probably well on your way to assuring job security and making yourself indispensable. If not, you have your work cut out for you. Advocacy comes in many forms. Starting with YOU.