Bec in the library

"I have always imagined that paradise will be a kind of library." — Jorge Luis Borges

Time management and negotiation March 3, 2011

Filed under: ETL 401: Topic 1 — becinthelibrary @ 12:35 pm

My ponderings on Gilman’s “Four habits of highly effective librarians

  1. The idea of people believing email can be perused and ‘gotten around to’ like back issues of The New Yorker is also a personal irk – if someone has taken the time to ask you something via email, at least have the courtesy to respond, even briefly! This shows you value the other person’s ideas and time.
  2. I thought the idea of physically moving the librarian to where the students are was brilliant! So often we  see our library as the sacred space that people should be grateful to enter – the place of all places in which to glean all information ever needed. However, in this era of online-ness, staying put isn’t always the solution.
  3. The issue of philosophical rather than practical; I’m wondering, are we holding onto to something just because we like and value the idea behind it, rather than seeing the real issue?

Thoughts about “Effective time management for teachers

  1. Decide what to do. Start it. Finish it. Accept it. (Much like this post, LOL)
  2. Filling less, doing more – put less things on your to-do list, expect things to take longer than you anticipate and watch yourself getting more stuff done and/or feeling more productive and rewarded because you did the less amount of jobs to a higher standard.
  3. Doing the shortest job first – much like paying off the smallest debt, doing the smallest job on your list first means you get that little boost of satisfaction to keep going.

So, what’s my take on “Chapter 13: conflict resolution“?

  1. I loved the idea of being positive, creative and optimistic when faced with conflict – knowing that the solutions are what you are ultimately searching for, and using these attributes to get there? Great concept.
  2. The concept of defining the differences between each parties needs and wants, then researching and checking the facts behind these was enlightening for me. It acknowledges and validates that one of the main reasons we conflict is that we have different wants and needs in the first place, and that it is OK, we just need to communicate them more effectively.
  3. I found it interesting that the main role of a mediator is to steer the process, not the content. So often as humans, not just teachers or TLs, we have an opinion/want to help and we get involved in the discussion, not realising that that isn’t our role.

My one thing I could do right now to make myself more productive in my work place is to stop trying to do lots of small jobs at once! I get bored very easily and can’t sit at my desk cataloguing for more than about 30 minutes so I tend to have multiple little tasks on the go at any given time. I think I should cut back to one or two projects and do them really well, get them finished and then move on to other jobs.

My TL (who is also the whole school head of department) is definitely an influential colleague in terms of showing how to delegate, work to people’s strengths and allow people the space and confidence to work together collaboratively and without fear of failure.

He works incredibly hard to be as productive and proactive as possible as he can given that he is spread as thin as vegemite on toast. He gives myself and my fellow library tech and assistants as many jobs as he can – such as weeding, cataloguing, ordering, end processing, teacher-library staff collaboration – based on where he sees our skill set being most productive. This frees him to have time to do the more skilled jobs such as budgeting, collection development and direct student instruction.

My TL is working extremely hard on convincing the school board we need another full time primary TL as he is trying to serve 750 kids on his own, whilst also overseeing the other sections of the school (middle and high school – we are Nursery -Grade 12). He has regular meetings with the admin, the board and the Chief Financial Officer in order to get the money for this personnel. When, not if, he is successful, this will allow far more of the primary school to benefit from his TL knowledge, not just the handful of classes he sees each week.

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