Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Challenge Numero Uno

Here's a bit of awareness : I am about as assertive as a coffee table when it comes to communicating with members of the administration team at school. My husband will back me up on that. He came with me for my visit to school today and we stopped by the main office to say hello and to check in before we went up to see my classroom which, by the way, is absolutely beautiful and oh-so-CLEAN!

He said that, as I spoke to one of the administrators, I became a different version of myself: shoulders hunched, little girl voice, tentative expression that read, "I'd really love to go see my classroom, but if you don't want me to I can just back off and get on out of here. No problem."

My beloved told me that he wasn't one bit surprised that that particular administrator always bosses me around like the wimp I am. Show up like a wimp, get treated like a wimp. Gahhhh! After turning various shades of purple and blue and digging my fingernails deep into the palms of my hands, I had to reluctantly agree with him. I was asking for it!

This is Challenge Numero Uno: Stop being a wimp and start being assertive. I need to believe that I am a valuable asset to the faculty and to my profession in general. This takes practice, practice, practice. Everyday I need to intend to be confident in my abilities and to be clear with administration and other faculty members. It's nice to be nice, but there's only so much one can accomplish by being sweet, uber-humble, and uneccessarily apologetic.


  1. Your husband is is right and wrong. While assertive is important in some situations, administrators I've dealt with are insecure and will lash out at assertiveness. My experience has been that it is better to walk softly and carry a big stick. Knowing your rights and quietly making it clear that you do is much more to your advantage than being openly assertive. Do look them right in the eye when speaking to them and document every conversation. Send emails read reciept requested. They will know you will stand up for yourself and leave you alone.

  2. You are an asset to the teaching profession and the world in general. You have an absolute right to stand-up for yourself. Don't let the personas that administration members have created for themselves intimidate you, underneath it all they possess the same insecurities and doubts we all share. ("All" being the rest of us.)

  3. Thank you both for your advice and thanks for reading! I'll keep both approaches in my "toolbox"!