Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Stand Up For What Is Right...Even If You Are Standing Alone!

Last week was wonderful, full of so many blessings. And on the flip side of the coin I had a situation that happened at school that really tested my resolve and integrity.

In a is what happened:

We have construction going on for a new center at SCC. The construction was supposed to be finished this summer. They didn't get it done, so they are doing construction during the school day! This center is located below my classroom, and there is a direct air vent between the two rooms. Sound carries up that vent.

Last week the construction workers were jackhammering during class hours. Fifteen minutes went by, it didn't stop, and my students could not hear me and I could not hear them. I went down and talked to the workers. I asked if they had been given a class schedule (they had not). I asked that if it was possible to do the jackhammering before or after our classes and that this would be very helpful.

No big deal...just straight, respectful communication.

However all heck broke loose..that involved the college President, vice-president, several deans and my department chair. The issue- I talked to the construction workers myself and did not go through the chain of command.

Long story short...I told all of them that it was my job to protect the learning environment for my students. That class hour was theirs, they paid for it, and they are our customers. I also said that since we were paying the construction workers we had a right to ask them to avoid really loud work when classes were in session. I held my ground!

When asked...would I do the same thing again? I said yes I would. It takes hours and days (even weeks) to go through the chain of command. I told them that I had taught at SCC for 31 years and there were moments they had to simply trust my judgement. I can and will stick up for my students!

My dean reminded me of the famous photo in Life magazine where it showed Chinese students in Tiennamen Square rioting for democracy. The government brought in a huge tank. One student refused to budge. The picture shows this huge tank pointed at the student...who refuses to move! Dennis suggested with a smile that I was that one student!

I am very cooperative! I take a collaborative approach with almost everything! But this called for me to stand my ground!

Sometime back, an adjunt teacher gave me a banner. I had stood up publically for adjuncts at the school suggesting that they get equal pay for equal work. Before she left SCC for a better paying job, she left the banner in my office. It says "Stand Up For What Is Right..Even If You Are Standing Alone! Her note to me, attached to the banner, said..."Thanks for your courage to do right by us adjuncts! We voted to give my banner to you"! I was so honored!

So today, if the jackhammering starts, I'll be downstairs again trying to negotiate a better time for them to do this. My students deserve this and so do I. What I know for sure is that my Mom and dad would be proud of me!

God Bless! Love and Hugs to all who read this! Linda


Anonymous said...

Not only would your mom and dad be proud of you but so am I! I have no idea how I would handle a situation like that but now if I ever do I know how to handle it! You are such a great role model!!!!!!


jessithompson said...

That is the essence of being a good teacher! I am proud of you!

The Farrell Family said...

I love you and am so proud of you for standing up for your students.

Love you, me

Finding Comfort in Kindness...sharing from the heart

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