During various periods in my life, I've been told that I'm arrogant. No one has said anything to me lately, nor has a argument ensued so to my Chicago homies....fall back! This is merely one of those, 'Easy Like Sunday Morning,' posts that forces me to deeply reflect on things from the past and how they can influence my practice in the future. I started thinking deeply about the word, 'ARROGANT,' and according to Google's dictionary, the definition of 'arrogant,' is:
ar·ro·gant - having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.
Now I ask the question, 'Am I arrogant?'
|I was named recognized as a |
Chicago Public Schools,
'Hall of Fame Librarian'
in 2014 while at @Phillips High School.
A wonderful principal I once worked for often said that people often accused him of displaying a high level of arrogance. He further explained that observers mistakened arrogance for his self-confidence, a tool that his mother instilled in him at a early age. Given where he was raised and childhood experiences, he said that he needed every tool just to survive and remain motivated. My late friend would often say she was called arrogant in response to people who could not handle her high level of intelligence and she was often 99% right. Guess what? She was right 99% of the time! I began thinking deeply about 'why' I have been called arrogant by others.
My late mentor once gave a professional development sessions for school librarians where she left me with a indelible motivation. She discussed how sometimes librarians were viewed as weak, soft spoken, and timid by others within the school community. She further commented on how we as school librarians were such a rich and invaluable resource to the learning community and how we possessed a natural knowledge and strong
skill base that would add to the success of any school. The key was understanding that WE held the power and it was up to us to execute and show others what we could do. We were school librarians and we stood only for excellence. I swear I remember that motivational speech she gave like it was yesterday. It was this speech that motivated me to become more of a self-starter. Give myself a pat on the back and toot my own horn. Because seriously, if you don't know how to compliment yourself, who's going to right?
|My wall of appreciation|
Throughout my career, I've worked at some schools where my work as a school librarian was overlooked and sometimes ignored. The focus was on the classroom teacher, sports or technology program. I'm not trying to be funny but when I compared the work of others to what I had done, it wouldn't compare. Examples of this are rebuilding the school library program, creating and developing a library culture (this is NOT easy!), getting kids excited about reading, raising reading scores through access to books and leisure reading, bringing in thousands of dollars in donations and free resources and wait for it.....CLEANING UP and REORGANIZING JACKED UP LIBRARIES THAT HAVE BEEN DOGGED OUT BY THE ADMINISTRATION AND STAFF. Whew! Yes, I had to get that last one off of my chest!
|2015 East St. Louis Senior High School weeding project|
My late father used to say, "You need to check yourself, your actions and how you come off to other people." In other words, you need to smell yourself first and if you are foul, pull up and correct yourself. To the core of my soul, I'm not a arrogant person. If anything, those who know me very well are often pushing me to do more but my timid, shy and introverted self constantly digs her heels in the ground when challenged to go to the next level. This is exactly why libraries and social media is the perfect playground for me because I can push myself to share my views and things that have taken place in my crazy life that I would not normally do in a face to face situation.
|This is a slide I created for my bi-monthly/monthly library newsletter |
@Jefferson Academy. Proud to be recognized in the same company of
these respected library practitioners.
Scholastic Top 15 Librarian Instagram Accounts to Follow
I believe I'm more of a promoter of what's good. I promote the authentic experiences and the unique things that are taking place in school libraries whether it be in my library or my colleagues. A click, re-post, comment or recommendation is an example of this promotion. Promotion is what is needed now given the climate of some school districts removing credentialed librarians from school libraries due to poor budgeting or not trusting the judgment of librarians when making purchasing decisions. I promote my accomplishments because I'm happy that I have ascended to a level I've been trying to reach for some time. I talk about school libraries because it is my sincere hope that others will see the beauty in this field and choose to join me and the thousands of librarians across the country behind the circulation desk.
So if that makes me arrogant through the lens of others, so be it.