This blog post is tackling a difficult topic for teacher librarians: coverage. I know that I'm asked every single week to cover someone's class, whether it be a whole class, or just a part of a class. And I get it. I certainly don't mind covering if there's an emergency of some type but I get my back up when I feel that I'm being taken advantage of. For the most part, I don't agree with pulling a non enrolling to cover someone else's classes because:
1. It suggest that I'm not busy in the library when clearly I am. For example, I currently have every single block booked in the library and reams of marking to tackle. When I cover a class, everything I should be doing is put on hold and I end up taking more of my personal time to get caught up.
2. I never get that time back. If an enrolling teacher gives up prep time to cover, often the classroom teacher will give up his/her own prep to cover a class in return. There would seem to be some give and take, give and take that doesn't extend to the teacher librarian.
3. I think it's disrespectful. I know that sounds harsh but I find that teachers will often come in the morning that they need coverage to talk to me and inform me that they need coverage. And most often it's just assumed that I'm okay covering their class. It's even more bothersome when I know it's the only time that teacher is going to approach me all year.
What it boils down to is the fact that I need to learn how to say no. I realize that the one teacher coming in to ask doesn't know that another teacher asked me the previous week, and a different teacher the week before.