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Interpersonal Skills

This Isn’t Working: 4 Steps to Effectively Advocate for Yourself

Jessie Gebauer & Joel Carlovsky

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We're two educators that have been learning everything we can to work smarter not harder. Our mission? To help teachers streamline their workload so they can get back to their lives outside the classroom.


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Joel: This. Just. Isn’t. Working. No, today we are not talking about that classic breakup line. We’re talking about those real moments in our teaching professions when we need to name that something isn’t not working and figure out how to advocate for ourselves.

Jessie: We will be showing you 4 Steps to Effectively Advocate for Yourself so that you can have radically candid conversations with your colleagues, your administrators, yourself, or really anyone. It’s all about being effective and not getting or staying stuck in the It’s-Not-Working Death Trot.

Joel: Oh, the It’s-Not-Working Death Trot. I’ve been there. You’re technically moving but you know you are going nowhere. Well Marigolds, no more. Let’s get to the podcast and the action! Welcome to today’s episode on 4 Steps to Effectively Advocate for Yourself.

4 Steps To Effectively Advocate For Yourself

Jessie: Joel, you mentioned the analogy of the This-Isn’t-Working Death Trot. Dig into that a little bit for us.

  • When have YOU found yourself in the This-Isn’t-Working Death Trot?
  • How did you know you were in the This-Isn’t-Working Death Trot?
  • Why was it important for you to learn how to effectively advocate for yourself?

>> Click here to listen to our responses on the podcast.

Joel: Thank you, Jessie! What we just did – reflecting and realizing when you are in that This-Isn’t-Working Death Trot needs to happen FIRST before you start to effectively advocate for yourself. Like we say all the time on this podcast, start with your why. When you are aware of the why, it is so much easier to actually do the work because you can see how important it is to actually do the work!

Now Jessie, let’s get to the 4 Steps to Effectively Advocate for Yourself. We will share a step. We will share what that step looks like for each of us. And, we will share WHY we put that on our Marigold Force list!

  1. This is what I’ve/we’ve tried​
  2. Here’s the problem​
  3. Here are potential solutions​
  4. Clarify the next steps (Get specific. Name names. Name timeframes.)​

>> Click here to listen to these steps and a BONUS tip!

Call To Action

Jessie: Now Marigolds, it’s time for your action step. Before you do anything, make sure you actually know that something that is in your head or heart is worth advocating for. (It’s okay to be angry and frustrated! It’s impossible to advocate for everything.) Once you know that something isn’t working, map out the 4 steps with specifics to your situation. Write down what you’ve tried. Write down where the problem is. Write down potential solutions. And finally, write down some next steps by getting specific, naming names, and naming timeframes.

Joel: These notes are so important to help you draft the hard and important conversation you need to have to advocate for yourself with others. It’s okay to practice this conversation with another Marigold you trust. It’s also okay to USE YOUR NOTES when you are having these hard and important conversations. Advocating for yourself takes practice.

Jessie: Write and map out your personal steps to effectively advocating for yourself. Do this now.

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Jessie & Joel here, you're new #1 fans.

We are so much more than “just teachers.” Joel is a personal development mastermind, self-care guru, push up machine, skilled ballet dancer, and Kombucha connoisseur. I’m a systems-minded queen, Excel nerd, aspiring handstand professional, travel enthusiast, and a cat mama. 

“Teacher” is just one of our many hats, and I bet you have a few more hats too!

Joel and I want to show you how to get a solid grip on your teaching gig, so you can give your best energy to whatever matters most to you.

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