…that things can and will get better. Just be realistic about what is going on right now.
Things In Favor Of A Change For The Better…
1. “No hay mal que por bien no venga.” A Spanish proverb that says basically that out of all bad things, good can come. Yes I am a person of faith, religious and secular, and I have seen nearly impossible things happen. Never, ever give up.
2. THIS IS ABOUT KIDS!!!!! Americans can be complacent about many things, be we do tend to get riled up about children. It’s time to get riled up and stay that way!! Children are our hearts, souls, present and future.
3. No one trusts a politician. This is good. We want the general folk to see that their “representatives” are serving themselves not their constituents and when the climate allows folks to believe that, they may be more willing to pay attention.
4. These students will soon be voters. They KNOW how hard this system is on students. They will pay attention to what politicians say and do about education. We should too.
5. This is a movement against organized labor. When more people see this, they will be able to see how this action against teachers really does affect them, even if they don’t have children/are no longer in school.
6. Once teachers’ fears of being let go for having an opinion no longer matter (ie you could lose your job ANYWAY!!!), more of us should speak up and speak out. AS SHOULD people who leave the profession via a retirement or a new profession. Please do not abandon your colleagues by now pretending that this issue no longer affects you. WE NEED YOUR VOICE and your support more than ever!!
7. Teachers are educated and connected. We write well and we speak well. Once we truly get going, it will be difficult to ignore us. Don’t stop calling your reps and senators. Don’t stop sending emails and letters. Don’t stop attending board meetings. Take turns so that you don’t burn out but don’t stop!
8. Teachers are strong. We can face over a hundred students and still be standing to meet families at Open House. We can go to a student’s funeral and be there to comfort others. We have longevity in our blood. We can hold on long enough, keep fighting long enough to enact change.
9. Teachers become the administrators. Keep your colleagues well-informed. Make it impossible for them to teach with their heads in the sand and become administrators who do not understand teaching. If you are an administrator, look for others who are willing to stand with you!!!!!! There is enormous power in numbers!
10. Keep the focus on how OUTSIDE forces have forced changes upon us, and do whatever you can to not initiate negativity about students and teaching from within. Complain all that you need to about unnecessary testing and inappropriate observations, however, stay focused and positive about the beauty of working with children and their ability to make a difference in this world. Schools, with the love and support of the people working in them, change lives every day…..regardless of whatever inane mandates we are forced to pay attention to. Honor the people who support and work towards that in every way that you can….from parents to politicians who voted no, from custodial staff to cafeteria worker, every crossing guard, teacher, paraprofessional, coach, substitute, school board member and anyone else along the way to who works FOR STUDENTS. Thank them, appreciate them and keep them in your prayers.
We can survive, we can even thrive, but it isn’t going to be easy and we can’t do it alone.