Advocacy #Oneword2018

advocate

Advocacy – public support for or recommendation of a particular cause or policy.

My focus for 2018 will on advocacy. I need to advocate for creating a better education system for my students and peers. Right now our education system seems to be a target. Schools don’t get the appreciation for all the services that are provided. Teachers are leaving their chosen profession in droves for greener pastures. It is time for advocates to rise up and share the power of education and all that is positive in our schools.

It can be easy just to close the classroom door focusing on just my own class. Teachers need to remember what is best for our students and keep doors open. We need to discuss our practice critically with each other. Advocating for what we know is best while remaining respect of others opinions. I have shied away from advocacy in the past in fear of offending others. It can be a fine line of being and advocate and be arrogant. One must respect others points of view; agreeing to disagree to avoid confrontations.  These conversations have to occur to transform education.

Lorax

For education to turn around it needs advocates.

Advocates for our students remembering that they are more than a score. Our students come from a variety of backgrounds with a plethora of goals the education system needs to honor them.

Advocates for our teachers. The profession has been beaten down by accountability.

Advocate for funding. Our schools need to keep pace with our ever changing educational needs.

Advocates for teaching and learning methods. To improve our system we need to accept the many learning styles and methods that work.

Advocate for many paths. Our society has focused too ling on “college ready”, we need to recognize that many career paths don’t pass through colleges.

I will not apologize for my advocacy. I care to much to not speak out for my students and profession!

 

My previous #oneword posts on Time and Opportunity.

Thanks for giving me your time to take the opportunity to advocate on behalf of my students.

 

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Looking back to move forward

lookingback

As 2017 wraps up, I am reminded to reflect on the past so I can plan for the future. This year has flown by with much excitement and stress. The year started with AMLE asking me to be a featured speak at the 2017 conference. One of my teaching partners struggled as her father slowly passed away. Summer was a nice hiatus to spend time with my 3 young ones as they grow up (too quickly). Fall came in like a hurricane as a school year can do full of activities and learning. In November the AMLE conference was full of passion and excitement. The winter break came just in time to allow me to catch up and reflect.

As I look back I want to focus on 3 things moving forward:

  1. Slow down – Don’t try to do everything, focus on being present where ever you may be. Enjoy the moment and don’t worry about missing something. When you spend time worrying about missing out, you miss out on everything.
  2. Focus on students – Our students matter. It isn’t the curriculum, test scores or grades that matter. Our students live very different lives than I did when I was growing up. I need to remember to give them experiences that they may never get. I need to remember that they have different expectations and desires in life than I have for my children. I just need to listen and help them grow. this growth is not always academic and comes in many forms.
  3. Try new thing – I want to stay fresh and inventive. There are days I have little time to gather all I need to make the “great’ lesson. I need to make sure I don’t resort to just reach for the file cabinet with old lessons. I need the students to be engaged daily. Lesson must be fresh, exciting and full of passion for learning science. I can’t just rely on the textbook or a video to motivate my students to learn science.

past

I hope to continue to grow and learn this year. I see changes ahead. 2018 see me join the AMLE board of directors helping guide its mission and vision. I will be giving up my leadership role for our districts Union to find time to work on the national level.

Hope to connect with many great folks in 2018! See you in the new year!