A core part of our mission at Boom Learning is to listen to teachers. We trust that you know what you need better than we do. You are in the trenches every day. You have insight and perspective that is not available to the casual or occasional observer.
For too long (well at least since NCLB), the theme has been that we need to tell teachers what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. We’ve stopped trusting teachers. We’ve stopped respecting teachers.
We are so proud of the teaching community joining with the voices of parents and students to raise their voices and be heard after recent events.
Today we will not tell you what to say or how. In education, local conditions are critically important in finding solutions. We cannot presume to know your conditions. And we expect that what is the best solution for one area, will not necessarily work for another.
Instead, we are sharing tips from our former lives in politics about how to amplify your voices.
Your teachers’ associations and your parents’ associations have loud and powerful voices. Joining their ranks and helping set their agendas is a great way to amplify your voice. They often have the ability to hire dedicated staff to work issues, so you can spend your time teaching.
Policy setting bodies, whether school boards or state legislators, are most responsive when they are contacted in person. Tell your story. Help them feel what you feel, see what you see. Find your elected official and schedule a meeting to share what is on your mind about schools.
Legislators keep informed about the content of calls, letters, e-mails sent to their offices. Calling is the most powerful way to be heard if you can’t be present in person. Letters and e-mail put your position on record. Social media is effective for building a movement of united voices.