Be a Hell Raiser for Learning

It seems like the past few years have seen more community action than ever before. Some blame it on our current administration, others give credit to the expectation of community engagement modeled by the former administration. Either way, this new effort and support for community engagement is inspiring.

I feel blessed to have always (no matter what state I’ve called home) lived in areas that value education. But I don’t think I’ve ever lived in a community that truly advocates for education.

Here’s the difference.

If you value something you consider it important and worthwhile.

If you advocate for something it means you are speaking, writing, and acting in support or defense of something.

Those of us that do (or should) care deeply about education need to move from valuing education to advocacy.

Why? Because in times where my news feed is basically a combination of shootings, harassments, bickering among politicians, and sports scores we need to keep our eye on the ball.

And that ball needs to be: The future of our children.

If we ask parents, teachers, and community members what they want school to be for their kids we get these kinds of responses.

Engaging Inspiring Empowering Focused on their future More than a test

I would venture to guess that those haven’t changed a whole lot in the past thirty years. But what has changed is what we spend our time on in classrooms. Because when I listen and learn from teachers I hear loud and clear that they are now trying to do what is best for kids AND focus on accountability.

Here is the sad truth: those are NOT the same thing.

That friends is why we need a few hell raisers and questioners that have their eye on the ball and are willing to move from value to advocacy.

We need to keep our public schools relevant.

You may live in the most beautiful community ever, with wonderful schools. Guess what? Those schools might be gone, run down, shut down, or seriously lacking students quicker than you think.

That’s why we need advocates that push and support and encourage. That’s why we need a community around this very important issue.

That is why we need an uprising.

Our kids deserve to learn in ways that matter TO THEM. Follow any big learning theorists (like Marzano) and you will see that great teaching and learning experiences are teacher facilitated and student led.

Our kids deserve to be assessed in ways that are beneficial to understanding their own progress.

Our teachers deserve to be inspired by their students and challenged by opportunity. Teaching is hard work, but it is not a pure science where doing x will always create y result. Teaching is an art as well. An art that is painted with empowerment and engagement.

We need to make sure teachers are not presented with competing priorities, but rather aligned visions, missions, and opportunities.

Parents I talk with are pretty checked out of their community schools. Why? Not because they don’t care but they don’t know what they should care about (other than their child).

Let’s refocus on advocacy, lets raise the bar for engagement and empowerment (and put our weight in our kids instead of a score), let’s ensure that our schools have value, let’s make sure that our kids see their time at school as purposeful and meaningful.

Let’s have an uprising in support of our kids and those teachers our kids rely on. It’s time friends.