If you have children currently in the United States education system or were a child who went through the education system, it is probably safe to assume that you understand the importance of a good education and access to resources that help students succeed. With a new administration in office comes the reality that certain educational policies and procedures may change, funding and funding requirements could be altered and standards could face review. Due to the fact that political upheaval can affect our children and their futures, education leader advocacy is more important now than ever before. Children cannot advocate for themselves in regards to their education so it is critical that they have people who care who will help inform choices and policy based on what children need to grow and succeed. If you are passionate about education, you can be a part of the fight. Here are a few ways you can help advocate for children and schools.
- Tell your story- We live in the age of the internet where it is easier than ever to connect with people and tell a story to a wide audience. Information is instantaneously shareable, can be picked up by media with almost no effort and can have much wider reach than other tactics like newspapers or television. Statistics show the majority of Americans spend multiple hours a day on the internet, which means they are far more likely to see something there than anywhere else. You can use your own social media accounts as a starting point, especially if you have a fairly large network, and share your ideas and thoughts about education. If you have come across an injustice in the education system that affects you or your loved ones, speak up! When people talk and come together, they can create real change and action.
- Call your representatives- Whenever legislation is proposed, you should pay attention to how it could affect you, your loved ones and your community. Whether or not you agree with it or disagree with it, you should call, email or contact your local representatives to let them know how you feel. After all, representatives were elected to represent their districts and communities, so when they hear from the people they serve, they can get a better sense of how to vote in order to be the voice for the people they represent. If they do not listen to their community, the community can come together and work to get the person replaced during the next election cycle.
- Show up at meetings- Whenever there are town halls, public meetings or informational sessions about important education advocacy issues, you should do your best to show up. Ask questions, make contacts and talk with other likeminded people so you can discuss how you might best work together to achieve a goal that benefits your schools and your community. Networking with business leaders for education can be helpful in starting relationships that can ultimately create real change and help your children and other students in the present and the future.