It should not take a festive holiday season for people to realize that prioritizing the needs of others is of utmost importance.
That’s absolutely one of the most wonderful things about working with teachers and other public school professionals in our public schools: they constantly prioritize the needs of students.
And those needs are not just academic.
What we do as public school educators is advocate for our students. We advocate to create opportunities for students to succeed and achieve. We advocate for more resources. We advocate for better physical facilities. We advocate for mental and physical health for our students. We advocate to constantly remind our lawmakers to prioritize public schools as the foundation of a strong republic. We advocate because many of the students and families we serve and love cannot do it for themselves. We advocate by going to the polls and voting.
And this teacher wants to ask others in public education to keep giving that gift for our students. Advocate for them.
Teach others who may not be in our public schools what our students need from those who can make opportunities happen. Teach them how schools operate and that when public schools are hindered in their abilities to help our students, it’s not just those students who are affected – communities suffer as well.
Help educate others by showing them that when public schools are portrayed by lawmakers as failing our students, they tell only part of the story because measuring what schools really do for students is beyond a simple set of spun variables that are designed to stigmatize rather than tell the truth.
North Carolina has 100 counties and 117 distinct LEA’s. The public school system is the largest single employer in over 50 of those counties. In many of the remaining counties, the public school system is at least the second largest employer. There is hardly a family in this state who does not have an educational professional in its fold or is close to a family that boasts of a teacher or public school employee.
Those avenues for advocating are many and using them might be one of the greatest gifts we can ever give our public schools and its students.
It doesn’t cost one cent.
And we all get something incredibly valuable – stronger public schools.