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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Teachers are every day advocates

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” ~ The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupĂ©ry

At the National Council of Teachers of English, (NCTE) national conference last week the theme was The Faces of Advocacy. After a very exciting session, the person next to me said it's so hard for classroom teachers to be advocates in the era of test and punish.
I reply it has never been easier.
Every day a teacher smiles at a child having a tough day,
Every day a teacher says love your work,
Every day a teacher sits down saying let's work on it together,
Every day a teacher sneaks in relavance into their scripted lesson,
Every day a teacher welcomes a parent into their classroom,
Every day a teacher reminds a parent their child is more than a test score,
Every day a teacher sees the child not the score,
Every day a teacher meets a child where they are at,
Every day a teacher honors the questions children ask,
Every day a teacher comforts another teacher on a tough day,
Every day a teacher celebrates America's diversity in the classroom,
Every day a teacher holds a crying child,
Every day teachers advocate for children in the most meaningful ways.
We are every day advocates.

It is important that we teachers come understand there are many ways to advocate for our students. The most essential way is our every day advocacy gestures. These advocacy gestures are closest to the children we teach, and they matter the most to the children. I am not saying forget about stepping up our game against these test and punish education reform policies harming our children, parents, teachers and our local public schools. I am saying fight them at every level, but don't forget we can bring light and hope into our classrooms in a million little ways every single day. Celebrate the small gestures, becasue they light the teachers path to hope and change. Thank you NCTE for giving advocacy front and center.
Our simple teaching secret we see with the heart,
Jesse The Walking Turner

If you want to listen to the tune I listened to on my walk over the Avon Moutain on this very cold morning its More Than A number by Barry Lane

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