For months, I have been biting my tongue about something that has been on my mind practically 24/7. I am a teacher and while I may not be in a classroom, I have been watching the public education system that my children are in fall apart. I am an advocate and I should not be afraid to get the word out. Yet, prior to heading to Atlanta for TypeACon, I was cautious at best. My blog posts about education were vague, guarded, and I thought I was protecting my children. The fact is, I wasn’t. The reality is that it was fear of possibly never getting another teaching job based on my blog. The four inspirational women below made me see the light and for that I am eternally thankful.
The session on Cause Blogging and the New Media Activist sparked something in me. Moderator Ilina Ewen and speakers: Fadra Nally, Sarah Pinnix, and Chrysula Winnegar explained that we need to find something we are passionate about and use our voice.
I know what I am passionate about. Not only am I invested in public education as an educator, I have two young sons who deserve a proper education and should not be guinea pigs for companies using them to get rich.
I sat there in the room with my mind going a mile a minute. I knew what I needed to do, but did I have the guts to do it? Could I finally say enough is enough, I am not going to hold back and perhaps words that I write can make a difference to another parent that does not know the way the system is working against our children?
Then, on the last night of TypeACon, I walked over to Fadra Nally to thank her. I told her that I knew my cause and I just had to figure out the way I was going to attack it. Then I admitted to her what had been holding me back. Do you know what she told me?
That is right, Fadra said “So what” and asked if I really wanted to go back into a classroom. I do, but not with the current state of the system and I know it is not going to change without a fight from parents. I have enough on my plate trying to work the system for my children and can not fathom APPR, Common Core, constant testing, and not being able to do what is best for the KIDS.
Now I am going to be more vocal on my blog and beyond. Parents in New York State and other locations need to know the truth about out children being used as data points to make companies rich. They have the right to know that their kids are being over tested and not taught in a developmentally appropriate way. Parents need to know that the blame game does NOT start with the teachers, they are innocent victims in this. The teachers are forced to do what they are told or they will not have a job. The blame game in New York State goes to the Board of Regents that hired Commissioner John King to head NYSED. The finger pointing belongs to districts that have refused to stand up and say enough is enough with the high stakes testing, teaching to the tests, and claim of more rigor in the classroom. Our children need to learn the basics, they need to trust educators.
We as a group must stand up and fight back. Rather than sit back and accept what the schools are doing we much be vocal and let them know that they are failing our children. Educators need to be in the drivers seat, not politicians and companies only looking for money at the next generation’s expense. We were always taught to listen to the schools and follow them. Well I am here to tell you to stop. Get the facts, see past the propaganda (especially in NYS with engageNY and Common Core) and get out there to other parents and help them to fight for our children.
Some previous posts about the educational world: