Parents are natural advocates for children. Parents are their child’s first teacher and role model. Parents have their child’s best interests at heart and are responsible for their care and welfare. It’s only logical, then, that parents often become advocates for a wide array of children’s issues, including education. As a mom and professional that has devoted my 10+ year career to the field of education, I am proud to be an advocate for excellence in public education. Like many of you reading this post, I am concerned about the quality of education my children receive. As a social justice educator, I’m equally concerned about the quality of education that children receive across our state in California and throughout our nation’s public schools. I would love to open up a dialog here on this blog with other parents. Together, we can support our schools and our teachers. Together, we can advocate for meaningful education reform so that one day, all children in our nation have the opportunity to attain an excellent education.
So, the fact that you are still reading this post means you’re curious or interested in getting involved in advocacy work in education. What does it really mean to be an advocate? Let’s start with the basic definition.
Advocate: to speak, plead or argue in favor of. Synonym is support.
1. One that argues for a cause; a supporter or defender; an advocate of civil rights.
2. One that pleads in another’s behalf; an intercessor; advocates for abused children and spouses.
3. A lawyer
source: The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition
If you are new to advocacy in education, check out the link below to StudentsFirst. StudentsFirst’s mission is “to build a national movement to defend the interests of children in public education and pursue transformative reform, so that American has the best education system in the world. To succeed in our mission, we’re working with parents, teachers, administrators, and citizens across the country to ensure great teachers, access to great schools, and effective use of public dollars. Together, we’ll demand that legislators, courts, district administrators, and school boards create and enforce policies that put students first. We’ll make sure politicians and administrators recognize and reward excellent teachers, give novice teachers the training they need, and quickly improve or remove ineffective educators. We’ll work to ensure that every family has a number of options for excellent schools to attend, so that getting into a great school becomes a matter of fact, not luck. And we’ll make sure all Americans understand that our schools are not only an anchor for our communities, but an absolute gateway to our national prosperity and competitive standing in the world economy.”
Do you have a child with special needs? Interested in learning more about your rights? Click on the link below.
If you live in the Los Angeles area, here is a great link with a ton of resources in the local area for children with special needs:
Are you a teacher interested in learning more about your ability to be an advocate in education? Check out the links below.