Sunday, November 20, 2016

Being an Advocate

I know that I have been MIA for a while.  However, while I may not have been blogging about education, I definitely have been advocating for it.  A few weeks ago, I took a friend's advice and attended my state's annual educator convention as a delegate.  This means that I finally had the chance to express my passion for public education in a venue other than this blog, Twitter, and of course, happy hour with fellow educators.

The annual representative assembly is where the state association decides which issues to lobby for during the upcoming legislative session.  Educators from across the state come out of their trenches and craft new business items that are near and dear to their hearts.  These items are debated, modified and eventually, voted on.  Since I am new to the process, I did not craft any of my own new business items.  However, I am a quick learner and was able to figure out how to insert language into existing new business items that will benefit ELLs.  As I was one of the few ELL teachers at the convention, I feel that my voice was important and I am proud that I was able to speak up.

This experience leaves me motivated to continue to advocate for students across the state and my classroom in particular.  When I advocate for my students at the school level, I often feel as though I am preaching to deaf ears.  However, with the collective voice of thousands of teachers, I become more powerful and effective.  While leveling the playing field for ELLs and those teachers who work with them is definitely more of a marathon than a sprint, I am glad to say that I am still in the race.

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