I joined Stand for Children 2 and a half years ago here in Dallas. Before that, I just assumed that people made decisions that were best for children and had way more knowledge and expertise than I did in regards to policy.
What Stand has taught me is that teachers, parents, and those closest to the children have to speak up and make sure that children are not forgotten or lost in the shuffle of the politics of education. Often, small decisions can have a very big impact on our kids. For example, two years ago I was giving the district semester exam, and somebody had made the decision to save the district a little money and make the semester exams reusable by not letting the students write on the actual exam. This had gone against everything we had taught our students about testing strategies, so I mentioned this to a colleague who then went to the director of the Dallas chapter and informed the people who needed to know. The problem was fixed.
What I really noticed about this small problem was the positive way in which it was solved. Nobody demonized anyone else, but instead we worked together and made a difference. This is the approach that the Stand Educator Network always takes: working together to solve problems and make a difference in our students’ lives.
It could be something as small as consumable assessments to something huge like the impact we had on the new evaluation system in Dallas ISD. That one small situation has led me to things I never thought I would get to be a part of, such as how Stand is now working closely with an organization to bring a new, better-prepared teacher pipeline to DFW and how they have made a huge impact on my campus by implementing the Parent-Teacher Home Visit program. Not only has being part of Stand allowed me, as a teacher, to connect to people that are passionate about education and making a real difference for our children, but it has made me better in the classroom.
Check out a video about why I Stand for children.