Education is a topic that is near and dear to the hearts of so many people who make it their life’s work to help children. We often here phrases like “children are the future” and honestly, that is true in so many ways. The young generation is, of course, the future because they will be here after other generations are gone. They are also the future because when they enter the workforce, they will be the ones making decisions and helping to shape the world. One of the most important things about education advocacy is that the people who are doing the advocating know that the success of their work directly affects the ability of future generations to be successful.
For example, if education advocates were to give up on a low performing school simply because it was too difficult or frustrating or tiring to find a plan to help the school improve, they are sending a message to the children at that school that they do not matter. When children feel like they do not matter, they can go down routes that include violence or addiction. Children should never be put in that position. Instead, they should be made to feel that they matter, no matter their ethnic, religious or socioeconomic background. Who is to say if education advocates were to dedicate their time to helping a school or a school district improve, that the cure for cancer wouldn’t come from one of those students? This is why education leaders do the work they do. They know that their work will make a difference, even if they never get to see it first hand.
In order to make sure they make a difference, these advocates and business leaders for education are not afraid to speak up. They use their voices any chance they get by talking to friends and community members, writing letters and calling their representatives, serving on committees, working with lobbying groups, attending town hall and community meetings, doing media interviews and writing opinion pieces. Anywhere they can get the word out, they do, because they know that important policy changes are more likely to be made when people come together for the good of a cause. Education advocates also make sure to stay up to date on the goings on in government and proposed legislation and policy because they like to know where they can plug themselves in to help advocate on behalf of kids.
Education leaders also make sure to keep their heads up because they know that they will face a lot of opposition and rejection. Education is often a polarizing topic for people because they have different ideas about what schools and school districts should be held accountable for as well as what is best for the schools and the students. Advocates for education need to be prepared to fight for what they believe in in order to make true change. If they can make it through the difficult parts of the process, they will end up with on of the most rewarding feelings of all: knowing that they made a difference in the lives of so many children.