Teacher leaders engage in advocacy work when they notice policy or proposed changes to policy that may have a negative effect on teaching, learning, or the educational climate. Important decisions that impact teachers, instruction, and student learning are often made without teachers ever having a seat at the table. Teacher leaders who advocate for necessary changes are often those educators who understand the issues, appreciate the enormous value of their classroom experience, and are determined to use their voices to strengthen the teaching profession and other areas of public education.
To earn this 0.25 microcredential you will collect and submit one evidence item demonstrating your effective and ongoing advocacy for public education. You will also complete a short written or video reflective analysis.
You will be charged $20 by the badge provider. You'll be charged at the point you submit your badge for final review.
This microcredential focuses on a licensed educator's efforts to communicate with policy makers or board members on a district or state level. This microcredential is about leading while advocating for needed change.
Teacher Leader : a licensed educator engaging in professional activism by using his/her voice to make a compelling argument
Advocacy : teacher-initiated support for a proposed policy, a recommendation of a new education policy, or an argument for needed a policy change
Policy Makers : district, state, or nationally elected leaders including legislators or members of congress
Board Members : locally elected district and state education board members
A K-6 teacher is frustrated with proposed changes in state board rule that would potentially limit resources for trauma-informed practice. The teacher feels the proposed changes will reduce even further the resources used to help students with emotional challenges. The teacher feels that this lack of support for elementary teachers and their students’ emotional wellness will contribute to the growing negative climate surrounding the teaching profession and may even add to rising attrition rates.
Hoping to help board members understand and appreciate the realities of the daily classroom experience and the need for greater support of student social emotional wellness, the teacher decides to reach out and share his/her story at a state board meeting. The teacher realizes that even a single educator’s voice may offer compelling evidence that will motivate board members to more carefully consider their actions when voting on proposed changes. While speaking to the board at a public comment session, the teacher shares anonymous student challenges and offers alternative solutions to the proposed changes as well as an offer to participate in a future collective brainstorming process.
Video: Submit a video of yourself speaking publicly to policy makers concerning proposed changes in education policy, board rule, or law. This speech should be taped at a public event such as a local or state board meeting, legislative committee, local town hall event hosted by legislators, or educational conference. While there is no set length of time for the speech, this should be longer than a comment; this should be a prepared speech with carefully chosen examples, arguments, and suggested solutions. When submitting this video, include a description of the scenario or context in which the video was filmed, e.g., the audience and the issue being addressed.
Other: Submit a copy of a letter or email written to a policy maker. This letter should demonstrate your understanding of the proposed local policy, state board rule, or state legislation. Included in the letter should be details of your own experience and why you agree or disagree with the proposed changes. Your letter should also offer compelling reasons why the proposed changes are or are not conducive to student learning, teacher effectiveness, or teacher attraction and retention. Finally, if you oppose the proposed policy, your letter should include suggested alternatives or solutions to the issue at hand. Include the name and contact of the policy maker to whom this message was sent.
Candidate's Choice: Submit another type of evidence demonstrating your effective and ongoing advocacy for public education.
Candidates are required to make 1 evidence submission(s).
Criterion 1: Evidence demonstrates that the educator is skilled in using appropriate word choice, respectful tone, and solutions-oriented thinking when speaking to board members and representatives in writing or in person.
Criterion 2: Evidence demonstrates the educator’s understanding of the educational issue involved in the proposed policy changes.
Criterion 3: Evidence demonstrates the educator goes beyond complaints and offers workable alternatives to proposed changes or solutions that will improve teaching and learning.
Describe how your experience speaking or writing to policy makers affected your perspective as a professional educator. In what ways do you have a deeper understanding of the issue? How has your experience advocating for teachers and students changed your view of public education or your appreciation for the policy making process?
How has this experienced improved your ability to articulate a message and propose solutions to those who are in the position to make changes or policy? What fears did you have or what was the greatest challenge you faced while preparing and delivering your message? How did you use your own unique qualifications as a teacher to speak to the issue?
How will you use this experience for future advocacy at your school, district, or on a state level? How will you relate this experience to your students?
Criterion 1: The reflective analysis demonstrates an understanding of the issue in question and a changed appreciation of the policy making process.
Criterion 2: The reflective analysis revealed the educator’s learning through the advocacy experience. Specifically, this analysis demonstrated the teacher’s ability to use personal experience as powerful evidence when communicating with policy makers.
Criterion 3: The reflective analysis indicates the educator can draw from personal experience when advocating for educational issues in the future.
Adventures in Teacher Leadership Find it on Amazon.com This book covers five key tools involved in teacher leadership: communication, collaboration, professional development, data, and advocacy. Pathways and strategies for successful leadership as well as pitfalls to avoid are also shared.
Every Teacher a Leader Find it on Amazon.com This book offers specific skills potential teacher leaders will need when working with colleagues, providing feedback, hosting professional development, resovling conflicts, etc.
The Cage-Busting Teacher Find it on Amazon.com This book offers specific ways teachers can lead outside of their own classrooms to influence education policy and classroom practice.