Teacher voice is the collective and individual expression of meaningful, professional opinion based on classroom experience and expertise.
What developed shortly thereafter were a plethora of discussions of what that looks like, and how we employ that in different settings. I came to realize a few things:
- People aren’t always ready to change the paradigm to make decisions more democratically.
- Teachers don’t always have the time or energy besides doing the best job possible in the classroom.
- The education debate as a whole hasn’t evolved from just picking one side and one group of people to side with.
These points make for a lack of teachers activating their voices. For those of us who do this selflessly (sans incentives, rewards, titles, and permission), it often feels like punching a wall with your bare knuckles, or breaking down a cement building with an ice pick. On one end, you have a well-versed, well-funded machine that has a set of coherent talking points on one end, and a passionate and divergent cluster of people on the other end.
Here’s a few things we can do to build up our voices individually and collectively:
- Educators can change the narrative by pushing for our stories to come to the fore with the right research and best practices to back them up.
- Educators can support each other (within reason) as often as possible, linking articles, blogs, and tweets of people they like and …
- Educators can highlight the things education deformers a lot less.
Coming up with solutions ourselves, finding the right people willing to push those ideas, and building alliances takes a lot of hard work, but, as we deconstruct others’ arguments, we can build together. How do we get all those people to our table?