As an Emerging Leader, how do you hope to have a greater effect on education for your community and beyond?

The greatest effect I can have for my community is through continuous advocacy for education. As educators, we must raise our voices, be knowledgeable and fully aware of the impacts of legislative policies that either further support or work to destroy the foundations of public education. To me, advocacy means being proactive in a political climate that, too often, ignores the voices of educators. However, the educator is the voice of EVERY student and EVERY community. Through life-long learning and seeking out my own unofficial mentors, I continue to learn about the political process and as an educator, how I can be an integral part of the conversation that directly affects our students.

Lately, I’ve learned more on what it means to be a “teacherpreneur”. Empowering educators through “teacherpreneurial” practices will have enormously positive effects for our students, schools, and communities. It does mean more effort on the part of the educator, but at its core, it is advocacy through  relationship-building. Effective educators understand the importance of relationship-building among their students and communities they serve; why not extend this practice to those politicians who have little (or no) understanding of the complexities of being an educator? This may seem to be a daunting task to some educators since we all know the additional “off-work time” hours and energy we endure for the sake of our students, but with collaboration among educators and using technology efficiently as a tool for the dialogue, the work involved to help establish and maintain meaningful and supportive relationships with our lawmakers is possible and in this current political atmosphere, it is necessary work. Will there still be lawmakers who will decline our repeated invites to engage in our conversations to support education? Of course; we are witnessing this nationwide. 

However, if we encourage our students to “try and try again” when a task is challenging, shouldn’t we as educators also rise to this challenge and practice what we preach to our students? Absolutely. 

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