On each Friday of Literacy Advocacy Month, NCTE member Cathy Fleischer will guide readers through an exploration of Everyday Advocacy – a resource for educators who are looking for ways to make change.
Last week I suggested you begin your journey as an everyday advocate by thinking about this question: What do you wish others understood about literacy and literacy education? You’ve thought about it, maybe you’ve even talked to some of your teaching colleagues about it, and you probably have a good idea about your concern.
So, what do you do next? How do you move from that wish to taking some action?
Too often, we go for the quick fix: tweeting a legislator, going to a school board meeting, writing a letter, or posting an impassioned plea on social media. And while there is nothing wrong with these approaches, tactics like these tend to be one-time responses and not actions that are part of a bigger plan. Investing in these tactics usually makes us feel either really good (that we’ve done our part and now we’re done) or really bad (that we’ve done our part and it didn’t seem to make any difference).
What would happen if instead you tried a more sustained approach to making change? On the Everyday Advocacy website, you’ll see an Action Principles Toolkit that introduces you to 6 ideas that help you build that kind of plan. These aren’t rigid steps, but rather ways of thinking that help you move into the role of advocate.
Here’s a goal for this week: Read the sections on the first two principles (Building Awareness and Finding Allies) and try the “First Steps” built into each section. Check out this video for an overview of what you’ll encounter there:
You’ll be invited to think about proactive steps you might take to build a community of support as well as narrowing your wish about literacy into a solid issue. Then, try to imagine one proactive step you could take this month and share it here: