Kelsey Robertson was a student in my Enhancing Youth Literacy course and is a future educator. Read her post about how to be active in fighting educational inequity in big and small ways.
Before class, I was aware of the inequity in the educational system but unaware how pronounced it has become in Portland. As a future educator it is important not only to be aware of the inequities but to actively fight against them. In our class I learned that being active on the local level is just as important as on the higher levels, so I want to focus my work within my neighborhood and Portland. This action plan are my beginning steps to becoming an advocate for my students.
- Share sources of information with others – When I was a guest blogger on the Education Action Network, I posted a link to the post on my Facebook page. Within a day, many of my friends told me how they were astounded to read about what I wrote and had never thought about it before. People have always said that social media is an effective tool to spread the word, and after seeing the response to my little blog post I want to continue to post links to news stories, blogs, and organizations doing interesting work. A subset of this goal is that I want to inspire friends and family to volunteer. Through my final project (creating a directory of places to volunteer for my UB students), I realized how many opportunities are out there. No matter your interests, there is a place for you to donate your time.
- Stop multitasking – Multitasking is a bad habit of mine. On top of being a full time student, I have a job and volunteer regularly with 3 organizations! This makes scheduling difficult and can wear me down really easily. In addition to getting more sleep, I need to lighten my load and prioritize more. There are so many things that I want to do, but so little time in the day to do it. One of the biggest problems is that with the classes and job that I have now, I’m not using my skills to the best of their ability. I’m fluent in Spanish but never use it anymore. My job is an office job to get me through school, but is in no way related to what I want to be doing. My ultimate goal within a year is to get a new job. I want a job that allows me to work with/on behalf of youth, use my Spanish, and ideally it would be related to education or youth advocacy.
- Become informed on the policy level – As a future educator, I should be informed on policies locally and nationally. In the past I have been overwhelmed by the sheer amount of bills in legislature that would affect educational policy, so I’m going to try and follow another step in the challenge and become an expert on something small. Instead of trying to understand everything, I will study 1 or 2 of the bills in depth and understand them really well. Within 3 months I would like to familiarize myself more with the process a bill undergoes before it is passed. At 6 months I would like to have an understanding of 3 of the bills going into the next legislative session, and after a year I would like to have a working knowledge of most of the education related bills.
To stay on track with these goals, I will print them out and put them somewhere visible on my desk. I will also write reminders in my day planner. I would love email check ins, and my plan is available to be posted on PDXEAN.