Tag Archives: Advocacy

#DigiLitSunday: Advocacy


advocacy

Margaret Simon’s tweet announcing this week’s #DigiLitSunday topic was intriguing.  I had seen the link to Cornelius Minor’s new podcast.  Thanks to my Voxer group I also know that it is part of a series of podcasts.  I also know that  Cornelius is a powerful advocate for students and is not afraid to take on difficult topics.  But yet, I’ve not had time to actually dig into advocacy.

In order to begin this post, I had to back up and make sure that I clearly understood what advocacy is so I went to the dictionary and this is what I found.

advocacy defwebsters

So what’s the big idea about advocacy?  Everyone has rights.  If you don’t believe you have been treated fairly, you always have the right to ask about ways to remedy the situation.  Advocacy is important because it is a way for you to access what you are entitled to and have your individual rights upheld.

SO what?

Sometimes in the process of advocating for an issue unintended consequences emerge.  Sometimes it’s in the tone of voice or even a calmly stated, “Now why would you think that?”  A belief that a caring individual would diminish another person’s thoughts or ideas is unfathomable to many, “You must have misunderstood.” Communication is hard.  Precise communication is even harder because it takes time to clearly address issues.

In education, I see two basic advocacy issues that emerge in the world of advocacy.  Teachers as advocates for students.  And the actual teaching so that students can be their own advocates . . .  so they can be advocates for themselves for the rest of their lives.

Teachers as Advocates

What does this mean?  What does this look like?

Empowering students

Providing just what students need . . .

advice

encouragement

a listening ear

Believing that answers lie within the students.

What does this look like in a classroom?

Students have voice and choice in what they read, write, and learn about.  Students have the opportunity to discuss and disagree about what a text (book, story, painting, song, etc.) says and what the deeper meaning really is.  Students can choose to dig into an idea and really STUDY the facets that emerge.

Students do not have arbitrarily 10 page papers assigned.  Students do not have to read whole class books at the same time as everyone else in their class. Students do not have to use “one set format” to respond to the text.

Teachers, who are advocates, make decisions based on the needs of their students. Teachers, who are advocates, see things from a student’s perspective.  Teachers, who are advocates, take a stand for their students.  Teachers, who are advocates, create a positive environment for all the students in the classroom.  Teachers, who are advocates, really take the time to listen to their students.  Teachers, who are advocates, are role models for their students.

What about self-advocacy?

Teachers and supportive classrooms will provide opportunities for students to develop their voices.  Student voices will rise above the clamor.  They will not be silenced.  They will not be shamed. They will be supported as they grow and learn.

Skills:

  • How to disagree without being disagreeable
  • How to consider any action from more than one point of view
  • How to develop one’s own sense of identity
  • How to create checkpoints to maintain a course of action
  • How to develop personal goals including action plans
  • How to develop criteria to evaluate one’s progress in meeting goals
  • How to share learning
  • How to communicate with others
  • How to listen
  • How to play fair
  • How to clean up your own mess
  • How to say you’re sorry when you hurt somebody
  • How to ask for help
  • How to be kind

What are you thinking when you hear the word “advocacy”?

What does it mean for teachers?

 What does it mean for students?

Advertisements

#DigiLitSunday: Gratitude for #NCTE16 Learning


digilit-button

Margaret Simon at Reflections on the Teche encouraged us to blog about “Gratitude” this week.  Read more links here.

.gratitude

My gratitude is for all those who attended (in person or at a distance) #NCTE16 and shared their reflections.  Here are my favorite quotes from our conference days. (Note they are NOT numbered so that I can include those that are “sticking with me” without stressing over the ones that have to be left out!)

  • “Courage is more exhilarating than fear–and in the long run it is easier.” ~Eleanor Roosevelt via Tom Newkirk
  • “We do not teach for mastery.  We teach for revolution.”  – Cornelius Minor
  • “Classrooms have to be spaces of light. That’s our revolution. What you do on Monday at 8:30 is gonna change the world.” Ernest Morrell  
  • Successful readers revise their thinking, and there is a huge chasm between those kids and the kids who grab a thought and then just hold on to it.  – Ellin Keene
  • “You probably don’t know adults’ DRA, you don’t know what level book they are reading. You might not even know what their community values. We acknowledge their habits and behaviors.” – Matt Glover
  • “Exploration, risk, and failure are essential components in a writer’s growth. Exploration and risk will not occur if everything is graded.” – Kelly Gallagher
  • “When we give students multiple choice tests, you get multiple choice test thinkers for an essay world.” – Kelly Gallagher

 

from-julieanne

And from sessions that I did not attend personally but could still learn from due to generous Twitter and blog authors:

  • “End every day with JOY no matter how the rest of the day may have gone.”  – Franki Sibberson
  • “It’s not what I do that matters, it’s what I do in relation to what my students need that makes a difference.” – Chris Tovani
  • “DO NOT USE THE TERM THOSE KIDS. Every kid that walks into the classroom needs an opportunity. They all need you.” – Sharon Draper
  • “All of life is material for writing. I rewrite the past as I wish I’d done.” – Tim Federle
  • “When you don’t know the language, you don’t realize how important it is to have language.” -Shana Frazin
  • “If you don’t struggle in front of students, they think you have a writing gene they don’t.” – Kelly Boswell
  • “When I’m not writing I notice a huge difference in my teaching. I need to be writing.” – Beth Moore
  • “Help kids revalue themselves as readers by explicitly showing them the complex work they are already doing.” – Dorothy Barnhouse
  • “The Just Right Book is the book that meets the head and the heart.”- Penny Kittle
  • ““If I gave a child a topic, I would find out what they know about the topic, NOT what they know about INFORMATION writing.” – Mary Ehrenworth
  • “We must not judge a child’s story by the chapter of his/her life that we walk into.” – Kristin Ziemke
  • “We have an obligation to tell and share stories. And we must make all kids visible in our learning communities.” – Sara Ahmed

What were your favorite quotes? What continues to linger in your mind?

Thanks to all who tweeted and / or blogged about #NCTE16!  Amazing Learning!

thank you languages

Doing The Work That Matters

a journey of growing readers & writers

Present Perfect

adventures in multiple tenses

Leadership Connection

from Great Prairie AEA

The Blue Heron (Then Sings My Soul)

The oft bemused (or quite simply amused) musings of Krista Marx -- a self-professed HOPE pursuing Pollyanna

Middle English

Life as an English teacher leader

steps in the literacy journey

Walking the Path to Literacy Together

arjeha

Smile! You’re at the best WordPress.com site ever

Resource - Full

Sharing Ideas, Strategies and Tools

Joel Pedersen

be that #oneperson

adventuresinstaffdevelopment

All Things Literacy! Brianna Parlitsis

TWO WRITING TEACHERS

A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

elsie tries writing

"The problem with people is they forget that that most of the time it's the small things that count." (Said by Finch in All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. These are my small things that count.

I Haven't Learned That Yet

This blog serves to document my path of learning and teaching.

Simply Inspired Teaching

A blog by Kari Yates

Reflections on Leadership and Learning

Sharing my learning experiences

AnnaGCockerille Literacy

The Generative Power of Language: Building Literacy Skills One Word at a Time

Reading to the Core

Just another WordPress.com site

Karen Gluskin

My Teaching Experiences and Qualifications

To Read To Write To Be

Thoughts on learning and teaching

Books and Bytes

Exploring the best of literature and edtech for the middle grades.

To Make a Prairie

A blog about reading, writing, teaching and the joys of a literate life

Raising Voices

Thoughts on Teaching, Learning, and Leading