Once parents feel empowered to share their thoughts in a productive way and an IEP team knows that the parent wants to understand the process better to be an equal participant in the team, the job of the advocate is done.
It is about presence. It isn't just about Rotary or Kiwanis. It is also about church dinners and nonprofit fund raisers. It is business and police. It is clergy and senior citizens and parents and preschool providers. Is it too much to ask?
Authors Art Costa and Bena Kallick tell us, "When considering teacher quality, we are concerned about whether the teacher has the more enduring habits that will serve them well as they continue to learn, grow and respond positively to change."
We can't anticipate every storm and we may grow weary of trying. But, the ground of civil rights seems to be shaking and it merits watching.
If we can teach children that they have power, and help them develop a voice, then less of them will enter the world of adulthood seeing and believing that power over another is the sole path to feeling powerful.
Whether evaluating teachers or students, making what matters clear is essential. Even when a rubric or checklist attempts to make things well defined, communication and understanding can be elusive.
The traditional modes of teaching and learning are being disrupted form outside the schools walls and educators know that a richness for students will arrive when those walls become more permeable under teacher leadership.
If we want teachers to step away from being the information deliverers and empower students to become active and engaged learners, leaders must do so with their teachers.
Are you working in a place that values you and where you are really making the difference you want to make? If yes, be happy every day. If not, decide what you can change for the better or start the consideration of where you might need to go.
If the forever reality for oysters and for educators is that stress won't end, we surely need better ways to address it and sooner rather than later.