In the United States we believe all students have a right to a quality education. However, this isn’t always carried out for multiple reasons. This doesn’t mean any child is less qualified for a quality education. Just sometimes a quality education isn’t always available.
I teach in a very diverse school. In one of my classes, I have students whose parent are from Gambia, Senegal, Mexico, Canada, Paris, Egypt, Philippines, Zimbabwe, Indonesia, and London. I have students that belong to the LGTBQ2 world and come from a variety of family make-ups (parents, siblings, grandparents, and/or guardians). Each of these students deserve the best education I can provide. It is my job to advocate for all my students when the need arises. But how do you advocate for all students when each student is unique and has a different need?
Here are simple ways to advocate for all your students:
~Listen to them. Students want to be acknowledged. They want to be heard without judgment. They want to be validated in their opinions and thoughts just as adults do.
~Teach them to self-advocate for themselves. All students mimic what they see. When adults advocate for them, they begin to see what advocating for themselves is. Sometimes, students need a trusted adult by their side while they advocate for themselves. Be that trusted adult.
~Be persistent with the students. The act of persisting tells the child you care. It create a rapport with the child. Sometimes a child has many adults in their life that are not persistent or consistent. Be that one adult that is.
~Create a safe place. A safe place is a place that a student can share things with and don’t feel like they will ridiculed or judged. They can say what is really on their mind and get a fair response. I have found many of my students do understand what fairness is when it comes to them. When a student says something and you dismiss it or don’t acknowledge it, you are creating an unsafe place. Students, just as adults, may share things just to get them off their chest. Be the trusted adult.
~Be the positive role model all students deserve. So many students see the negative role models on television and in life. They need and crave for a positive role model. Students mimic what they see.
Advocating can be difficult. It can be hard to advocate for a child with a colleague. But sometimes advocating for the student is the action the student needs to have their faith in humanity restore.
I enjoy hiking in the summer and traveling around the state with my 3 children and husband.