Just as being “in the room where it happens” is critical for teachers, this question from Hamilton is a big one. This presidential election is a solid reminder of the importance of telling your own story. The same story is so different depending on who is telling it. We need to be telling our stories and we need to be doing so thoughtfully.
Far too often stories about education are told by those removed from it. Some reporters manage to tell educational stories well after talking with teachers, students, and families. Of course, telling stories is their job.
At other times educational stories are told by people in think tanks, politicians, educational consultants, and administrators. Some of those people tell these stories well. Others less so. The stories they are telling, though, are ours. We need to raise our voices. We need to tell our stories. We, the teachers, more than anyone else in education, know what is happening in classrooms (in the room where it happens for our students). We are the ones with students every day. We are the ones working with families. We are navigating the challenging rivers of local, state, and federal education policy while manning a boat full of students.
Who tells your story? Tell it. Own it. Share your successes and your challenges and your questions. Talk about what is happening in your classroom and your school. Tell your story. But please, do so thoughtfully.
- discuss challenges without complaining
- share your love for and pride in your students
- encourage your students to raise their voices and tell their stories
- join forces with other educators to amplify your voices
- whine about education
- tell your students’ stories for them
- divulge private information