This is the continuation of the Series about my Teaching Manifesto.
I promise that I will be an advocate for my students. I will speak for them when others talk negatively about them. I will stand up for them when I feel like they need a helping hand. I will offer assistance to other teachers who have my students to help them meet their needs when they are in the regular classroom.
It is nice to know you have someone on your side when you need someone to help. I take a serious stance on advocacy. There are times I have gone to team meetings to help my students, or to help teachers to understand why some students are behaving a certain way, or to help with enriching projects.
One aspect of education that teachers sometimes do is when a gifted student get done with their work they just pile on more work. The problem they are bored, and sometimes they revolt because they find the extra work as unfair. Which is where I will step in and be an advocate for them. Most of the time the answer to a misbehaving gifted student isn’t more work, its better quality of enrichment work.
Another aspect of advocacy that I believe is important is education of regular ed teachers of gifted issues. I try to email staff members here at my school important information on what gifted education is or some issues that are related to gifted education. Sometimes I will tweet a website or put something on Facebook that I found about gifted education to help teachers better get a grasp on gifted education. I feel the best part of advocacy is being preventive. The more information regular education teachers know, the better they can understand gifted students.
The best part of being an advocate for a student, which most teachers are, is the fact that students get to see they are valued. They have someone looking out for their best interests. They will want to succeed, because they know you want them to succeed. Instilling that value to your students can last a lifetime. Our school district had a Superintendent who used to say, “you never know the moment you will impact the life of a child.” I believe that is right. When you impact the life of a child, you change that life forever. You may have changed their stars for the better.
There is nothing better than seeing the students you have succeed. Changing students lives for the better.