Outspoken is NOT Being Political!

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#Armmewith... is the current movement for teachers on Instagram.  About a month ago, it was "Trump is a Racist!"  Social Media is abuzz with these things, teachers who feel that and post that they are being "POLITICAL."  I'm afraid, yet required by my understandings and personal experiences, that these posts, unless tied to some of the activity below, are all but an example of being OUTSPOKEN.  It may make people leave or follow you on Social Media, but that is all.  You may reach 10,000+ on your Insights, but for what good!  It is in no way being political.  In essence, you are speaking to the choir! You have reached 10,000+ teachers who feel the same way you do!  You have NOT reached anyone who makes a difference!   So, let's examine what truly being political means.

1.  Write your representatives.  

If you are just posting on Social Media, you are doing nothing.  You are white noise.  I do tag my representatives in my posts, but I know I am white noise when I am only posting on Social Media.  You have to take your fight to email or to actual letter writing.  Here's why-That's all they look at!  I'm sure their pages and other workers check these and tally materials for or against.  I'm pretty sure they don't spend much time on Social Media.  It is almost like it's a dead zone for them.
Here's the power of writing:  When Florida first decided to look at VAM, one of our attempts to stop it included a letter writing campaign.  All we did was sent a REAL letter to the Governor's office-with a simple piece of paper in it that said VETO!  They had to open every single one of those letters.  Needless to say, it was vetoed. Sadly, that Governor was not reelected, with this veto being one of the main reasons he was out!  There is power in the written word!

2.  Call!  

Pick that phone up and have your voice heard!  This is another way elected official "hear" you.  Their pages and other workers must tally the calls and provide the information to the representative.  It may not work, but it is much more effective, in general, than using Social Media.


3. Join a Movement in PERSON!  

I have stood on the side of the road, with signs, in front of a representative's office with countless other teachers and their children.  My son has held a sign!  It sent a message to that representative.  I have yet to head to the State capital, but with the next offering, I will go.  Look at what the students from Parkland did.  They raised their own political uprising!  We need to be inspired by them and join a movement!  To BE the movement!

4.  Stand STRONG at your worksite!  

I am just learning this.  For years I took the backseat.  Now there is so much more at risk!  Our students need us.  If you see something unsafe, speak out.  Without teachers standing together, Administration will continue to get away with things that hurt students and teachers.  There are times that they are just as much of a problem as the legislators.


5. Join Your Union!  

Don't let part of your district's teachers stand! You need to stand with them.  Right now in Florida we are trying to stand together to get our legislators to understand that our Unions are still our voice. They are trying to dismantle us, to destroy our voices.  Florida is the breeding ground for all educational insanity. If it comes our way, it will come your way!  Don't let it!  Be a voice in your local union!


6.  Understand How this Whole Thing Works!

That's right!  If you are throwing around "Trump is a Racist" and you are complaining about that, it means nothing to education. FOR REAL!  The Federal Government has little to no say about what is going on in your state when it comes to schools.  Florida is, again, the perfect picture of this.  It's not the President, nor has it EVER been the President, who decides what goes on in education in your state.  Education is a STATE RIGHT!  It is funded by your STATE taxes.  It may be impacted by things at the Federal level, but it is not regulated by them.  It is all your local representatives that are doing this to your school, your students.  That's why it is KEY that you write, call, etc. at the STATE level!  Many teachers are unaware of this and have no idea that things aren't the same in every state!  Many people are unaware that if you move to Florida it is now ILLEGAL to have tenure.  Only those of us with tenure from the past are grandfathered in!  Know what is going on in your state by-surprise-joining your UNION! (See #5!)


What I'm Not Saying

What I'm not saying is not to post on Social Media.  The irony is, this is where they may just rise up and begin to take notice.  It is where they are the weakest.  It is where they cannot control the masses.  But we need to get smart.  WE NEED TO:

1.  TAG Your Representatives. 

Get their names on there. Make them pay attention to the white noise!  We can make it bold, colorful, and attention grabbing!  

2.  Not give up!  

We need to make this effort an all out Social Media explosion of continued pressure!  One post isn't going to cut it!  #Armmewith needs to be an ongoing effort!  Past this week, past funerals of students and teachers.  It needs to be ongoing!


3. Parents and students NEED to join us!  

If we want real change, we NEED them!  We need their voices, their letters, their presence and their pressure! I am so inspired by those high schoolers that got in cars and went to Tallahassee!

4.  STOP BEING AFRAID!

I'm tired of being afraid!  I'm tired of thinking that if I speak out something bad is going to happen!  IT IS HAPPENING!  The biggest thing they need to see is that teachers are finished will all of this nonsense!  When we stop being afraid to raise our voices, and we raise them as one, we will be heard!

On February 16, 1968 this political action of teachers rising up and joining together came to life!  40% of teachers in Florida on this fateful day didn't walk into their classrooms, they didn't teach.  Instead, they resigned!    Governor Claude Kirk had no choice-he had to act!  Maybe, 50 years later, a similar movement needs to take place!  So, in the spirit of the current movement, I say, #ARMMEWITH...Teachers that stand up, speak up, write up, join up, and become the very thing we are calling for-THE FORCE TO INSIGHT CHANGE!  It is working!  But we have to keep the movement going until it happens!  #BeTheChange!

(Since writing this post, I've gotten local teachers to work together to use this movement to target our specific representatives.  I've gotten all of the local @ and # so that there was little work for them.  I've asked parents to join. I created premade signs and sent out a PowerPoint for others to make their own! I'm excited to see what we can do, together!)



I'd love to hear what you have to say!  Drop me a comment below!  You can also check me out on my blog, where you can see some of my written efforts to bring forth change!

Julie:)


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by Julie from The Best Days

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1 comments

  1. Beautifully said, Julie! Thank you for continuing the conversation. These recent events in Parkland will hopefully bring about change.

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