Advocating for Educators


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Standing on the steps of the US Supreme Court, you can look out and see the Capital. The marble and columns are massive and impressive. Knowing the decisions that have shaped our country were made between these two buildings, makes me humble and hungry.

Tom and I had the opportunity to drive up early to Washington DC to advocate with our Legislators. We had to attend a conference related to the TIF 5 Grant and decided to leave Greenville at 0600 to miss the traffic. We were able to meet with some really sharp staffers, those people who are the key to the legislators. Those are the folks that read everything and are trusted by their legislators.

Advocating for educators is not always a battle to be won. It’s a process of communication. It is an opportunity to inform and inspire. To connect with key people and make sure they at least remember the stories of our teachers and of our program. It’s a chance to connect with great humans, who want to do great things for our country, no matter if they are of the same party or hold the same beliefs that you do.

I learned from my father that legislators are human beings. They are real people and that has impacted how I choose to advocate. My dad was elected to the NC House in 1987-88. I realized that he’s my dad and not a politician. That shaped how I communicate with our legislators – my dad responded to a well informed, heart-felt story delivered eyeball to eyeball with a human.

It’s our stories that they remember. Stories explain your WHY. Stories are remembered. Facts are important, data is important. And still without a story, it’s easy to dismiss those facts that may not align to our belief systems. The way to have our facts heard is to make sure the stories we tell open doors and minds.

So what stories do you think need to be heard? How might you communicate with our legislators as human beings instead of elected officials?

How will you advocate for what you believe?

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