Teachers are #ReimaginingSchools: Be Part of the Movement

Teachers are #ReimaginingSchools: Be Part of the Movement

Teachers have stepped up to keep our country’s children learning during this challenging, frightening, uncertain time. Across the U.S., parents are realizing on a whole new level just what it means to teach children.

So, you would think, the government would be prioritizing the funding of our teachers and schools. Perhaps using this moment to pour resources towards education, knowing how complex the fall will be, knowing how much pressure teachers will experience while trying to help students catch up and rebound from an incredibly difficult time. 

You would think.

As usual, many school districts will be struggling to fund even their most basic programs. The slow chip-chip-chip of funding being lost continues, and there’s really nothing left to cut. Maybe our government thinks teachers should start writing their own textbooks? Maybe cooking lunch at home for their students and bringing it in? 

Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me much.

But there is hope to be found. Many educators believe this moment in our nation’s history could be a pivot point for change. As we have suffered, so we might rise.  

Emily Aierstok, a teacher in New York, has started a movement for #Reimaginingschools. She has invited teachers around the country to share their ideas for the future of education using an easy template, and tag their local representatives when they post their graphics to Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

Teachers are responding. Their professional voices are being added to a conversation that so often leaves them out. Find out what some of them are saying below, and then add your voice to the tidal wave for change. 

1. Reimagining schools with adequate funding

Caption Quote: “#ReimaginingSchools with adequate funding. Throughout this pandemic, schools have been recognized for our essential roles. Without schools, our economy becomes stagnant, parents cannot go to work, kids are sometimes left without meals, and education is disrupted. Schools are essential; our funding is essential, too. We live in one of the richest nations in the world, yet our schools struggle to maintain equity, programming, staff, and supplies. As we are #reimaginingschools after this pandemic, we are simultaneously facing massive budget cuts. Public schools need adequate funding now.”

2. Giving teachers a seat a the table

Caption Quote: “While I strongly support adequate student support and funding for schools, my #reimaginingschools is aimed towards teacher voice and respectability. We as teachers have had to step up in ways that were (and continue to be) emotionally and physically exhausting.

There was no protocol, there was no tutorial. WE were the tutorial.

After this pandemic, I hope schools pay more attention to teacher voice because we represent student voice! We belong at the table when making policy changes because we represent our students’ needs and livelihoods.”

3. Schools with less standardized testing and more authentic learning

Caption Quote: “ #reimaginingschools with less testing and more learning! Imagine what a school year would look like and feel like without the endless assessments and benchmarks. Imagine what it would be like if teachers were given the autonomy to teach rich and engaging lessons that included diverse literature and real-world skills without the pressures of testing. That’s the kind of educational system where I want to teach!”

4. Smaller class sizes

Also read: 10 Reasons Why Smaller Class Size Is So Important in Education

5. Reimagining schools with mental health for educators

Caption Quote: “When my friend Emily @readitwriteitlearnit reached out to be a part of her #reimaginingschools campaign I had so many ideas and dreams of just what a reimagined school could look like: equity, technology, open floor plans, bigger classrooms and smaller class sizes, adequate funding for everything, and the list goes on and on. But, one thing that I really want to reimagine? Mental health supports for educators. They’re missing in, I’d venture to say, most districts.” 

6. Schools with anti-racist trainings and curriculums

Caption Quote:#ReimaginingSchools with AntiRacist Trainings and Curriculums. (Or Curricula if you prefer)
If anything this pandemic has shown that equity does not exist throughout our school systems. It’s time that we take an active role to establish equitable practices, curriculums, and trainings in all school districts.”

7. Trusted teachers

Caption Quote: “Imagine schools with trusted teachers. Schools empowering teachers to do what’s best for the kids they know so well. Schools asking teachers to be creative and supporting them to get the materials they need and design the spaces that are best for their kids. Imagine a new era of trusted teachers, with no more testing and no more budget cuts.
Just imagine the power and beauty of it. The classroom libraries. The community projects. The kids growing as writers and communicators. The feeling of being trusted and empowered to do your job.
It’s time to make good changes.” 

8. Intentional mental health support for ALL

Caption Quote: “ #ReimaginingSchools with intentional mental health support for ALL is ESSENTIAL. Throughout this pandemic, schools have been recognized for our essential roles. Without schools, our economy becomes stagnant, parents cannot go to work, kids are sometimes left without meals, and education is disrupted. Schools are essential; our funding is essential, too.”

9. Schools with more not less

Caption Quote:  “#ReimaginingSchools with MORE not LESS. Our schools and communities need to stop surviving and start thriving.”

10. Adequate fundings for the arts

Caption Quote: “I’m #ReimaginingSchools with adequate funding for the arts- a right that EVERY child deserves to have.

The smile in this picture represents the pure joy that music and the arts can bring to our students and community on a daily basis. 

We CANNOT let it be stripped away from our schools. The arts are a fundamental part to a well-rounded education in providing students with a creative outlet that challenges, engages, and advances them as compassionate, community-driven human beings and citizens. The list could go on.”

11. Classroom libraries that provide students with windows and mirrors

Caption Quote: “#ReimaginingSchools with classroom libraries that provide students with windows and mirrors. Books that students can see themselves on the pages. Books that allow them forever so briefly into the world and lives not like those. What if?”

12. Reimagining schools with the ability to keep great teachers

Caption Quote: “#ReimaginingSchools with the ability to keep great teachers ? We’re seeing teachers who stepped up and provided amazing instruction during a global crisis losing their jobs because of the budget cuts schools are now facing as a result of lost tax revenue.”

13. Schools with teachers who can work just one job

Caption Quote: “I am #reimaginingschools with teachers who get the privilege of working just one job. Our most important job. This job. I imagine teachers who earn salaries that reflect their level of experience and education. I #reimagineschools with the funding to provide this.”

Are you ready to add your voice to this tidal wave for change? Head to @readitwriteitlearnit on Instagram and grab your own blank graphic. 

Also Check Out:

Teachers are #ReimaginingSchools: Be Part of the Movement

This article was written by Betsy Potash, an education blogger with a focus on the creative ELA classroom. Follow her on Instagram.

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