Occupy education is not an attempt to Co-opt the Occupy Wall St movement. It is a part of it. I personally moderate both the Cooperative Catalyst and Occupy Education tumblr pages along with my own blog Adventures in Learning.
Please visit Cooperative Catalyst to read the blog posts that inspired the movement.
We think to transform education, we need teachers, parents and students to reclaim their voice and to start to make change today. It is a call to action by asking teachers, students, and parent to highlight what they are doing to make that change.
The hope is to create a counter-narrative that helps teachers, parents and students feel more powerful in making the change needed.
Any concerns, questions, or for more information, please feel free to ask.
We believe positive change is possible! Join us in Occupying Education!
Education transformation is a family affair!
As an Early Childhood Educator and a parent, I Occupy Early Childhood Education by teaching my own 4 turning 5-year-old son not only reading, writing, math, drawing, music, etc, but most importantly about the realities of our world: the bad guys (1%) who steal money and crucial life resources from us (99%), and how we, including him, should sufficiently and effectively prepare to fight the bad guys, stop them, if not turn them into good guys NOT ALONE like most underpants heroes but by joining like-minded peoples, like the 99% Movement to believe and dare to get back what rightfully belong to us, and make this world a much better place for us, the MAJORITY! (Please look closely at the drawing my son JC made. I supplied the texts. This is how the conversation continued: Me: We will fight the Bad Guys with our Words and Music, JC. He replied: But if they don’t listen, we will fight them like this - Karate Kid, Warrior pose. Hyaahhh!!! Taken at Occupy New Haven, CT on Oct. 16.
I hope more parents join us! Many parents homeschool as a way to protest the many ways the system of education works against teachers and students. I know many homeschool parents who have fought for years to help make public education a place for meaningful education for all. I can’t blame homeschool parents from removing their students from school if they think it is best for their children. I also believe that most would choose quality, meaningful, engaging and just, public education over homeschooling. The truth is much in our system of education today discourages quality, meaningful, engaging and just public education. Many teachers and parents know what we need to do to change education, yet they get no support to do what they know is better. To change education we need to encourage more of the 99% to stand up and say we think quality education is more than a line on a budget sheet, it is a human right and one worth fighting for!
Mother of five.
I want a system that cares about my child as an individual, not just a percentile ranking. I want teachers to enrich, inspire, and engage them in education outside the textbooks. I want my children to become well educated free thinkers.
Therefore, I homeschool.
I OCCUPY EDUCATION.
OCCUPY EDUCATION - Tell us how you OCCUPY EDU
Tell us how you OCCUPY EDU
Please share with us your stories of powerful learning in community.
Take a picture of yourself holding a sign that highlights a few ways you are transforming education and/or share the countless, unique ways you challenge the status quo in public education.
If you are a student, tell us what helps you learn best. Tell us what would make learning more meaningful for you.
If you are a parent, tell us what kind of learning environment you want for your children. Tell us what schools should be focusing on.
Below that, write “I occupy education.” or “I occupy my classroom”
If you don’t show your whole face, please show at least part of it.
Please have your note be hand written.
Please do your best to be concise.
Reclaim your voice in education transformation.
Please share your stories! Lets start transforming education! We are 99% include teachers and students! We can reclaim OUR VOICE in Education!
(via #occupyedu: challenge schools to change « Cooperative Catalyst)
A simple truth lurks behind our schools: we built them to keep our kids apart.
But we can do better.
Join #occupyedu to share the countless, unique ways you challenge the status quo in public education.
Children, parents, educators, community members – all are invited. We cannot re-imagine or recapture schools without the stakeholders they serve.
Every child deserves a personally meaningful education and a community of learning that includes, involves, and inspires her.
#occupyedu isn’t about standardizing our schools. It’s about creating a new public education system that recognizes and values a broader definition of learning than that accounted for by tests. It’s about recognizing and valuing a broader community of children than those who benefit from the tests. It’s about fostering sustainable communities of learners and problem-solvers that include all children in personally meaningful work of lasting worth and joy to themselves and our society.
While local solutions best fit local needs in our schools, the broad goal of #occupyedu is to influence federal and state educational policy so that meaningful work of lasting value stands in place of high test scores in assessing, promoting, and graduating our students.
Join us in pursuing this goal where you live, teach, and learn.
Please share with us your stories of powerful learning in community. Please also consider submitting a picture of yourself and/or your message for public education. You can also add your pictures to our flickr pool.
Teachers, invite your colleagues and administrators to join you in occupying education. Parents, please invite your children and their teachers.
We’ve been promised relief that is not relief. It is up to us to promise our children something better in schools.
readin & fightin: adventuresinlearning: Just a question, I wonder what would happen if...
I love this response to my original post!
via Readin & fightin:
For real! Especially on the side of the teachers not asking the parents what’s going on. I feel like my school tries to understand the students at least a little more than many other schools, but the demographic of the majority of our teachers is so different from the demographics of the majority of our parents, that there is still a huge disconnect. So we put a lot of resources into making sure our kids keep up (which is the main part of my job), but I still hear things sometimes about how their parents aren’t involved and what a problem it is, and that the parents are to blame for it.
And I don’t know how often anyone has asked why, why they’re not involved, who has the time and energy to be as involved as the school would like. When I hear staff blaming parents for not being more involved, I don’t trust that they actually know what the parent’s job is, how much they work, how far along they got in school themselves, and what other resources they might need. We ask all that a little bit, but definitely not enough to be placing blame.
Life with Boys: From a TEacher
I see your points and agree with many of them, on the other hand, do you know what it is like for a parent to ask a teacher for advice and get no response? Or even worse, be asked to clarify who their child even is-even though you give child’s name and what block they have the teacher in? Do you know, as a parent, what it is like to set up a meeting with a teacher, to try and come to some resolution, or get some answers only to be told that basically your child is a screw up and they are just biding time until they can get rid of them? Do you know what it is like to walk by a classroom and see a teacher sleeping and kids just doing busy work?
Part of these problems are systematic of our education system. Our system rewards and encourages busy work, and suck innovation right out of teachers. I will not apologize or defend teachers who sleep or care less, but I also can’t blame them.
Teachers are attacked on a daily basis. Many are given a new top down reform change yearly with little input from them or even taking into account their students or their knowledge of those students. Little have autonomy to teach the way they know is best. They are given huge class loads, told to cover an insane amount of content, and have their pay and time cut every year. The teachers who raise above this, are awesome; the ones that fight it often get fired or moved; and even more just give up.
Think about it in terms of parenting, or your job…
So I encourage you to think more holistically about why some teachers suck, and if they are just truly “horrible” people (my words not yours) then lets work on helping them leave the profession. However I don’t truly think there are more then one or two teacher in each school like this… or at least that was my experience.
-adventures in learning
Just a question, I wonder what would happen if we approached every teacher or parent as if they did care. Then without judgement, ask them what they are dealing with everyday.
parents could ask the teacher, how the system stops them from teaching how they wish they could.
and the teacher can ask the parent how life, work, etc stops them from helping at home the way they wish they could.
Then both can ask what they think you could do to help.
For me teachers who lack passion, would probably have no answer for you, but they also might be awakened from their zombie state… No one, goes into teaching because it is just a job, or they don’t care….this only happens after years of being beaten down, or being tired of fighting or lack of time for reflection, growth and development.
I think we need to be willing to be reflective both as teachers and parents to what is on the other person’s plate before we judge.
This might not fixed everything, but it will be a start and will be better off for it,
-adventures in learning
Mystified Mom: Ron Clark: My View Plus Others
I recommend heading over to The Mystified Mom, and reading her nuance response to the Ron Clark and others. I think the over-generalization that occurred in Ron Clark’s piece and others, is not helpful. I think we need to continue to talk about what works and what we want, and seek partnerships with Parents, students and Teachers. She also shared a number of other posts….
The following links are to other people’s responses along with a short snippet to give you an idea of what the response is. I thought it would be good to compile the different opinions. Each writer that I have linked to below has valid points and valid ideas. Even if I don’t agree with each and every opinion, it is worth considering them to get a broader perspective of the views involved.
What Parents Really Want to Tell Teachers at the KCH Blog. I like this because it is written by a parent that has participated in PTA and supported schools. I think this pieces is one of the better pieces out there because it does not blame teachers but acknowledges the work that they do and expresses a sadness about not being able to help more.
What Caring Teachers Want to Tell Parents by Michelle Baldwin at Avenue4Learning. I have to say that this is another one of my favorites with regard to responses. I really like that she is an educator and parent and seems to understand that parents and teachers need to work together. I also like that she points out the arrogance that comes through in Ron Clark’s article. The best analogy is how it takes the doctor and the patient to figure things out. The doctor alone isn’t going to accomplish much even with all of that expertise.
What Parents Really Want to Tell Teachers: What You Do Hurts Our Children written by Laurie Couture. Posted at the blog of the Innovative Educator. Originally appeared on Laurie Couture’s blog. This pieces exposes a lot of the problems in schools but it does it in a way that is inflammatory. I am not going to argue about whether or not schools do these things to kids but I will argue that blaming the teacher is not going to do an ounce of good. All it is going to do is piss people off!
What I Really Want to Tell Parents and Teachers written by Josh Stumpenhorst over at the Stump the Teacher Blog. I really like this post because it points out that the derisiveness created by Ron Clark and Laurie Couture are not solving anything. Both points of view are about blaming and making sweeping statements. Parents and teachers need to be working together rather than against each other. This was written by a parent and a teacher.
For the Love of Learning: My Response to Ron Clark written by Joe Bower at the For the Love of Learning blog. I like this one too because it is written by an actual teacher. I like the questions that he poses about how much say a teacher should have over what a child does when away from school. That is a huge question for me.
A Letter to Ron Clark: What Parents Really Want to Tell Teachers written by Doug Goldberg on the Special Education Advisor web site. I think of all the responses this one is my favorite. I like it because it provides alternate information without the blaming and shaming. It also shows another side of Ron Clark that is not shown in many other places. I hadn’t heard of his Essential 55 rules until reading this post.
Responding to Ron Clark: What Teachers Really Want to Say to Parents by Whitney Hoffman on the Reading Whitney blog. This piece backs up what Mr. Clark is saying and gives parents some pointers on how to help out the teachers and their children. I am not sure that I agree with everything that she says but it is another view point that backs up the idea that parents need to step up.
Parents Take Issue With ‘Advice’ of Super Teacher Ron Clark by Christiel Gota posted on the Innovative Educator’s blog. This isn’t a bad piece but it speaks out against Mr. Clark. The one thing about this article is that it gives me pause because it is written by somebody that is unschooling. It is really easy to be critical of a system when you are in a position to pretend the system doesn’t exist. I would say that the average family is not in a position to question things at that level. Most families are in a position where they have to send their kids to school.
What Teachers Really Want to tell Parents: CNN Article written by Nick James on Trying Teaching. This is from another teacher that agrees with Ron.
Teachers Vs. Parents: Round Two on CNN by Linda Petty. This is a synthesis of the various responses since the article stirred up such a storm of opinions.