How I became an Education Activist

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By Cheryl Coleman

Having children sparks something inside of you that you never knew existed. It’s a feeling of protection by any means necessary. Because of the love you have for your child, you develop a prowess on how to be the loudest voice when you’re fighting for your child; the longest standing when you are standing up for your child; and, the most informed when you are demanding change for your child. In other words…you become an activist.

This is National School Choice Week and in acknowledging that I am declaring that activism in education is very important to me as a parent. It allows me to gain a better understanding of the education system, administrators, and teachers. It gives me the strength to fight when I feel there’s an injustice, to ask questions when I don’t understand, and to assert myself as a parent leader to help bring new resources and families to the school.

I believe parents are a critical part of their child’s education. Being an education activist allows me to have a voice about something that I am passionate about. My daughter sees me as a role model. Perhaps just as important, being an activist allows me to be involved with some of the decision making at my daughter’s school and in the school community. It’s important for my daughter to see this because not only does it allow her to see how important having a voice is in the decisions being made about your life, it gives her the freedom to do the same.

My daughter is in middle school. Soon she’ll be in high school. I’ll still be an advocate for her and for her education, but there will be a day when I may not be there or she is forced to stand up for herself. My hope is she has learned enough valuable lessons from me to speak up and protect herself; to be her own advocate as well as for others. She’ll know she has choices. She’ll know she has the strength of activism in her veins. It will serve her well.

Education Activism is very important to me as a parent. Activism allows me to gain a better understanding of the education system, Administrators and Teachers.  Parents are a critical part of their child’s education so being an activist allows me to have a voice about something that I am passionate about and be a role model for my daughter. It also allows me to be actively involved with some of the decision making at my daughters school and school community. It is important to have my daughter be involved in her school and school community and let her know that she has a voice in empowering positive changes as she continues her journey through school achieving a high quality education.

I can be a support system for teachers and help them facilitate what they need in order for students to receive excellent education. Let’s face it teacher’s love when parents are involved! Parent involvement at home is also important’ I continue to monitor my daughters work, ask questions and stay involved with her teachers to help her set achievable goals and ensure she will be successful.