By Marley McClune
Welcome to Hope Street Group Utah’s Introductory post to our new blog series: Use Your Teacher Voice. It’s no secret that Education is a hot topic across the media, online and in the Legislature. In this weekly series we are going to talk about the ins and outs of Education Policy and how to make the largest impact in your own communities. In Utah’s 2022 legislative session, we saw 209 bills directly dealing with education. Educators must now speak up for our profession in order to create positive change.
All educators bring skills and abilities to the table that strengthen communities and school. The key is for each educator to find what their strengths are, and then use those strengths to help schools succeed. Teacher Leaders are vital in promoting change and guiding Utah to educational success. We need all types of Teacher Voices to be heard by our Utah Government. Our legislators want to hear from you, whether you are politically active, involved in the school community, a new teacher, or a teacher with 20 years of experience, your voice is important.
Now, what if you feel like your “Teacher Voice” isn’t very loud compared to your peers?
The good news is, it doesn’t need to be. All teachers can be leaders. The Utah State Board of Education (USBE) recently released the Teacher Leader Guidebook , highlighting 6 different types of Teacher Leaders:
- Professional Learning Lead – do you have a knack for leading a killer professional development opportunity?
- Formally Trained and Recognized Mentor – maybe your peers gravitate toward you to help them grow personally and professionally.
- Lead or Master Teacher – are you a curriculum expert? Someone that can lead a strong PLC?
- Education Policy Advocate – staying up to date with the latest educational news and policies?
- School Outreach Lead – perhaps you are the go to leader in your school making connections within your community.
- Education Ambassador – you can be the passionate voice for others as you speak up for the profession and your students!
What voice resonates with you?
Harnessing and utilizing your unique leader skills helps build up the individual teacher along with the community. In my own journey I have found that developing and growing my own unique teacher voice has helped me to become a more thoughtful educator, and a better leader to my colleagues and peers.
It can feel insurmountable when Education issues are dominating the news cycle. When we face these challenges with a solutions oriented mindset we are better able to gain perspective and work towards meaningful change.
The first step towards becoming a voice in Education is to simply speak up, and share your story! It can feel intimidating, but we need your voice to be heard. Together we can build positive changes that will support our students, teachers, families, and communities.
Join us in this multipart series as we learn to navigate Utah’s Legislative System, how to build positive relationships with our representatives, growing our teacher voice, the ins and outs of local school board meetings, and more!
Teachers, we need you – Be proud, get loud, and Use Your Teacher Voice!
Marley McClune is an FCS Teacher in Davis County, an ELP doctoral student at the University of Utah, and a Hope Street Group Teacher Fellow. When she isn’t teaching Marley enjoys trying out new recipes, wandering through the Ogden Farmer’s Market, and learning more about Education Policy.