July 24, 2012:
1. Join the discussion online
For folks that aren't yet ready to commit to blogging, but are still interested in being part of the conversation, consider participating in one of these online forums.
A to Z Teacher Stuff
A to Z teacher stuff provides a forum for educators to discuss different topics of importance to them. The site also provides some teaching resources and best practices for self-care.
Education Week's teacher discussion forums provide educators with an opportunity to let their voices be heard. Their forums are intended to provide users with a space to ask questions, share ideas and solutions, and engage their teaching colleagues in conversation about the topics that matter to them.
2. Write a blog post
Do you have something to say? The following are a list of websites, blogs and online communities where teachers can contribute ideas and connect.
Cooperative Catalyst is a group of passionate, education minded individuals who seek to challenge their online community of members to offer better education through constant discourse about the challenges in education facing the world today. Members can sign up to blog weekly, occassionally, or as a one-time guest blogger. Members are also encouraged to participate in the conversation on an ongoing basis by being discussion participants or by posing questions for the discussion section.
Schools of Thought
CNN's Schools of Thought blog covers education from a variety of perspectives including policies and practices for all grade levels. This blog seeks to offer "food for thought" in the national conversation on education. Guest bloggers can send submissions to SchoolsofThought@cnn.com.
3. Write an opinion piece for a local newspaper or online news outlet
Submitting an opinion piece (usually called an op-ed) to a newspaper or an online news outlet like the Huffington Post will allow you to share your perspective with a much broader audience.
The Op-Ed Project: Specifically seeking female voices
You are an education expert and your voice is missing from the public conversation. The OpEd Project seeks to change that and to increase the range of voices and quality of ideas that are heard in the world by increasing the number of women thought leaders in key commentary forums. The project works to scout and train under-represented experts to take thought leadership positions in their fields and connect them with their national network of high-level media mentors to get their ideas directly to the media gatekeepers who need them across all platforms. They hold workshops in various parts of California throughout the year.
Story Corps and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting
StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Their National Teachers Initiative celebrates the work of teachers by recording, sharing and preserving their stories, with a specific focus on teachers who are working to increase the number of students that are graduating from high school, college and career ready.
Public Television and Radio Stations
Public television and radio stations across the country are working to raise awareness and combat drop-out crisis by highlighting information and stories and engaging the community. There are lots of ways to be involved. You can also sign up to be a source through their Public Insight Network.
4. Join local teacher organizations to connect with decision makers and inform education policy
Additionally, if you're interested in shaping policy, accessing workshops and events or simply wanting to be kept in the loop about what's going on in education reform in Los Angeles, there are several organizations that might be of interest to you.
The goal of Teach Plus is to engage early career teachers in rebuilding their profession to better meet the needs of students and the incoming generation of teachers. Teach Plus offers many different opportunities for teachers to get involved and grow within the profession, including their Teaching Policy Fellowship, an intensive and selective 16-month course.
Educators 4 Excellence
Educator 4 Excellence is a teacher-led organization that seeks to ensure that teacher voices are included in the policies that shape their classrooms and careers. Its members sign on to a declaration of beliefs, which guide all Educators 4 Excellence decisions and actions. Educators 4 Excellence offers multiple opportunities for members to gain professional development and to get involved.
Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE)
Leadership for Educational Equity is a leadership development organization focused on developing its members' leadership potential and inspiring members to become more civically engaged. **Membership is only open to past and current Teach For America corp members.
Give a Presentation About Charters at Your Local Community Meeting
If you're interested in helping raise awareness about charter schools, CCSA has a user-friendly presentation that you could present to your local Rotary Club, Chamber of Commerce or other community group. Connecting with different groups helps to spread the word about charter movement by challenging some of the pervasive myths about charter schools. This presentation is available in both English and Spanish.
5. Connect with us!
And of course, California Charter Schools Association is a perfect way to find out about many of the upcoming opportunities to get involved with charter school advocacy work. It's also a great way to find out what's going on in Los Angeles and how you can get involved!
If you don't currently have a web log-in, it's easy to set one up and sign up for our members-only emails by clicking "Sign Up" in the top right-hand corner of our web page and following the prompts.
If you are interested in engaging with the media, writing an op-ed or contributing to the CCSA News Blog (We LOVE highlighting teacher perspectives!), contact Sierra Jenkins, Director, Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org or 213-256-9489.