It’s no secret that teachers don’t make a lot of money. Right now teachers across the nation are making national news with their fight for improvement in different aspects in their career. The hashtag #RedforEd has gone viral and the red being worn on Wednesdays in Arizona by educators and their supporters continues to increase. As an elementary teacher in a lower income public school, I have been 100% supportive of the Red for Ed movement. Naturally, kids are intuitive and very aware, and I have had many of my students come to me with the same question, “What is #REDforEd?”
This fight for our education system is something that our kids need to be aware of because it affects them directly. Not only does it affect them now, but it will have a major impact on their future. Explaining this kind of thing to a child isn’t the easiest, but here are some ways that educators would describe the #RedforEd movement to a child.
1. The government is like a bully and the teachers are like the kid being picked on by the bully. The teachers have to stand up to the bully and do what’s right. This could seem a little dramatic to some, but bullying is something kids are very aware of. Not because they are always victims of it, but because it’s such a popular discussion in schools.
2. Use “the golden rule.” Treating people the way you want to be treated is taught at such a young age. Most kids seem to understand this. Discuss with your child(ren) that teachers are not being treated fairly, even though they follow the “golden rule” themselves.
3. Teachers have to fight for school to make it the best place it can be. Unfortunately, because classroom sizes are SO large, teachers are struggling to give students the individual attention that they truly need. With the #REDforEd movement and the hope of change, it ultimately opens a world of possibilities: hope for better materials, more individualized attention, and a better education system for all children.
4. It’s a team effort with the community helping those in need – teachers. Teacher often buy their own supplies; they put band-aids on scraped knees; they bring a new pair of shoes for a student they know can’t afford them. You name it, and a teacher has more than likely been there to do it. #REDforEd is all about# the community joining with the teachers to help them receive the support and resources they need in order to educate their students properly.
#REDforEd may not seem like it’s the most important thing on the agenda to talk with your child about, but when you take into consideration the fact that your child is receiving education from the state ranked 49th (or 50th depending on what sources you’re looking at) in the nation, it’s an embarrassment. Teachers NEED support from the community and their students NEED to understand what this movement is about.
As I wrote on my own vehicle copied from a protest sign, “I teach my students to stand up for themselves. Here’s my real life example.” Show your kids it’s important to stand up for themselves with education. It’s more than “just school,” and their teachers are more than “just teachers.” Raising a decent human being has a lot to do with a decent education, and without #REDforEd, they won’t receive it.
How would you explain the #REDforEd movement to your child? Do you think your child should be made fully aware of what’s happening within their school? Comment below with your thoughts!