It goes without saying that the past year has been especially demanding and tumultuous for our education system. Without a doubt, through uncertainty, unprecedented difficulty, and straight up scary circumstances, the educators in our community have shown incredible commitment and resilience. 2020 highlighted several things that we already knew – that educators are powerful and give an immense gift to society. Educators have the awesome responsibility of influencing our youth, and most of the time they do so beautifully.
On the other hand, 2020 exposed some troubling disparities where education is concerned. We all watched with horror as lack of access to technology held students back from completing their studies. Similarly, our hearts broke as we heard stories of hungry students who only got meals during the school day. We shuddered when we read the reports concerning the way that the Coronavirus worsens racial inequity. Clearly, there are definitely things that need to change in our education system. The hopeful component of this tale is that, per the cliche, change can start with each one of us.
Community feedback and parental involvement drive the education system that exists in our neighborhoods. By praising educators when deserved and holding them accountable, we work to uplift the future.
Enter the one e-mail that EVERY parent of school-aged children should send this month.
February is Black History Month which has been formally recognized since 1976. I can think of no better time to call attention to joining together in an effort to make our schools a more inclusive and equitable place. Connecting with educators at your child’s school concerning this matter is paramount. I personally find that sending a short e-mail is generally well-received and can open an important line of dialogue.
Here are some samples for consideration:
Sample e-mail one:
“Educator Name Here,
Good morning/afternoon. I am reaching out quickly because I am curious as to what Black History Month looks like in your classroom. I know that there is a lot going on so please do not feel obligated to write me an exhaustive e-mail explaining your plans. If you could just provide me with some bullet points concerning how Black History Month will be discussed and observed in your classroom, I’d be grateful.
Thank you for all of your hard work,
-An anti-racist parent (or, Your Name Here)”
Sample e-mail two (if you have specific suggestions):
“Educator Name Here,
I wanted to connect with you concerning Black History Month. Finding age-appropriate ways to commemorate and celebrate this month can be time-consuming, and I understand that you have many things on your plate. I have found a few resources that may be helpful. I will attach them in this e-mail. Please review them and let me know if there is any other way that I can support you.
-An anti-racist parent”
Simple messages like the ones above can make all the difference. These words can launch ideas, encourage critical thought, and foster relationships. As adults, the onus is on us to do what we can to make the world a better place for all of our children. It’s crazy to think that many times, that begins with changes within our education system which can start with a single brave e-mail.