Advocacy is a way educators can initiate a dialogue with policymakers about important educational issues. We often hear educators say, “While I care deeply about education issues, I don’t have anything important to share with policymakers and I don’t know how to advocate.” CSTP begs to differ and we want to dispel that statement! Educators DO have important things to share with policymakers. Personal stories, experiences and perspectives all have an important place in effectively advocating a message.
Advocacy requires a set of skills that come naturally to some people and may come more uncomfortably to others. Regardless, like any other skill, learning to advocate takes time, preparation and practice—and it is possible! CSTP assists educators in building their advocacy skills and provides opportunities for them to put those skills to use with policymakers.
- Advocacy Training: CSTP has offered advocacy training to teachers and organizations throughout the state. The training can be one-day or multiple days depending on the needs of the group. It includes information and tools about developing an effective message, practicing the delivery of a message, understanding you audience and action planning. CSTP also offers a “Write to Advocate” workshop designed to increase teacher’s knowledge and skills in communicating written messages that attract the attention of decision makers and other audiences about education issues important to them.
- Legislative Visits: Interested in connecting with and meeting your legislators? CSTP coordinates educators’ visits with their local elected officials and policymakers’ visits to classrooms. Contact Nasue Nishida if you’re interested.
- Resources: CSTP has several easy-to-use “how-to” guides to assist educators in advocating for causes about which they care deeply.
‘Highlights of the training including learning a basic framework for structuring a message to any audience; mentoring from established, professional writers in the field, the opportunity to collaborate with other educators in person and on the wiki you set up, and the study of other written advocacy messages such as published essays, electronic journalism, blogs and video media.”[CSTP] was attentive to the individual needs of attendees, ensured we had the tools necessary for our work… and created a warm and engaging atmosphere.’
‘I look forward to sharing what I learned with others and promoting this training to others as one of the top five trainings I have attended in eighteen years of working in education.’