It feels strange to say it, however, I have campaigned for my children and children like them for quite a while now. I am driven by the thought that they and others may be treated unfairly or misunderstood for something that is not their fault.
I find strength and energy I never knew I had, to face people in authority, approach people I would never normally approach and make every effort possible to shout from the rooftops about injustice to children.
I guess it depends what you classify as campaigning, when you feel like a lone voice in a sea of helplessness, when the world keeps turning and you feel isolated and angry. Where do you start when the council, the school, people you know, don’t understand? (and I can’t blame them for not understanding as ‘before’ I did not understand either.)
I think you need an outlet, a way to reclaim some power, and I think people find a variety of ways to do that. I found blogging helpful, sharing my blogs on social media and on email. Even if no-one was reading it, even if it went unopened, just writing about how I felt helped. It was a way to vent some frustration and try and reach a few people.
It comes in fits and starts, usually when I am feeling frustrated. What I find is that because I am focused on that issue and have the intention of getting the message out there, someone usually engages with what I say.
My campaign has evolved from trying to create awareness of parenting issues relating to adoption, trauma and attachment to teen issues, school issues and now mental health and education.
I see people campaigning all the time, people setting up charities and community interest companies relating to something they are passionate about, often related to issues they or their family/friends have experienced, people fundraising in amazing ways to help others.
I am inspired by their stories and the lengths people go to, to help others.
It has struck me for quite a while that our education system isn’t fit for purpose, there are tremendous people involved in education, but the system lets us all down. There are pockets of excellence, however, the education system seems stuck in the dark ages.
- Are uniforms still useful?
- Are detentions and isolations still serving a purpose?
- Is being stuck in a classroom behind a desk really conducive to learning?
- Is homework contributing to learning?
- Are bells still necessary?
All questions I have considered and I haven’t totally made my mind up about a lot of them.
What I want people in education to do is be reflective, read as much as you can, ask for training and ask questions. All schools need an element of system and structure in order to operate, I get that, however, we not only have to think outside the box, we need to chuck the box out!
You may think this comes from a place of sitting behind a keyboard or an idealistic standpoint, however, I taught in secondary schools for 10 years, was a counsellor for 6 six years and supported two adopted children and all the subsequent learning that brought. So I feel I come at it from a place of knowledge and understanding.
What do you campaign about? I would love to know.
Have a great week.