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Teachers Are #ReimaginingSchools, and It’s Time Leaders Listened

If this is our opportunity to remake schools, let’s put teacher voices at the center.

Reimagining Schools

Over the past few months, the Coronavirus pandemic raged throughout the world. Teachers quickly adapted as their lessons moved from the brick and mortar classroom to online learning. Over the course of a weekend, schools moved to distance learning, brought students computers, set up hot spots for Wi-Fi, delievered meals, and even in some cases provided child care for the families of essential workers. 

Now, as states are experiencing struggling economies, politicians are often too quick to suggest school budget cuts as a solution. Our students and our teachers deserve better. 

Governor Cuomo of New York tweeted that he would be “reimagining” education with the help of Bill Gates. This frustrated teachers, as they have been reimagining education with little support and strapped budgets for their entire careers.

The Reimagining Schools campaign was started by Emily Aierstok (@readitwriteitlearnit), a 19 year teaching veteran, as a place for teachers’ voices to be heard. As we enter a new era of learning, the Reimagining Schools campaign advocates for increased funding, equity in education, and respect for a profession that has been proven essential. You can reimagine, too. Grab your #ReimaginingSchools thought bubble here and tell the world how you envision education in the future.  

Hundreds of teachers have shared how they are #ReimaginingSchools after the pandemic. Here are a few of the highlights: 

#ReimaginingSchools with teachers who can work just one job

#ReimaginingSchools with teacher autonomy

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#reimaginingschools with teacher autonomy! Teachers are educated, trained professionals who deserve to be treated as such. This means paying them a good salary, providing them with ALL of the materials to do their job, and trusting them to make the decisions that are best for their students. Micromanaging teachers with scripted curriculums and standardized tests hurts students and discourages quality teachers from staying in the classroom. This pandemic has revealed just how important public schools and teachers really are, and it’s time that all levels of government do more to support them. In the meantime, teachers, make sure you are registered to vote and vote for people who will have your back (when it comes to public education, that almost always means voting for Democrats). @realdonaldtrump @betsydevosed y’all are useless and I cannot wait for you to leave. @readitwriteitlearnit you are awesome and this campaign was an A+ idea! #teachersofinstagram #teachergram #iteachtoo #iteachfourth #vote #publicschool #voteblue

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#ReimaginingSchools with salaries that retain and attract educators

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Reimagining Schools #ReimaginingSchools with salaries that retain and attract educators. Throughout this pandemic, schools have been recognized for our essential roles. Without schools, our economy becomes stagnant, parents cannot go to work, kids are sometimes left without meals, and education is disrupted. Schools are essential; our funding is essential, too. We live in one of the richest nations in the world, yet our schools struggle to maintain equity, programming, staff, and supplies. As we are #reimaginingschools after this pandemic, we are simultaneously facing massive budget cuts. We need adequate funding now. It is time that our children are not shortchanged with large class sizes and a lack of programming. It is time that children are provided with equity in public education. It is time that teachers are no longer self-funding school supplies. It is time to fund our future. @betsydevosed We appreciate your support @shondarhimes @oprah @mrmarccuban @readitwriteitlearnit

A post shared by Tania N. Davis (@teach_me_t) on

#ReimaginingSchools with teacher leaders getting the respect and pay we deserve

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#ReimaginingSchools with teacher leaders making decisions and receiving the respect they deserve. ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ Since the beginning of this pandemic, schools have been recognized for our essential roles. Without schools, even more children go hungry, the economy becomes still, parents cannot go to work and education is disrupted. ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ Teachers are experts in their classroom and they deserve a seat at the table when making life altering decisions. They shouldn’t feel like leaving the classroom is the only path to become a leader for the community. ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ They should also be recognized for when they take on a leadership role or receive a degree to better their classroom instruction, they should be compensated for their contributions. [Looking at you SB 736] ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ Do better, @betsydevosed @realdonaldtrump @senatormarcorubio @rondesantisfl ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ Share what you’re #reimaginingschools with by going to @readitwriteitlearnit’s account and printing the template. Tag your elected officials and tell them education is essential.

A post shared by Stacey (@greeneliving_) on

#ReimaginingSchools with less standardized testing and more authentic learning

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#reimaginingschools with less testing and more learning! Imagine what a school year would look like and feel like without the endless assessments and benchmarks. Imagine what it would be like if teachers were given the autonomy to teach rich and engaging lessons that included diverse literature and real world skills without the pressures of testing. That’s the kind of educational system where I want to teach! This pandemic has presented educators and policymakers with a unique opportunity to reimagine what education looks like in America and we need to grab hold of it. For starters, it’s time to give teachers a seat at the table where decisions are made for our schools and students. @realdonaldtrump @betsydevosed @govbilllee How would you reimagine schools? To join the movement, head over to @readitwriteitlearnit for more info. #teachersofinstagram #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofig #teacherlife #iteachhighschool #highschoolenglishteacher #highschoolenglish #secondaryela #2ndaryela #iteachwriting #iteachreading #iteachtoo #education #educationreform

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#ReimaginingSchools with classroom libraries that provide students with windows and mirrors

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#ReimaginingSchools with classroom libraries that provide students with windows and mirrors. Books that students can see themselves on the pages. Books that allow them for ever so briefly into the world and lives not like those. What if? Throughout this pandemic, schools have been recognized for our essential roles. Without schools, our economy becomes stagnant, parents cannot go to work, kids are sometimes left without meals, and education is disrupted. Schools are essential; our funding is essential, too. We live in one of the richest nations in the world, yet our schools struggle to maintain equity, programming, staff, and supplies. As we are #reimaginingschools after this pandemic, we are simultaneously facing massive budget cuts. We need adequate funding now. It is time that our children are not shortchanged with large class sizes and a lack of programming. It is time that children are provided with equity in public education. It is time that teachers are no longer self-funding school supplies. It is time to fund our future. @realdonaldtrump @betsydevosed

A post shared by Samantha|Secondary Teacher (@secondaryurbanlegends) on

#ReimaginingSchools with less red tape

#ReimaginingSchools with equity at the heart of all decisions

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#ReimaginingSchools with equity at the heart of decisions — always! Throughout this pandemic, schools have been recognized for our essential roles. Without schools, our economy becomes stagnant, parents cannot go to work, kids are sometimes left without meals, and education is disrupted. Schools are essential; the decisions made by schools, school leaders, school boards, and districts have a ripple effect far and wide. It is time that children are provided with equity in public education. While I work in a district that is coming to the table to do this work, it is not a priority everywhere, and it should be. It’s important that as we #reimagineschools and what education will look like in the fall of 2020, we prioritize equity for students and listen to our expert teachers, bringing them to the table, to allow this work to be done right. Thank you Emily (@readitwriteitlearnit) for starting this movement. Please check out Emily’s original post— a cause near and dear to her heart and family, and add your own if you feel so inclined! . . #mainelymiddleschool #mainelymiddle #maineteacher #teachersofinstagram #teachersofig #teachergram #iteachmiddleschool #iteachela #ela #englishteacher #iteach8th

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#ReimaginingSchools with a diverse staff of teachers who are trusted and empowered

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I'm #ReimaginingSchools with a diverse staff of teachers, trusted & empowered to make decisions for the classroom and rightly compensated for their efforts. Schools have been recognized for the essential roles they play during this pandemic. Without schools, our economy stagnates parents can't work, kids can be left without meals, and education is disrupted. Schools are essential. Their funding is essential, too. America is the richest nation in the world, yet our schools struggle to maintain equity, programming, staff, and supplies. As we reimagine schools after this pandemic, they also face massive budget cuts. We must ensure our schools are adequately funded now and in the future. It is time that our children are not shortchanged with large class sizes and a lack of programming. It is time that children are provided with equity in public education. It is time that teachers are no longer self-funding school supplies. It is time to fund our future.

A post shared by Luke Rosa (@studentsofhistory) on

#ReimaginingSchools with educators who believe Black Lives Matter

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#ReimaginingSchools with educators who believe that #blacklivesmstter. Throughout this pandemic, schools have been recognized for our essential roles. Schools are essential; our funding is essential, too. And that funding should be equitable regardless of students’ zip codes or race. Also in the midst of this pandemic we have continued to witness acts of racial violence resulting in the deaths of #AhmaudArbery #SeanReed #BreonnaTaylor and most recently #GeorgeFloyd. Additionally, Black communities across the country have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic due to inadequate care and lack of health care resources. The closing of schools due to the pandemic exacerbated the digital divide for many students. I can’t help but wonder if more educators genuinely valued Black lives (and voted like it) maybe we wouldn’t be here. We live in one of the richest nations in the world, yet our schools, especially those serving Black students struggle to attain equitable and adequate programming, staff, and supplies. And as many predicted as we are #reimaginingschools after this pandemic, we are simultaneously facing massive budget cuts in many state and local education agencies. We need adequate funding now! ⁣ ⁣ It is time that what Gloria Ladson-Billings calls the “education debt” owed to Black students is not deepened by limiting resources or a lack of programming or non-culturally sustaining curriculums which erase their history and contribution to this county. It is time that our students are supported by educators who believe that the lives of Black people matter. Black students, Black parents, Black siblings, Black communities, Black educators matter. It is time that students are provided with equity in public education. It is time that teachers are no longer self-funding efforts to bridge the gap. It is time to fund our future by funding our students. @betsydevosed @neatoday @conollyforcongress ⁣ ⁣ #reimaginingschools⁣ #blackgirlsteach #Blacklivesmatter #teachersofinstagram #Blackeducators #Blackeducatorsrock #teachergram #teacherselfcare #educationresearch #howarduniversity #teacherlife #teachersfollowteachers

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#ReimaginingSchools with no standardized tests

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How would you reimagine schools? ••• I am #reimaginingschools without standardized tests. I teach at a public charter school, and I wouldn’t be lying if I said that standardized test scores are the “North Star.” No one would say that’s true, but this has been my lived experience. This was similar to my experience in a traditional public school as teachers worked relentlessly to ensure students demonstrated adequate yearly progress. ••• With that in mind, I wondered what we would do if standardized tests were eliminated altogether? What if the results of wealthy white districts were never used as a comparison point? What if we let our kids be, and experience school as themselves? What if we finally let go of the racialized achievement gap without reframing as an opportunity gap, or wealth gap, or whatever other gap that is ALWAYS centered on the white wealthy experience? What would schools look like? ••• The shift to remote learning has created a window of opportunity to reimagine this institution that was not built for the majority of kids it serves. This is top of mind as I will be taking on a new role next year and holding on to my belief that we have yet to realize the potential of what our kids can do. #reimaginingschools

A post shared by Tanesha B. Forman (@love.tanesha) on

How are you reimagining schools? Share on Instagram using this free template, or in our WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

Plus, is this the end of standardized testing?

Teachers Are #ReimaginingSchools, and It's Time Leaders Listened

Posted by WeAreTeachers Staff

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