More with Less? Really? Welcome to Back to School

Yeah, we all  got the memo, and here’s the thing: if one more person smiles at me and says, “Look, times are tough. You’ve got to learn to do more with less…” Well, let’s just say, you don’t want to be that person.

Let me go on record as saying I am a Utah teacher. The highest class sizes. The lowest per-pupil expenditures. A state motto that says: Stack ‘Em Deep/Teach ‘Em Cheap. I’ve had 39 5th graders in one small classroom all pushing and shoving for my attention.

I can stretch a dollar until you can see through it. I get it. Times are tough. And getting tougher.

But here’s the other thing: teachers, support staff and administrators don’t need platitudes about pulling up our big-girl panties and getting creative. We live that.

What we need is something more. Something real. Our kids are going to walk into our classrooms this fall, and chances are they’re going to need more from us than ever.

Here’s my point: money or no money, whether or not we have enough books or smart boards or if the field trips got cut, we’re going to have less. But we have a secret weapon. And it’s huge. It’s not new. You don’t plug it in and power it up. You don’t request it in your supply budget.

It’s you, parents.  Educators need more of you, and we’re seeing more of you showing up in more ways than ever before.

You are gold. You are priceless. And we can’t afford to have you a secret any longer. We need you too much. When someone says, “more with less,” I think of how we have come to rely “more” on our partnerships with parents as we find we can count on less from politicians.

You are your children’s first teachers. You are their foundation. When home and school come together, we are always  “more.”  More powerful.  More aware. There’s more time. More experiences. More possibilities.

You, parents, are the “more” I, as a teacher, have always been able to count on.

My colleagues, over 3 million NEA members, and I need more of you as you need more from us. And what we can do together, money can’t buy. What we can do together isn’t some schmaltzy platitude. It’s real. And we need to talk about how to make more of our partnerships so that every child has the chance to have a great school year this year and every year.

We’re going to be talking about just that at something called a Twitter Party. That’s right. I’m hosting a Twitter Party.

As soon as someone explains to me what it is. And it’s not going to be about all the less that schools have been given. It’s going to be all about you, Dear Parents.  And the more that you and the teachers and the education support professionals who care for your children bring when we do more together.

I hope you’ll join me on Thursday, August 23rd from 9 – 10:00 PM EST on the @NEATodayTwitter feed to talk about how much more our kids will have when they have the team of home and school working for them.

Here’s how:

1.Log on to Twitter at 9 PM EST on Thursday, August 23.  If you don’t have a Twiiter account, be sure to sign up in advance of our party.

2.Make sure you are following @NEAToday.

3.I will be Tweeting from the @NEAToday feed.

4.On the top, left hand side of your Twitter homepage, go to # Discover tab.

5.Enter #B2Schat and you will see the conversation.

6.To ask a question or make a comment, make sure to use the #B2Schat hashtag in your Tweet so everyone following along can see.

7.If asking me a question directly, please reply to @NEAToday and use the #B2Schat in your Tweet.


5 Responses to “More with Less? Really? Welcome to Back to School”

  1. Annette Delaney

    I’m a retired teacher (32 years). This is simple yet profound. I’m in.

  2. Virginia Tibbetts

    So, I am new on Twitter. Please explain the meaning of “hashtag”. I know that a twitter comment can only have so many characters, so does this mean that the #B2SChat must be part of this character set each time you tweet? I am interested in tweeting but don’t have the skill set most have in this matter. Thanks.

  3. John Tracey

    I didn’t cry when I was walking around with my daughter for her first day of middle school. But I read this, and teared up a little. I’m so glad I did walk her around today. I’ve met all of her teachers, her principle, and her vice-principles. I don’t plan on needing any parent-teacher meetings, but I will have them anyway. I signed up for the super dad conference, and will be active in my PTSA. Thank you for this article. It needed to be said.

  4. Jane Scruggs

    Beautifully written piece.

  5. Andrew

    This is a great post. In this post you have spoken about creating a coalition for learning. The parents absolutely are integral part of the PLC. Thank you for posting a solution and not doing the typical NEA whine and dodge tactic!

    – A member who thinks NEA should be the true leader with research and not simply a mouthpiece


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