Build Advocacy Skills with NCTE Partner CivXNow - National Council of Teachers of English
Back to Blog

Build Advocacy Skills with NCTE Partner CivXNow

Learn More When You Register for this Educator Advocacy Webinar


“It has been said that those closest to the pain should be closest to the power. . . . Advocacy is one salve for the policy implementation gap. By advocating, teachers ensure that they are putting themselves in proximity to power and bringing their stories of joy and pain to the policy-making spaces and decision-making tables.”—Lauren Jewett, NBCT (Special Education Teacher, New Orleans, LA)


Every week, policymakers make decisions that influence how and what teachers can teach in their classrooms and that shape the teaching profession. Currently, in Congress, bills are pending that set minimum teacher salaries, address teacher shortages, fund professional development for AI and digital literacy, provide parental rights around curriculum decisions, impact federal funding for education, and dictate high-impact tutoring structures, to name just a few. At the state level, legislators are deciding what books can be taught, how much educators should be paid, how gender is discussed in the classroom, what level of input parents have over curriculum, and how to teach literacy. All these issues and more are being considered in many state and local board meetings. 

Through advocacy, teachers can exercise their agency to influence policies that impact teaching and learning and help shape the profession. Advocacy is a powerful tool that can leverage teacher expertise and experiences to effect real change at the local, state, and national levels.  

Advocacy can take many forms across a spectrum of commitment levels. It can be as straightforward as participating in a letter-writing campaign to your congressperson or senator or more ambitious, such as getting involved in a local, state, or national advocacy group. Advocacy can also include speaking at local and state school board meetings, using social media to spread your message, writing op-eds for the local newspaper, and more.  

To support teacher advocacy, NCTE is a member of the CivXNow Coalition, which sponsors Teachers Advancing Civic Learning (TACL), a grassroots network of educators trained and empowered to advance and strengthen civic learning through policy at the local, state, and national levels. (You can join TACL by completing this short form.) NCTE is joining with the CivXNow Coalition to implement a quarterly educator advocacy training/webinar beginning on May 28 at 7 p.m. ET (REGISTER HERE). This webinar will be led by Lindsay Sobel, Chief of Policy, Planning, and External Affairs, at one of the nation’s leading organizations emphasizing teacher leadership, Teach Plus.