Teachers and other educators have a big stake in the Texas Recess Bill. Here are ten things you can do to advocate for it, including contacting your state legislators, spreading the word on social media, and volunteering to give us a hand!
First of all. THANK YOU. We know what you do. We know the dedication and the heart that you have for your profession. We know that you go above and beyond for your students every, single day. Let us start by giving you a virtual *hug* and a *high five*.
As you know, Texas children NEED you. They need you not only in the classroom but they need you to speak for them in Austin. We can’t all take trips to Austin or take time off of work to meet with our legislators but here are 10 simple things you can do to show your support for the Texas Recess Bill.
- Clarify district expectations: Before you begin your journey of advocacy check with your administrator to clarify what you can and cannot do as an employee of your district. Districts have expectations and guidelines for activities deemed “political”, so please make sure you are abiding by those guidelines before you do anything.
- Find out who represents you: You can visit this site and enter your address to find out who your state representatives are.
- Send an email: Write an email to your state senator and your state representative. Share your concerns and opinions about the state of public education. Share the Texas Recess Bill with them and ask them if they would support this bill.
- Make a phone call: Elected officials receive a lot of emails and phone calls daily. After sending an email, follow up with a phone call. Keep a record of your written and phone correspondences.
- Meet in person: Many elected officials hold events on the weekend or evenings. Consider taking an hour our two on your weekend or after work to attend. This gives you time to have a face to face interaction with them and another chance to voice your support for the Texas Recess Bill and other bills that support our schools.
- Follow your legislators on social media: Many legislators have social media accounts. Follow them and connect with them online. Tag them in posts that relate to the Texas Recess Bill or other public school related issues. If you know they support the bill, give them a positive shout out on your social media accounts. Thank them for their support!
- Talk to friends, family, neighbors: If you know people who care about the state of our public schools, please spread the word! Use social media or even better, have a face to face discussion with them about the importance of recess in elementary schools. You’d be surprised at how many people do not realize how schools have changed and how recess time has decreased over the years, especially since the passage of the No Child Left Behind Act. **Not so Fun Fact: On average, 20% of American school districts have decreased recess time since NCLB passed. 50 minutes of recess time per week has been taken from children in the name of instructional time.**
- Write a letter of support: If you follow the Texas Recess Bill on social media you have probably already seen our pleas for letters, but we REALLY need them. Please write a letter in support of the Texas Recess Bill to firstname.lastname@example.org today! If you would like the bill to be expanded to include 3rd through 5th grade, please include that in your letter. We have a sample letter template that you can use here.
- FOLLOW UP: This is huge. Our legislators need to be reminded constantly of the importance of the Texas Recess Bill. The 86th legislative session doesn’t begin until January and a lot can happen in between then and now. Make sure you check in periodically and remind them that you are here and you are counting on them to push for the Texas Recess Bill.
- Volunteer: We are always looking for volunteers to help spread the word about the Texas Recess Bill. Currently we are looking for help managing the social media accounts. If you’re interested please contact us!
If you can do just ONE of these things, you are helping make a difference. THANK YOU!