At our session for early childhood activists at NAEYC's Annual Conference in November, Karel shared her top tips for activists. We asked Karel for permission to share her tips here:
Tips for Activists
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead
- Find like-minded people
- Food always helps people connect so bring in muffins or cookies. Have tea & coffee readily available
- Do something fun together. Go see a movie or to a concert or an art exhibit.
- Put one foot in front of the other – take small steps and always, always celebrate your wins no matter how small they may seem.
- Do your research so that you are prepared.
- Support each other. Kindness begets more of the same.
- Be persistent. Do not give up. Oftentimes your opponents will respect you for your integrity and persistence even if you are always opposing them. Do not mistake attempts to subvert you for respect - a fine line to walk.
- Be positive. Look at what is possible. For this you need to know what you believe in.
- Talk with people. Collect business cards. Talk with the reporters who cover education. They may come to see you as a reliable source of information.
- Change the conversation. For example, instead of their talk about high performing schools, change it to, "Every school a great school." Instead of choice always meaning a charter school, change it to choice meaning good neighborhood schools. Act like a toddler and repeat this over and over and over again.