Lastly, we need to take a step back and advocate to
teach the whole child. In an educational atmosphere
where no child is left untested, there is an
overwhelming need for those who are policy makers
to take a step back and look at some other needs
of students. I know that my students and I are worth
more than a bubble test can ever assess.
I have been an educator in the great State of Georgia
for 17 years. One thing I would say most educators
can agree upon is that students need more time at
an early age for social and emotional development. In
many places students do not get that extra playtime
to decompress, or to learn how to develop simple
social problem-solving skills. In some areas students
do not receive Fine Arts instruction because the focus
is more on academics. The Fine Arts offer children
an opportunity that they don’t often get in the regular
education setting. Arts teachers provide the intangible
intrinsic aesthetic experience.
Wherever your personal journey in advocacy brings
you, please remember to be bold and to be brave.
Your voice will be heard!
My job as a former
the early 90s, taught
me to understand
what it meant to
be an advocate for
learning. This was
my first experience
working in education as a paraprofessional for what
was then called, Emotional Behavior Disorder or EBD
self-contained classroom. This was a middle school
and the teacher with whom I worked with, taught me
so much about how to love children and stand up for
them even-though they had outward emotions that
displayed as difficult behaviors, which many times
would land them in trouble with the front office. That
teacher had an undying love, respect, and expectation
for our students. I learned how to be focused on
teaching our students regardless of the difficulties
early in my career. I must always lead students to
learning, lead students to focusing on the now, and
lead them to seeing their future. I am an advocate
Lisa Morgan, GAE Secretary–Treasurer
I advocate for Great Public Schools for Every
Student every day.
I advocate because without the great public schools I
attended, I would not be where I am today.
I advocate for my babies – the twenty-one bright,
eager faces in my classroom each day.
I advocate because they need a public school that will
allow them to grow and develop academically, socially,
I advocate because ALL students deserve a public
school that inspires them to be life-long learners and
provides them with the skills, knowledge, curiosity,
and self-confidence necessary to contribute positively
to their families and community.
Darryl G. Carter Sr.
The complexities involved
in our work and our
shared vision of public
education is often
misunderstood by the
public at large and policy
however, as a shared
us to unite our voices and have a greater impact as
we move forward. I urge all educators to be mindful of
opportunities in the near future to speak up, to speak
out, to be heard.
GAE is the vessel to get our voices out there. This why
I advocate and will continue to advocate for GAE.
My journey to advocacy
began a few years
back when the State
Health Benefit Plan
ample and fair choices
to our healthcare plans.
The grassroots advocacy group TRAGIC, Teachers Rally
to Advocate for Georgia Insurance Changes, taught
me how to use my voice to make a difference in our
community and with our lawmakers. I’ll admit, I have
never dealt with lawmakers before, the initial process
was overwhelming and a bit intimidating. I quickly
learned to speak from the heart and to not be afraid
to make those phone calls. Through this process, I
learned how to communicate, become a leader and to
I advocate for those who do not have a voice to
advocate for themselves.
Getting involved with TRAGIC prepared me as a parent
for one of my biggest trials, getting my son special
education services under the umbrella of SDD.
People assumed Ben was just a shy child and he
would outgrow his quietness. It was much more
than that. He suffers from an anxiety disorder
called Selective Mutism. When he was three, he
was eligible for testing for services. He also had a
diagnosed speech problem. If you’ve ever written,
read or participated in the IEP process you will note
that Selective Mutism is an exclusion for speech
services. Even though he had documentation from the
top Speech Pathologist at Children’s Healthcare, he
was denied services. During this process, I went to
Washington D.C. to meet with Congressmen Woodall,
where I proposed “Ben’s Bill” to help Selective Mutes
get the services they need regardless of exclusions
as long as the need was appropriate. The Bill was
researched, but never came to fruition. The good
news was that I did not stop fighting for him. Even
though it took three months of testing to qualify him,
he received his services and his speech problem was
fixed in less than a year. Know your rights as a parent
and know your rights for your personal children and
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