What is Advocacy?
There are those who cringe at the word "advocacy." For some, it congers up visions of picket lines, confrontations and perhaps being a bit on the radical side.
However, Advocacy simply put is, "Educating others and/or conveying an opinion."
There are several of us from Pennsylvania that participate in "SPEAK Out" Days in Washington, DC and "SPEAK Out for Healthy Kids" Days in Harrisburg, PA each year. It provides us with the opportunity to meet with our elected officials and educate them on issues that pertain to Health and Physical Education. However, this is just one type of advocacy.
Most advocacy takes place at more of a grassroots level. Whether you realize it or not, we are all advocates for our profession in some way, shape or form. We advocate each and every day when we teach our classes, represent our department, talk with parents, and talk with administrators.
We want to make sure we are always offering quality Health and Physical Education classes that are standards-based, well-planned and meaningful for our students. What you do and what you say speaks volumes about the significant impact of Health and Physical Education. Hopefully, students pickup on that and in turn talk with friends and parents about their positive experiences your class has provided for them.
When representing our department at meetings such as Curriculum Council, School Board, Faculty, Home and School meetings we need to be good advocates for our profession at all times.
To be an effective advocate for HPE, you need to educate yourself:
- on current issues.
- on the federal and state requirements.
- on the laws, rules, guidelines and legislation for HPE.
We live in a time of great uncertainty. As Health and Physical Educators we need to be the best we can in our profession. All of us need to advocate, stand together and speak with one voice.
PSAHPERD advocates meet with
Pedro Rivera, PA Secretary of Education
SHAPE America "SPEAK Out" Day Training
PSAHPERD advocates on Capitol Hill for Shape America "SPEAK Out" Day