The final step in becoming an advocate is to take action! Action comes in in many different forms because needs and programs are all different. This is also why it is essential to develop an advocacy plan that can help you focus on your needs and determine what action to take.
An advocacy plan isn’t just one more thing to do. It should be an integral part of your whole program planning each year. It is a straightforward process that will help you become proactive by thinking about issues that may arise during the year and having a plan in place to address those.
This format can be used to develop plans at the classroom, program and even state levels.
10 Steps to Developing an Advocacy Plan
Use this as a reference sheet to help guide you as you develop your own plan.
This example can help you structure your plan. Remember to focus on one specific challenge or opportunity, and make your objectives truly reflect what you want to achieve.
Use this worksheet as your guide to develop an advocacy plan. It is available in a Word document so that you can easily begin working in the plan. Please reference the 10 steps and the example plan to ensure you understand what to do at each stage.
All 10 elements in this worksheet are interconnected, so don’t skip over any of the elements. Although the evaluation plan is the final step, it is one of the most important to complete. If you do not have a plan in place to determine the success of your objectives, you have no way to truly understand which techniques were effective and which were not.
Influence and Impact Worksheet
Use this worksheet to map your quantitative and qualitative influence with each step of the legislative process.
You don’t have to plan advocacy alone! You can and should engage your students in the advocacy process. Agricultural education helps facilitate the growth of leadership and citizenship skills in students, and there is no reason they shouldn’t be encouraged to become educated advocates as well.
We have included a few resources to help you engage your students in the process of telling their ag ed story. If you have other examples of how you have achieved this with your students please share those with us so that we can provide those resources to other teachers!
The ACTE National Policy Seminar is held annually in Washington, D.C. and is a great opportunity for agriculture teachers to develop their skills as advocates for career and technical education and agricultural education. NAAE hosts special programming during the policy seminar focused on helping agricultural educators tell their story. Attendees will also have opportunity to visit with their national legislators and their staffers. These are skills you can take back to increase your effectiveness as an advocate at the local and state levels as well.
NAAE has many other tools you can use to take action when it comes to advocacy. If you know about other useful resources, we encourage you to share them with us so we can help other educators find the best tools available.
How have you taken action and advocated for agricultural education? Share your story!