Following our formal registration as a charity, which went under the radar several weeks ago, on Thursday 12th July Teach Us Too was officially launched in style at Waterstones Piccadilly, alongside the celebration of the publication of our founder‘s memoir and debut book: Eye Can Write.
Since Jonathan‘s initial online campaign we have come a long way in highlighting our cause. But with much further to travel, we have established a charity to continue our aims. I would like to share with you my launch night speech which sums up what we hope to achieve and how passionately we feel that all children should be given the opportunity to learn to read and write, regardless of their label.
Imagine a world in which an individual is never judged by appearances or limited by the labels attached to them.
Imagine a world in which professionals always assume competence and strive to make progress.
Imagine a world in which all children are fully included, are accepted and appreciated, are taught, listened to and allowed to contribute.
Imagine a world in which every child is taught literacy regardless of the type of school they are enrolled in or the educational label they are assigned.
This is the world that Jonathan aspires to be part of and the world he inspires us to create.
Teach Us Too began life as an online campaign set up by Jonathan almost exactly two years ago. Since those early days it has gained enormous momentum and the appetite for change has been supported by people all over the world. We are delighted that Teach Us Too now has official charity status and we vow to continue to work hard to spread Jonathan’s message. The message that every child should be entitled to a literacy education regardless of the type of school they are enrolled in or the educational label they are assigned.
The aims of Teach Us Too are based around three central themes:
CHALLENGE: to challenge attitudes and assumptions based on labels;
TEACH: to influence educational practice and encourage ambition;
SHARE: to share good practice for and between professionals and parents.
We would encourage every parent to ask the professionals involved in the education of their children: what are your aspirations for my child?
And equally, for every professional to ask of themselves: am I doing everything in my power to promote ambition and enable progress?
The only true failure of all those involved in educating children like Jonathan is to walk away and assume incompetnece.
This message is one about belief and I would like to share with you an oath, written by Pati King De-Baun, for professionals working with students with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities. It is entitled: The Power of Believing
Believe that all students can learn and have the right to
Believe that all students can communicate and have the right to
Believe that all students have the right to choose and should be given opportunities to do so
Believe that there is always hope
Believe that small miracles are the best
Believe that all movements, signals, cries and gestures are forms of communication
Believe in patience
Believe each individual ha something positive and valuable to share with you
Believe that if there is a will there is a way
Believe that all students need to be cognitively challenged
Believe that if you believe, the child will believe
At Teach Us Too, we believe that every child should be given the opportunity to learn to read and write, regardless of their label.