April 2nd. It’s just a few short weeks away.
First, there’s spring break. The school doors will be shut as students and teachers alike enjoy their week plus long break. From the classroom.
You’ll hear shouts of joy as the buildings are emptied.
Not so much on April 2nd.
That’s the day Oklahoma teachers plan to walk out. To strike. In an attempt to see salary raises. Something they have not seen in over a decade.
This time the school doors closing will not mean vacation. It will mean business.
And for every day that they remain closed, teachers and students will make up for them on the back end of the last day of school. That may mean no summer vacation for us.
As most of you know, the most recent Step Up Oklahoma plan failed in the House vote last month. As teachers marched at the State Capitol, legislators did not listen. Hopes are that in power, with great organization, maybe they’ll listen now.
I am a teacher.
I stay late each day. Working. On lesson plans. Grading papers. Making copies. Writing IEPs. Scheduling meetings. Attending meetings. Decorating my classroom walls with lesson appropriate instructional aids. Learning a better way to teach our students.
I rise early. I stop at the store and buy birthday cakes. And small birthday presents. And Takis. And pencils and erasers. And token economy rewards to motivate my students. All in the name of education. For the students.
In my room, we do reading. We do writing. We do math. But, we also do birthdays. We do holidays. We do manners. We do relationships. We do love. We do anger management. We do apologies and forgiveness. They know my room is safe. They know Jesus is alive and well both in my classroom and at Kendall-Whittier.
I am a teacher.
I teach the standards Oklahoma calls me to teach. But I teach more. So much more. We all do.
I teach life lessons that come our way. Those lessons that aren’t in the lesson plans, but you’ll carry with you long after the unit on fractions is over.
I care. We, as teachers, care. About our students. They become our own. We stand in front of them and take bullets if we have to.
We want to see them educated. Able to read. And write. And function independently in this world. And succeed.
I am accountable for what I teach. To my students. My principal. But mostly, my God.
Little lives are in my hands. I hold them gently. I want more than anything to teach and model for them the necessary academics to succeed AND be a positive example of what a healthy, godly life look like. That is my mantra. That is what and why I teach.
Please pray for our legislators. That they will listen. And act. And for our teachers. But more so, our students. For they are our future. They are the ones affected by this the most. They deserve our best!
In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness, and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us. Titus 2:7-8
Love and laughter,