Today is day two of work to the contract at Tulsa Public Schools.
It’s the plan until April 2nd. The day we officially strike.
We are only to do what we are contracted to do.
That translates to no more staying late grading papers. No more coming in early to print today’s worksheets. No more staying late writing next week’s lesson plans. No more staying late writing or holding meetings for IEPs. No more taking work home to complete.
Because we are paid LESS. Than all the 50 states.
But, I have to tell you, I have mixed emotions. About the whole deal.
I am in total agreement that it is not right for classroom teachers to go over a decade without a raise in pay. Cost of living, at the very least.
I’m all for unity. United we stand. Strength in numbers.
But, I am torn. Being advised to stay within my contractual hours is difficult for me. I’m a new teacher. I opwrate on a lesr ing curve. It takes me longer to prepare. To learn all there is to know.
I do not want my students to be slighted. By my lack of time spent in preparation. I do not want to teach them to reward negative behavior.
What I do want to teach them is respect. We say it every day at Kendall-Whittier. It’s posted in our classrooms and in our halls. Respect for ourselves. Respect for each other. And respect for property.
Our legislators do not show respect. For others. For teachers in particular. How in turn, can they respect themselves, turning a deaf ear to the very educators that teach their children, and who taught them what they know today?
I will support my fellow teachers on April 2nd. But I answer to a bigger, stronger entity than the OEA. I ultimately answer to God.
I will continue to give my best to my students. It’s my calling. Even if that means working more than the contract. Because it takes me longer. You see, I’m working for the Lord. Not for men. My reward is not found in monetary dollars. It’s found in heavenly blessings.
Let’s all pray that more of our legislators would work for the Lord rather than themselves. Then we might see the change we so desire.
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord, and not men. Colossians 3:23
Love and laughter,