I’ve been seeing on Facebook about a State Capitol Day event for educators, parents, and students to come out and let legislators know how sick and tired we all are about the treatment of public education in this state.
These rallies have been held before, and will be held again I’m sure. Education is just an easy target, and we just can’t seem to let our guard down for one second.
ESA, budget cuts, consolidation…all of these things have been on the agenda for derailing public education in Oklahoma. I’m sure there are more out there, but these are the ones that have been front and center to trigger the most outrage from those of us fighting to protect our students.
I’ve never been to a rally for any cause. Not really the type. I’m considering going to this one though. For the experience, for a chance to have my say (and for this shy person, that’s saying A LOT that I feel this strongly enough to go).
But to what end? Will it be enough? I’ve seen comments on social media about how it’s not worth it. It’s not a big enough message. Some have mentioned a strike. But that’s just not an option for me.
You see, I have these wonderful students that I just love to pieces. They depend on me to be there for them, for all kinds of reasons. Most of those reasons are to teach, but some of those reasons are bigger than that for them.
I couldn’t walk out on them. It’s how I would feel if I did that. And it’s what the legislators count on, too. They count on us not crossing that line, because it hurts our students more than it hurts them. Some of them, I’m sad to say this, could probably care less about whether we are there or not. For them, it would be a way of saying to the public, “See! They just don’t care! They’ve walked out on their obligation to educate.” They’d make us into the bad guys. Despite all the garbage they’ve been raining down on education.
I feel like I’m at my wit’s end. Things have become so frustrating. I hate feeling this low, negative, and defeated. And for what? What did public education do to deserve this? I can’t for the life of me understand this.
All I have ever wanted to do is teach. There has been this steady attack of mandates trying to kill the joy of teaching, which in turn kills the joy of learning. I try hard not to let it affect me. I try hard to be the teacher my students so desperately need me to be…the teacher I desperately need and want to be.
Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Who knows. All I know is, I’m not going down without a fight. My children are worth this fight. My students (past, present, and future) are worth this fight. My fellow teachers are worth this fight. But we ALL need to fight.