TEACHER FOR STATE SENATE 2018Moore, Oklahoma deserves someone who will listen to the citizens, someone who is present, and willing to dig deep to find the common ground between us all to get things done.
THIS CHOIR TEACHER IS CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO
I’ve been a middle school choir teacher for 14 years. I grew up in Moore, rode my bike on these streets, sang in the choir (Apollyras!), and graduated from Moore High School in 2000. I got my Bachelor and Masters degrees in Music Education at Southwestern Oklahoma State University and I came back to Moore.
My first and only teaching job has been in Norman, at Irving Middle School. Because of my own experiences, I have made it my mission to help these students get through middle school with dignity intact, and I use music to teach them citizenship. But these kids that I have watched grow and evolve have dealt with bigger problems than middle-school me could have ever dreamed about. I know that I can help to a point, but somewhere along the line, I stop having the power to do anything but offer a shoulder to cry on. That is when I look to our state leaders.
I have had conversations. I’ve gone to the Capitol. I’ve witnessed meetings live and streaming at home. I’ve watched debates about my future and the future of my students, my kids, and my family. I’ve watched as our leaders have decided to do what they’ve always done because that’s the way they’ve always done it. And I’m tired of watching someone else make decisions for the children of this state without listening to the people who live here.
So I’m done watching. I’m listening. I’m listening to you and I want to hear your stories. I want to work with you to help the best way I can. I will listen, and I will work for YOU, because I know I’m not the only one tired of hearing from the status quo.
I’ve been a teacher for 14 years. Nothing is closer to my heart than public education in Oklahoma. It is imperative that we fully fund our schools and make public education the priority it deserves to be. It’s time to table the testing and replace it with more recess. Acknowledge the many studies that show how kids learn best and trust our teachers to do what’s right for the students of Oklahoma.
The majority of lower middle class citizens are just one emergency or unforeseen event away from homelessness or bankruptcy. I have students who are at a different address every other week, are in and out of school, come to class exhausted and wearing shoes that are falling off their feet. It’s hard to remember how to do Algebra when you can’t remember the last time you had a decent meal. If we’re to solve the problems of the “failing schools,” we need to look first at the needs that are not being met before they ever get to school. These people are our future and we are letting them drift in the dust.
When I look at my students, I see people that are trying to figure out who and what they are. Some walk out my door and the world lies at their feet. Others are not so lucky. We are not pigs on some animal farm, where some are more equal than others. We should honor the people of this state regardless of who their parents are, how much money they have, where they were born, the color of their skin, their religion, their gender, or their sexuality. A person is a person with hopes and dreams, if only we’d stop to LISTEN.