It’s been a bit since I’ve posted something. I think I needed to stop, absorb the end of the walk-out, and dig a little deeper into my classroom. I’ve thought and discussed with those that are wiser than me and have come to a few conclusions.
Our legislators learned NOTHING from the walk-out.
They quickly began dismantling the passed funding, moved on to unconstitutional laws, and pushing a bill without allowing any questions or debate. Man, if you have the chance to watch the House’s last day in session (May 3rd), DO IT. If you don’t have time for that much, start at about 4:00 pm ish – maybe closer to 4:30. It will be worth your time – but prepare to get angry and stay that way.
I read an article –
Lawmakers said they could be back as early as July to hash out lingering education and medical marijuana issues that went unaddressed in the final days of the shortened session, which usually ends the final Friday in May.
Let me get this straight. They patted themselves on the back for a job well done earlier than required, but they didn’t even finish. And a third special session will cost how many tens of thousands of dollars A DAY???? They refused to do the work in the month of May, so they will come back and cost us even more money. How much sense does that make???
They had it made.
Teachers had finally gone back to school. They could finally do their jobs in “peace” (except for Norman, and Mid-Del, and Moore, and a few other districts that continued to send a delegation of teachers to the Capitol to keep an eye on them). Now they want to go back when we’re on our mythical summer vacation and we have “all the time in the world” to keep watch. Not their smartest move.
On one side, we have the people who agree with them and are already angry about the tax increases. Why not make them more angry by costing them over $30,000 a day for special session to pass more tax increases?
On the other side, we have the people who don’t agree with them who are angry that they took so long to do something, anything, and more angry that they didn’t do it right and have to try again. For the fourth time (this would be the third special session devoted to this cause, PLUS the regular session). In the last year.
How is there any way that this scenario could actually play out in their favor?
But I digress.
Our teachers walked defiantly out of our classrooms and into the Capitol for two weeks.
We dragged our feet walking away, heads sagging, knowing how much our kids needed us back, but also knowing our work wasn’t done.
See, the thing is, something even bigger happened during those two weeks that many aren’t talking about. While the legislators hang their hats weeks earlier than planned, they think they’ve outdone themselves this time. But this entire thing has only served to awaken the sleeping giant and fill it with a terrible resolve. There are teachers that have never, in their decades of teaching, been this engaged. They are already signing up to help teachers who are running for office. They are donating time and energy to replace the people who aren’t serving Oklahoma, and their “break” hasn’t even started yet.
We are tired. We are angry. We are resolute.
When faced with a class full of students who don’t care, we somehow manage to turn the tide because it is not just our job to teach them. It is our passion and our life’s work to build in them the desire to be taught. No, we don’t succeed 100% of the time with 100% of the kids, but we work diligently and we make a difference a few students (if we’re lucky, more) at a time. We work with hard-headed, stubborn individuals that think they know everything EVERY DAY. If our love for the job and our students can withstand school-aged hard-headedness, then why would our determination in any way be weakened by that same obstinance in the form of an adult? They’re just taller. And they have less of an excuse for their behavior and poor life choices.