Breaking the Silence
You have to watch this video. It’s only 12 minutes long. It’s a group of Moore Public Schools teachers talking about the struggles of students and of teachers. It finishes with each discussing why they stay.
If you receive my blog by email, click on the link and open the video. It’s that good.
As you probably know, before coming to Mid-Del in August, I spent seven years working with these people. They’re my friends. The teacher who opens the video, Ray Robinson, was my roommate during a conference in the DC area in 2013. He’s an interesting guy with a hell of a backstory. He loves his school. He practically lives up there during the summer, off the clock, for free.
That’s what teachers do.
What breaks my heart is the student teacher who loves the district but has done the math, and has decided to leave the state. That’s a real story too.
Teachers working second jobs. Real.
Teachers leaving the profession in tears because they want to support their families better. Real.
Teachers staying, even though they qualify for government assistance. Real. Trust me. I’ve been there too. Unlike this teacher, we took the help. That’s when I decided to leave the classroom.
The people in this video all work in Moore. They could just as easily work in Mid-Del, Mustang, Medford, or Muskogee, where I’ve also worked. They could even work in districts that don’t start with an M. These are the stories of teachers in Idabel and Woodward; Sand Springs and Duncan; Tulsa and Oklahoma City. These are rural, suburban, and urban school teachers. Moore just happens to be the one telling the story right now.
Speaking of my friends from Moore, Dr. Jason Perez today published an article on Hot Chalk talking about the importance of teachers advocating for the profession; their students; themselves. For those of you who aren’t aware, Jason was a principal for many years before becoming the Executive Director for TLE at the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
I’m proud of my friends in Moore.
Thank you for sharing your struggle.
Thank you for using your words.
As for the rest of us, we need to make sure our legislators see this video. We need to make sure the governor sees it. As Dr. Romines says at the end, we really don’t care if it’s the one-cent sales tax or something else, fund education. Now. Quit making excuses.
Money and respect. That’s all it will take to fix education. Maybe it sounds trite, but our children deserve better. So do the people who spend every day with them.
Break the silence. Speak up. Tell your story. And share until you can’t share anymore.