A Teacher’s Open Letter to Legislators
I’ve written enough this week, but I still have more blogging to do. Maybe it’s time for another voice, though. For that, I’ll turn to long time blog follower and Bixby Public Schools educator, Jessica Jernegan.
In light of my less than productive capitol visit on Tuesday, and today’s legislative foolery, I just can’t keep this saved on my desktop any longer. Take or leave it, just my (frustration induced) two cents.
An Open Letter to Our Oklahoma State Legislature:
First and foremost, these suggestions do not apply to all of you, so let me say, just as I do in my classroom, you know who you are.
Below you’ll find just a few humble suggestions from a disheartened teacher who’s had enough.
1. STOP WASTING TIME on legislation that is both pointless and fiscally irresponsible. When we can define bills as, “an emotional distraction,” you’re not doing your job.
2. When teachers, parents, and administrators from your districts make the drive, week after week, to the capitol to meet with you, SHOW UP. There is never, and will never, be a situation at our schools in which we tell kids/parents “she’s gone for the day.” You are, by definition, a representative, act like it.
3. It is absolutely despicable that it is currently May 19th and we don’t have a BUDGET. I can guarantee you one thing, if your jobs depended upon it, as ours do, it would be done. Do your part to retain teachers in our state. Don’t leave them in limbo, wondering about their employment, or lack there of, while you waste time on issues that are irrelevant in the face of our current crisis.
4. RESPECT us as professionals. When we talk with you about state mandated testing, student impact, teacher evaluations, school funding, and teacher salaries, LISTEN TO US. We know what we are talking about. Give us the same professional courtesy you give your doctor. We care about the health of our public schools and the future of the students they serve. Treat us as if our opinion matters and is valid, because it does, and it is!
Thank you to those to which these suggestions do not apply, keep fighting the good fight. You know who you are.
Proud Oklahoma Teacher
To that, I’ll just add that Oklahomans are watching. Get a budget passed. Make sure it’s grounded in reality this time. We’ll be voting accordingly.