I Am A Teacher!

Posted: September 11, 2016 in Uncategorized

This past summer I attended Nuts and Bolts where Debbie Silver stated:

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She shared this to remind us that we are important and that we should be proud of what we do each day.

So, I AM A TEACHER!

Now, for those of you who don’t really know what is going on in Oklahoma (except for the earthquakes), education has not been at the top of our state legislation agendas. They continue to take money from us, which is why class sizes average in the 25-35 range across the state.

We have teachers leaving the state because the pay has been bad and nothing has changed in many, many years. It’s so bad that this year David Boren, President of the University of Oklahoma, started a petition and now has on our November ballot to have a one percent sales tax increase to help with teacher pay raises in the state.

Is this the all out answer? No. Will it help? Yes.

What has me bothered is that this past week I saw that the city I live and teach in will be having a city council meeting on Monday. What are they going to talk about?

screen-shot-2016-09-11-at-8-29-55-pmNow I know that most people think that a city saying to vote no on a sales tax increase can make sense. In fact, they’re saying that they are afraid that if we have this sales tax increase that it could make it difficult when we vote on a sales tax increase to help with city projects.

I understand your view. However, did you think about what it feels like you’re saying to me?

Everyday I walk into my classroom because I love to teach. I love helping students learn new things and to become better citizens. However, I feel like you, the City of Stillwater, may want to punish me because the State of Oklahoma legislation didn’t do their job.

Yes, you stated “The Oklahoma Legislature has repeatedly failed to adequately fund common and higher education in the state” and I agree with you. However, is it my fault?

By saying that you do not support this sales tax increase feels like you do not appreciate the hours that I put into my career. A career that is teaching our youth, not just about math, but how to be strong citizens and how to better themselves.

Not supporting this sales tax increase is saying that Oklahoma State University (with over 6,000 employees) is not important in our community. Over 20,000 students attend this university and without the sales tax increase, they may have to downsize (which they’ve been doing). Also, they are teaching students who will be teachers in the next 1-5 years. Right now, newly graduated teachers are leaving Stillwater and Oklahoma in hopes of higher pay. Do you want to kick people out of town?

I feel that we need to say YES to this question to help Oklahoma become a competitor in the education world. Right now there are so many AWESOME educators working their butts off! However, if we continue to get treated the way that we are, many more are going to leave.

I hope that you take a moment to think about how this effects teachers, parents, children and everyone else. This is not just about a future project that you may like, but it’s about the future of our city, state and most importantly our children.

Vote yes to State Question 779 on Tuesday, November 8, 2016!

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