Today Joanna and I joined a couple of friends and went to the Capitol. Though I knew it would likely be a bit overwhelming I thought it would be a good experience for both of us. It was.
Since the walkout began I’ve been wondering how to encourage our teachers. While sad about the tension and stress that surrounds the current situation I am thankful that they’re working to make things better for our students. I’m sure there are other things we can do, but for today, going to the Capitol with them and saying thanks was something we could do. I’m glad we did.
We found a friend who’s a music teacher at one of the elementary schools here in town and visited with her awhile. It was so good to be able to hug her and tell her we appreciate her effort. Then as we were about to begin a lap around the building we found another teacher friend. This teacher is one that Joanna looked forward to seeing every day, she loved giving her a hug and saying hello. It was so sweet to see them get to reunite in the crowd.
After our lap around the building we stopped by the stage to listen as some high school students from Edmond shared speeches they’d prepared. These students did a great job! They shared experiences from their years in school, they shared ways teachers had impacted them, and they requested that our legislators find a way to fund education. It was encouraging.
One of the students finished up his talk by chanting “more education, less hesitation”.
Tonight I heard a something from the shower, it was our kindergartner repeating that line over and over. She even added a stomp to it on the “ion” part of each word. When she got out she told me “that’s just stuck in my head, I even added a stomp!”
I don’t think the high school student could have anticipated that not only would his chant get stuck in our heads, but also be used to learn a new vocabulary word! Hesitation was a new one for our girl 🙂
And, while she can tell you that the teachers walked out because they want the best for their students and the schools need more money for that to happen, I don’t think she knows that she was present as history is being made. She witnessed (another new vocabulary word today) a great example of so many things today: the freedom we have to assemble and speak up, teachers standing up for students, calling on our elected officials to do better at the job they asked us to give to them, people from lots of places and backgrounds coming together for a common cause, and so much more. I’m hopeful that this effort of so many will result in positive change and that someday our history books will include the story of today, and my kiddo will read it and know that she saw it happening.
While I don’t begin to claim to have any answers to this situation, I can say that I want good situations for our kids, and having schools with proper equipment and teachers who are properly compensated should not be considered optional.
I’m proud of the teachers who are standing up for our future, and I hope that great changes will come, and come quickly.