In fact, I had a conversation with one woman that has stuck with me the past few days and has inspired tonight’s blog.
Within just a few minutes of my arriving at Rush Park Auditorium, she approached me and introduced herself. She is a teacher at one of our Los Alamitos elementary schools, mom of children who attend our schools and a Rossmoor resident. She told me she’d been following my campaign, reading my blog posts and spreading my name around her school. I think I can actually say she might be one of my biggest supporters … and we hadn’t even met yet!
She told me that while reading my blog she yelled to her husband, “You’ve got to read this! It’s like I could have written it myself!” Turns out, my “teacher” voice is coming through loud and clear. And it got me thinking … I’m running for a Los Al School Board seat because I have a passion for education, but I now realize having a teacher on the board is more necessary than ever.
As a teacher, I can bring perspective, insight, voice, and knowledge to this entrusted Board position. Because of new standards and a new funding formula in California, the next four years are going to bring some tough decisions about:
- teacher tenure
- raises and benefits
- teacher training
- common core implementation
- special education
- funding plans for programs
- technology implementation
When I think about the list, I realize each and every one of these touches a teacher. They are tough issues, and I want a teacher helping to make decisions about each one of them. I’m sure that any one of the current Board members, well-respected doctors and business people, can speculate and surmise and guess about possible impacts and implications, but until you’ve been a teacher in a classroom dealing with district mandates year-over-year, all the assumptions about the impact those mandates have on a classroom or teacher mean nothing. I can’t promise to know all the answers, or even promise that I will always make decisions that are easy for teachers, but I can promise that a teacher’s voice will be heard before decisions are made. Isn’t that all a teacher ever wants? To be heard? To be valued? To be respected?
Yes, schools are a business; however, our business is kids. Our kids deserve the best we can offer … and that responsibility lies in the hands of the teachers – the one person who has the most impact on a child’s success. Nothing our district achieves is possible without them.
So to all my teacher supporters … I “get it.” And I plan to help all the other Board members “get it,” too.
My fellow teachers, go, teach, inspire – and let me take care of business.