Let me rephrase that. Political activism energizes me. Talking with people who share my passion for teaching energizes me. Putting the two together makes me feel like yes, we can make a difference.
Social issues. Economic conditions. Budgets.
The cycle continues.
Social issues: Students without role models, without support, living in homes where normal is what most would call dystfunctional.
Economic conditions: children without crayons, children without lunch, children without homes.
Budgets: Inflation pushes costs higher and higher, operating budgets stay the same, and teachers are left to do more and more with less and less.
Social: child misses school frequently due to head lice
Economic: family can't afford to buy the chemicals and wash the bedding and clothes
Budgets: School secretary has to continually check the child's head because there is only a nurse in the building once a week for half a day.
Social Issues: Children determined to succeed
Economic conditions: Children in poverty, unable to buy materials
Budget: Class sizes get larger and larger because the districts can't afford to pay enough teachers
And so on, and so on, etcetera, etcetera.
The saddest part of the cycle is the potential result, the results we keep fighting and fighting one day at a time, one child at a time. When we look at today's second graders, we see the graduates of ten years in the future. We teachers know that when these little kiddos grow up, they'll need to know how to read, write, handle basic math, interact with others, and much, much more.
We know, we teachers do, that no one can look today's second graders in the eye ten years from now and say, "Gee, we're sorry we didn't teach you all you need to know, but y'know, the economy was bad, we did our best."
Education can't go into an economic slump; today's second graders need more skills, not fewer skills, to succeed in a world where the future is just not certain. Budgets are tight, and we'll keep pinching pennies, but before my thumbs start to imprint Abraham Lincoln, please realize: this cycle affects everybody. That's why, my dear readers, I'll continue to be politically active.
It energizes me because I know those in office hold a lot of power.
I'll keep putting my energy toward electing those who will make the right decisions on social issues, economic conditions, and budgets, because all of those directly affect education.
And education can't slump, or the cycle will continue.
This is a reprint of a guest post on PunditMom. Stumble It!