What Do Students in Oklahoma Deserve?

See this young lady? She’s my daughter. She is currently attending college to be an early childhood education teacher. She’s going to be one of the best. She has an incredible heart for kids. She is gifted with unending patience and a gentleness that you cannot teach. She values what children have to offer and understands that sometimes students can teach the adults a thing or two!

Oklahoma students deserve a future teacher like her.

My daughter and I have already had many conversations about her options when she graduates. I’m sad to say, I’ve told her she should consider leaving the state (or teach with me at HH!). I know the OK legislature just passed the bill for teacher raises (whole other can of worms with that one) but this is about more than a decent salary. This is about her being able to actually have the resources and means to teach her students. She will need pencils and paper that she doesn’t have to pay for out of her own pocket or beg and plead parents to donate. She must have books that are not falling apart, or so old they are irrelevant, so she can teach them how to read. She will need chairs and tables that don’t look like they have been through a war. She must have class sizes that are reasonable. 30 children in an early childhood classroom is absurd!

I want her to be able to come home from work without feeling defeated. She will pour her heart out, giving all she’s got to those kids but at the end of EVERY day, it will never seem like it is enough. She will look at those sweet faces and know they deserve so much better. Then, when the weight is just too much, when her heart finally breaks because of one more budget cut or snide remark about “you get the summer off” or “you knew what you signed up for”, she will leave the state and possibly the profession all together. It’s already happening in droves. What a tragedy!

As a Mom, I am so proud of her for following her heart. I want her to be happy, fulfilled, valued and appreciated. As an educator, I’m anxious and worried that if she stays in Oklahoma and teaches in public school, it will crush her. This state is losing the battle and it needs a major wake up call. Come April 2nd, the “phone” will start ringing. Let’s see if anyone picks up.

Current teachers deserve better. Future teachers deserve better. Students deserve better. Oklahoma deserves better.

Dr. Seuss 2017

By Thursday, March 2, 2017 0 No tags Permalink 0

 

Oh man, I’m tired.
Today wore me out.
How many times can I say,
“Please, don’t shout.”
We read lots of books
written by Dr. Seuss,
But if I read one more
my head will pop loose!
Today was great fun!
Happy birthday, Dr. S.
But I’m glad it’s over
’cause I need some rest!

Valentine’s Day 2017

By Tuesday, February 14, 2017 0 No tags Permalink 0

It was a wild but wonderful day. Friends, parties, treats, watching the Tulsa Opera, riding the bus, rain (which means, no playground recess).

We started the day by passing out our Valentine’s. There was a bit of confusion on putting Valentine’s IN the bags and not taking them OUT of the bag. Some of the kids were a tad ruffled at the fact someone was removing their treats from their bags! I told the kids it was just a mistake and that today was exciting and kind of crazy. One of my students replied with “yeah, this is the kind of day that can make you lose your mind.”

Preach, kid. Preach.

Lunch Convos

By Tuesday, November 22, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

As I sat with my students at lunch today we were talking about their plans for the holiday. They spoke of trips to big cities, visits with family and relatives and how much they were looking forward to dessert! One of my sweet kiddos spoke up and said, “Mrs. Ward, can we go around the table and say things that we’re thankful for?” Yes! Yes we can!!

We started out with a few typical responses. “I’m thankful for my iPad. I’m thankful for turkey. I’m thankful for dessert.” But to my surprise, and with zero influence from me, the conversation quickly shifted. I began to hear things like, “I’m thankful for my warm blanket at home. I’m thankful for the food I have to eat. I’m thankful for how much my parents and family love me. I’m thankful I get to go to school. I’m thankful for you, Mrs. Ward.” It was so uplifting to listen to these kindergarteners share thankful things. It started my holiday off in the best way possible. What are you thankful for?

Positivity is Key

By Wednesday, October 5, 2016 0 No tags Permalink 0

THIS!!!! Most of you know I am a teacher. I LOVE my job. I love education. But most of all, I love and appreciate my students & strive daily to create a positive and uplifting environment for them. This is a beautiful example of what should be happening in schools all across this country. Watch the students faces light up with just a few positive words from their teacher. This certainly doesn’t have to be isolated to a school setting. Why not try this with your friends, family members, church groups…the possibilities are endless. Go make someone’s day!

http://abcn.ws/2dHQ8M5