Can we perhaps change things?

(This is very local to Scottsdale, Arizona. “SOS” refers to a FB page called Safeguard Our Students).

Perhaps you have heard this little quip before, but here it is again: making changes to this world does not happen by clicking “like” on a Facebook page. Making actual comments on a posting on a FB page doesn’t count either.

Real change happens when enough people decide to actually DO something—as in get out of their homes and participate. I’ve been telling my teacher-friends that despite how overwhelmed we all are with huge class sizes and with all of the other responsibilities that come with teaching, we have allow some of our time and energy to go towards politics (the override election, especially) or we’re going to have even less time in future years with our students as our funding sources are threatened and as people with no real knowledge of education get elected into various offices. When teachers say something like this: “I have 170 students! I don’t have time for politics,” the response should be this: “If you think it’s bad this year, wait until you have even more students next year.” I’m sure that there are many teachers who lost their jobs (due to decreased funding) for the upcoming school year who wished they had done more to pass last year’s override election, which lost by only 237 votes. I know that I wish I had done more….

There is a time when it’s necessary to “close the door and teach,” but now is not that time.

I have been doing this job for 22 years, and only in the last 18 months have I seen the need to get out from behind my classroom door and get active. Part of the problem is this, though: I should have been out from behind my classroom door for longer than just the past 18 months. I’m not sure when I should have gotten active, but I am guessing it was maybe 5-7 years ago.

There are a number of political seats up in this election cycle and—with the right people voted in—a chance to perhaps turn the tide of the education both in Arizona and in SUSD itself.

It’s going to take work, but probably not a whole lot of it if a lot of us got involved.

Here are some ways to get active:

  • 1) The Yes to Children Campaign has magnets that you can put on your car. People (parents maybe) in your school parking lots will see the magnets and may realize that this is important to teachers—and it’s probably important to teachers because it’s important FOR kids.
  • 2) Many of the political candidates are walking neighborhood and talking to people directly. I’m walking for Jeff Schwartz on Saturday, and I have plans to walk for at least one other candidate and to walk for the override election. That’s a big one: we need people to walk neighborhoods for the override. Contact SOS if you are interested.
  • 3) Many of the political candidates have yard signs that you can put out. It’s easy and may influence neighbors who respect you but who don’t have time to study candidates’ positions on issues.
  • 4) Many candidates are also holding events where volunteers make calls to potential voters.
  • 5) Some candidates need help putting their street signs up and replacing ones that have been vandalized.
  • 6) There’s always money, of course. Running a campaign takes lots of money.

That’s just a list of the easy stuff. There are also bigger opportunities like hosting a “Meet and Greet” for candidates. You could also bring someone in to present an Override Presentation to your friends and neighbors. Contact SOS if that’s of interest to you.

If you need contact information for any candidates, contact SOS, and we’ll get it to you.

Between now and November 4, I urge you to do more than click “like.” I urge you to place yourself in the position of helping future kids.

Posted in education, politics, teaching

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