- · EPIC, with two sponsors, Oklahoma and Rose State University, run by Epic Youth Services, LLC
- · Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy, run (‘powered’) by the Superindentist’s beloved K12
- · Insight School of Oklahoma, also run (uh, ‘powered’) by K12
- · Oklahoma Connections Academy, run by Connection LLC – or Pearson! Mega Ed Corporation
Saturday, September 15, 2018
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
- · Just ignore them
- · Tell them to stop
- · Just walk away
- · Play somewhere else
- · Play with someone else
- · We can’t do anything
- · It’s his/her word against yours
- · No one else witnessed it, so we can’t do anything
- · Boys will be boys
Maybe the answer is to trust the kids...as then stand for the silent
Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Runoff elections are in one week. Both the Democrat and Republican tickets have races for House, Senate, and state races. Libertarians have a runoff for the office of governor, and, Independents, remember you are welcome to vote in the Democrat's runoff.
I have harped on elections and voting before on my blog. I've pointed out that teachers are sometimes our worst enemy when it comes to voting, and voting for #oklaed. I may have used the term "shooting ourselves in the foot." I've pointed out the dismal numbers for teachers: former State Senator John Sparks told me 30% of teachers vote. The former Superintendent of Schools, and no fan of teachers, Janet Barresi, DDS, put the number closer to 18%. Former State Representative and governor candidate, and my friend Joe Dorman, says about 1 in 6 teachers are registered to vote, and vote.
Joe, as Chief Executive Officer of Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, is fulfilling a dream to serve the children of our state, and to be a catalyst for educators to hold themselves and each other accountable on election day. He and I have talked about Chalk the Vote, a 'get out the vote' initiative aimed at teachers, since his own race for governor. Now we both have time to devote to this effort, and Tuesday the 28th is our first test. Can we encourage teachers to support each other's efforts to go to the polls? I hope so.
I hope we will continue the energy of our Chalk the Vote Meet-up at the Capitol during the second week of the Walk Out in April. It was cool and windy, but the enthusiasm was infectious. We were working together for a positive goal. We met old friends and made new friends as Joe spoke into a bullhorn, sharing his vision of educators working together in a totally nonpartisan way to brainstorm ideas for making it easier for teachers to vote.
We have a FaceBook page, and teachers have volunteered to be Block Captains, being the point person at their school to share voting information...NOT WHOM to vote for, just HOW and WHEN and WHY to vote. We share resources, including the Oklahoma Election Board website, where you can see a sample ballot for the runoff, and check your voting precinct. We all have strong opinions, and I'm hoping that teachers saw first-hand which candidates were supportive and have earned their votes. Chalk The Vote is about getting us to the polls.
I was a teacher. I know what it's like to teach all day on a Tuesday, drive home, and then remember that it's election day. I know how hard it is to stay informed and feel like your votes reflect the attention you've paid to races. I know.
I know it's hard to stay informed as a teacher...our days and nights and weekends are filled with planning and grading, and family and children. So, Chalk the Vote is trying to be a clearing house of information on how and where to vote.
On our FB page, we've talked about mail-in voting...which requires notarization. We've talked about early voting in each county the Thursday, Friday and Saturday morning before election day. We've talked about strategies to help teachers slip out, as is legal, and vote while their classes are covered by subs or by colleagues. We've talked about having tables for voter registration at parent nights, and having forms in the teacher's lounges. We've talked about the deadlines for registering and requesting mail-in ballots. Our page has been a safe place for us to put aside our partisanship (and everyone KNOWS I'm partisan), to just celebrate our right to vote.
We are working on extending the concept of teacher support to parents and to high school students. Talks with PTA parents are beginning, and we are beginning to reach out to student civics groups to replicate our support system.
We want to inspire all citizens to fully participate in the electoral process. To proudly proclaim that we've voted. To wear those stickers proudly, to be a model for our students and our children of an active, interested citizen.
Chalk the Vote is actively seeking ideas for how to make voting easier for busy educators, parents, and students. We want to hear your thoughts.
There are plenty of places to learn about candidates. Social media is one. Connecting with candidates on FaceBook or Twitter can give you a sense of their issues and views. Attending community forums is another way to see and hear candidates in action. Several groups online have lists of recommended candidates and ones to avoid. I'm not going to tell you how to vote, but I hope if you're my friend, you are a voter, and #oklaed is a priority. Some candidates have stronger credibility with the education world than others. That's for you to learn about the candidates you'll be voting for.
After the runoff, and once we have a full slate of candidates for office, I'm hoping you'll find candidates you can support...donate time and money to. Put out a yard sign, share positive news about your candidates. Knock doors, attend fundraisers, write checks. Knock doors. Be vocal about whom you support and why. Talk to neighbors and family. Share why these candidates have earned your support.
And vote. And help friends to vote. And support colleagues as they vote. And stand a little taller, knowing you've done your part to make our state the best it can be.
So...Chalk the Vote. Join us.
Saturday, July 28, 2018
Thursday, July 19, 2018
- Teachers are committed to their students.
- Teachers know their subjects, and how to teach those subjects to students.
- Teachers manage and monitor student learning.
- Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
- Teachers are members of learning communities.
I was sitting with my Oklahoma House Representative, Jacob Rosecrants, a former teacher, and even earlier, a former student in my English 1 class. We both agreed this group of students made us deeply miss being in the classroom.
- Helps us engage
- Sets the climate
- Is understanding
- Has unfailing respect
- Brings me into the school
- Asks me how I am
- Invests in students
- Says we're in this together
- Expands our vision of what we can be and do in the future
- Engages us in the subject, not just teaches for the next test
- Cares about what they're teaching
- Connects the class to our lives
- Takes something they're passionate about and uses it to help us learn
- Shares how their subject connects to our future.
- Boring teachers don't connect their subject to us
- Adds physical activity when we're tired and distracted
- Keeps us off our cell phones
- Uses voice tone and pitch to hold our interest
- Moves around the room to keep us on task
- Has consistent procedures
- Show us you're learning too
- Build to be that veteran teacher
- Know you won't be perfect all the time
- Don't try to please everyone
- It's hard for teachers to invest in 40 kids in one room (1)
- Small classes let teachers know me (1)
- In small classes, there are more opportunities for attention and participation (1, 2)
- Small classes let teachers individualize the curriculum (2)
- Small classes let teachers give more and better explanations of the material (2, 3)
- Teachers can see what kids need and give us that in small classes (2, 3)
Friday, June 22, 2018
Hi! Remember me? Your neighborhood nagging granny. I'm here to beat the drum for voting Tuesday. It's not like I haven't talked about voting before...One of my first posts was about voting...and the fact teachers DON'T.
One example of our power as voters was the State Superintendent race in 2014. We (actually, the GOP in their primary) did send a loud message to the SuperinDentist, when she came in third in a three-person race.We can make a difference when we vote.
I wrote passionately about the Teacher Caucus in 2016 -- this amazing group of educators who took the risk of running for office. I wrote. I cheered. And I watched nearly every candidate go down in flames. We didn't vote. And the past two years of legislative inaction is a direct result of our neglect.
Speaking of VOTING: Tuesday!!
So, Tuesday we have another opportunity to vote. To vote #oklaed. To tell our students how much we care about their future. To tell the new teachers I've watched do their interning in Oklahoma classrooms, who choose to move to TX to teach, "Stay. We need you and we will pay you."
There are several lists of recommendations out there and by all means, look at them all. Oklahoma Parents and Educators publish their Apple list. Start there. And then, as a responsible citizen, do your own research.
Here is a new site I really like, VoteOK. They have guides that include all candidates' websites. One page guides you though listing and prioritizing your issues, so you can look at candidates through that lens.
Educators can join Chalk the Vote and stay up-to-date on election information...we hope to also encourage each other to VOTE. Chalk the Vote is sponsored by Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, and is the brain-child of Joe Dorman. I highly recommend book-marking OICA's legislative page. Lots of great information about advocacy.
All the information you need about elections is on the Election Board website. I've printed out a sample ballot and used that to search the candidates. You'll find all the information you need to be ready to vote.
Candidates DID pay attention to the Teacher WalkOut, and all candidates remind us they're related to someone who taught once. They all tell you they care deeply. Education is their top priority. But...we must be informed voters to see beyond their heart-felt commercials set in an empty classroom. We must be careful readers and voters...
What follows is my list...a list of words to search for on candidates' webpages, FaceBook pages, and listen for in their statements. With the help of the smartest friends in the world, I've put together a list of RED FLAG words that might mean a candidate is not as education-friendly as they are trying to tell us. These words should give you pause as you visit their pages. And they should encourage you to keep looking for that candidate.
DISCLAIMER: Yes, you will see a bias in my list. The bias is in favor of fully-funded and supported public schools in Oklahoma.
What other words and phrases (yes, clauses too) set off alarm bells in your head?
I'm off to go vote early. If you have never done that, try! It's fast and fun. And you still get a sticker!!