Here’s a big win for the week:
The walk out of teachers all across Oklahoma is the win for the week. I have a lot of teacher friends and I am proud of them for taking a stand and demanding better funding for education. It is utterly ridiculous how little our teachers are paid and the lack of funding they receive in order to do their jobs. Our average teacher salary is now 50th in the nation, yet our legislator salaries are 15th in the nation – you tell me how is that fair???? Twenty years ago, I was on track to become a teacher – I graduated with a teaching endorsement and my plan was to teach high school French. At the time I was working at a popular retail store and was offered an assistant manager position – the starting salary was the same as the starting salary for a teacher in Oklahoma and because there aren’t a lot of teaching positions open for foreign language, I took the retail position. That eventually led to a career as an administrative assistant (if you wanna call that a career), and I am now making more money than most teachers in my area. AND I don’t have to grade papers, or attend school functions, or any other number of things teachers have to do when they’re not actually in the classroom. It just doesn’t seem logical that we pay teachers (and EMS workers and police officers – you know, people who SAVE LIVES) so very little when their jobs are so incredibly important. Makes ZERO sense.
Anyway, I hope this walkout does some good for the teachers in Oklahoma. Yes our legislature voted last week to give teachers a raise, and the teachers are grateful, but honestly it just wasn’t enough. That raise would have gotten our teachers up to speed in salary…if the year was 2006. And that is why they are still at our state capitol, talking to legislators, and asking for more money. Because when you need $100, a ten dollar bill just isn’t going to help much.
I think this is a great example of standing up for what you need and knowing you are worth what you ask for.