Setting a record for the largest teacher pay raise in the history of the state, Oklahoma teachers ended their nine-day walkout last week, and classrooms will resume.
For more than 10 years, Oklahoma teachers hadn’t seen a pay raise, but now they’ve acquired a partial victory with millions of dollars in new education funding, and they plan to shift their focus to candidates in the next election who favor increased education spending.
Many people today can remember a teacher that made a significant impact on their journeys in school, and while they may not believe they have the power to make difference in the lives of their teachers, the truth is— they can.
1. ‘Reach out a hand’
One of the easiest ways that you can support your teachers is by writing a letter, and sharing the ways in which they positively affected you and helped shape the person you are today. Don’t hesitate; teachers love to know what their previous students are doing and have done since leaving the classroom.
2. ‘Speak out, and say something’
Being vocal about current issues like education and taxes is important. Consider visiting a local school or city council meeting the next chance you get. Voicing your opinions about the issues is how to effectively use your freedom of speech to create action. For years, teachers in Oklahoma have been receiving lower wages, but in their efforts to support one another, teachers came together to get what they needed for each other. It worked.
3. ‘Do it now, don’t wait’
Actions will always speak louder than words, and getting involved to help your teachers is great cause to get behind. We’ve got a while to go before the next upcoming elections, but you can still start learning about the best candidates for your beliefs. Donate money to local schools. Spend time helping at your local Boys & Girls Club. There are plenty of ways that you can help make a difference, and they all start with YOU.
For more information regarding the Oklahoma teacher walkout, visit www.okea.org.