Monday, February 6, 2017

My Year of Politics

My year of politics started and ended with
this sweet Representative, Steve McMillan
This is my ninth year of teaching and I love it just as much now as I did my first day of school. I hope I have modeled for my kiddos (college freshman and high school freshman) how it feels to be passionate about what you do and they find something they love. I hope my students see my excitement for school supplies and math and it makes them excited to learn. So when the governor said that we "suck" I won't lie, it hurt, a lot. When the legislature makes decisions about my profession without consulting any educators, it feels wrong. It hurts because I give my all everyday for the children. Every teacher around me gives their best for them. We are all in our classrooms teaching our hearts out, closed off from the real world, without a voice.

Matthew Brown, State Board of Education Member showing off his
math skills. Having an engineer do math with my students was amazing.
Last year, I decided to venture out of my classroom and into the world of politics. I joined our 2016 Alabama Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Brown, in an effort to get as many legislators in my classroom as I could before the 2017 session started. We wanted them to see what school looks like.

Harry Shiver, Representative talking football with the guys!
I started last January emailing every legislator in my district asking them to come do math with us. I only heard from one. He came the last week of school. I guess he told all of his legislator friends how fun math was in my class because the next round of emails I sent out got lots of replies! The response was incredible with a State Board of Education member, three Alabama Representatives, and a Congressman coming to our classroom and participating in our learning. They all appreciated the opportunity to be inside a classroom.

Representative Alan Baker knows how to make a teacher feel appreciated!
He even called to congratulate me on receiving Teacher of the Year!
My students were proud to show them our classroom and activities. We felt empowered by building those relationships with the legislators. It was exciting to be part of something bigger than our classroom. My students were the experts and the voice our legislature needs to hear from. 

Congressman Bradley Byrne was a good sport as
we made him walk the football field to find distance!
The 2017 Legislative Session starts tomorrow and I wish all of them good luck! My hope is that these legislators hear our voice from our classroom and do what is best for every teacher and student in our state. Thanks for coming to do math with us, we loved it!
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