Thursday, November 24, 2016


The month of November was a bit of a rough one my fellow educators, but somehow we have survived. Or maybe we just keep telling ourselves that we have survived. However, if we look through the bull crap, we will see a lot of different things to be thankful for in education this November.

We are still here.

I know that might sound a little crazy since a lot of teachers are leaving this state faster than cheddar pretzels at a Weight Watchers meeting. But for right now in these moments, we are here, and we have each other. We have each other’s backs. I will tell you right now that I would go to the mat for any of my oklaed peeps and fellow educators any day of the week. Things might be bad right now, and they might be bad for a little bit or a lot bit longer but we are still here, and we still have each other. I will say it over and over and over again. There is nothing quite like the oklaed community of educators.

We still impact lives.

No matter what we are reaching students. Since the election, my students have been my greatest source of joy. I love watching their successes and watching them fall in love with music. I will admit that past few weeks have been hard, but they have proved to me time and time again this is the profession that I’m meant to be in. You still have an impact, no matter it what setting you are in, you can still and you do impact and change the lives of the students and adults that you come in contact with every single day.

We still have donuts and coffee.

There is no reason to for me to explain this one any further.

So Happy Thanksgiving teachers! Be awesome and be amazing. Eat lots of pie today!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Electives Matter

*Thank you to those in my PLN that helped with the creation of these questions. Josh Flores, you the real MVP.*

I’m back and leading one of the fastest hours in the Twitterverse on Sunday night. The oklaed Twitter chat is one of the best sources of professional development. This Sunday night at 8 pm Central Standard time I will moderating the chat and our topic is Electives Matters.

Clearly I love Electives. I mean I am an Electives/Fine Arts teacher, and it has my dream since I was a child. So if you want to get a jump start on the questions and have some brilliant answers go forth and be fabulous! If you answer in GIF forms ahem Rick Cobb, you will be my BFF.

Q1: What are the Electives/Specials offerings at your school?

Q2: What does the phrase “educating the whole child.” mean to you?

Q3: Why are Electives important to school culture?

Q4: If you could choose one Elective to be required for all students, what would it be?

Q5: If you could teach any Elective what would it be? Think out of the box!!!

Q6: How do we protect Electives in a time of budget cuts?

Q7: Should kids lose their Electives/Specials time to receive intervention?

Q8: Follow up to question seven, what other intervention ideas can we use to ensure that students are served correctly but don’t lose their Electives/Specials offerings?

Q9: What is your personal reason for fighting for Electives/Specials in our schools and our state?

Q10: How can you show support for your school’s Electives/Specials programming?

Monday, November 14, 2016

What Comes Next

So on last Tuesday night when it became very clear that SQ 779 wasn’t going to pass, I started going through a wide range of emotion. From anger to uncontrollable sadness I couldn’t even handle. I cry a lot all the time anyway, so it should come as no surprise that I cried. Yes, a pay raise was a nice silver lining, but it was the idea that education was something important in this state. But it didn’t happen. I wasn’t a huge fan of 779 from the get go, but it was the only viable option to raise teacher salaries and to raise classroom spending. The real reason I wanted SQ 779 to pass was so our legislature could see just how much education was respected in this state. Because that is at an all time low...

Just while I was in line to vote, I had to listen to a man screaming loudly, “Teachers are lazy and need get real jobs and stop complaining.” I told him I was a teacher, and I was uncomfortable and hurt by his comments about my profession and myself. This was a relief to the people around me until he called me a dumb bitch and repeated his whole get a real job crap. This is the “respect” we are getting. The greatest part of this story was not his complete jerkness but the fact that when he got up to get his ballot, he was shocked he had to register beforehand. Maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to hate on teachers--you might just need one.

What makes it worse...the argument that seems to have been made was people didn’t want to raise the sales tax a penny, but wanted to have the legislatures fix the problem of low teacher pay and educational funding. But the same exact people that started, created, made it all happen were re-elected! For the life of me I couldn’t understand it, and I still don’t.

I’m hearing and seeing so many happy hopeful educators and supporters of educators looking forward to this upcoming legislative session. Now normally I would be the girl riding my unicorn in a sea of glittery rainbows and throwing donuts to the people, but I’m not buying the Pollyanna let’s hold hands and sing campfire songs business. The amount of ways teachers have been given the middle finger lately is alarming. It sucks. And I have cried and consumed so many comfort donuts, it is out of control. I would love it if our legislatures really and truly come up with a plan and listened to those they represented instead of pursuing their own personal agendas of passing through legislation that is ultimately going to be ruled unconstitutional, but I’m not holding my breath.

So what comes next...I don’t know. I’m single, don’t own property in Oklahoma, and my family doesn’t live here, so it makes sense I can go to back home and make more money. But I love my job, my admin, my students, my co-workers, my community, and the life I have built here. I don’t know what comes next, but I what I do know is I will still wake up and teach my students how to sing and be better people. I’m going to stop writing about politics because it stresses me out, and I’m going to focus my attention on this blog towards building up other teachers and sharing classroom resources. This might get better...but I’m just not so sure.

*Side note to every person that has pulled me aside and told me I matter and what I do matters: thank you! You make me believe in unicorns again.*