April 11, 2014

Oklahoma Watch to Present Community Forum: ‘Straight Talk With Teachers’

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State Officials went back to the books and found $43 million in overlooked funds for common education.

State Officials went back to the books and found $43 million in overlooked funds for common education.

Tulsa Education Forum - Pencil Image

TULSA – Teachers in Oklahoma are upset — at low pay, standardized testing, increasing class sizes and policymakers who teachers feel enact changes without providing enough support.

But do teachers really have it so bad? Job perks include great benefits, summer vacations, union support and child-friendly work schedules – not to mention the admiration of many parents and children.

Oklahoma Watch will present a discussion of teachers’ concerns with a group of teachers, administrators and experts at a public forum, “Oklahoma Watch-Out: Straight Talk With Teachers,” on Wednesday, April 30, from 6 to 7 p.m. at Baxter’s Interurban, located at 717 S Houston Ave. in Tulsa.

Executive Editor David Fritze and other members of the editorial staff will moderate the discussion. Those interested in attending are encouraged to RSVP to events@oklahomawatch.org and come with questions.

About Oklahoma Watch
Oklahoma Watch is a nonprofit, nonpartisan journalism organization that produces in-depth and investigative content on important public-policy issues facing the state. For more information and to make a donation, visit www.oklahomawatch.org.

  • What can I say, someone isn’t doing their homework. If you are going to report on the great job teachers in Okla. have, I want you to publish the school districts you gained your information from. My husband works for a fabrication company in Tulsa, his retirement is far better than mine, his insurance is half as much and covers more than mine, his accumulated time off is more than mine. I teach summers, volunteer to help students who are below average in reading, spend hours at home preparing for the next day, week, months etc. My weekends are consumed by school preparation, paperwork is astronomical, the poor teacher who chooses the avenue of special educ. is so deep in Fed. and State regulations and paperwork it’s all consuming, and you dare tell me that we am payed what I am worth!!!! Do your stats also include duty times, ballgames, after school activities, summer staff development etc. The days students are out for holidays, when teachers are at school for meetings. I haven’t had a summer off for years, have only had 2 pay raises in 34 years and those amounted to a sum total of $34.00 a month and $52.00 a month, of course this was off set by the $100 plus increase in insurance or taxes. I have accumulated more education than most attorneys and have far less to show for it. I love teaching, but is this a field I recommend now, ‘No.’ Children come with so much baggage, I spend hours trying to help them cope with poor home life, environmental influences, siblings and parents with drug and alcohol addictions, physical and mental abuse. Education needs a 360 degree revamping. Young people who choose the field of educ. need serious classes in child psychology and criminal justice. It isn’t a world where Johnny and Suzie come to school to read, write, and do arithmetic anymore. Am I leaving, sure have thought about it, but you know what, I want to make a difference in a child’s life, whatever it takes from my time. Most teachers have the same attitude, so why are we always at the bottom of the barrel, why are we always on the chopping block, why are teachers always the brunt of jokes, why do teachers always get the ‘ax’ when a student can’t perform on a test or do poorly in school. Teachers are not at fault. We are the people who are the ‘constant’ that kids depend on. And let me tell you, the children who come into school now need consistency, motivation, love, and the feeling of “I CAN” in their hearts, minds and souls.