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Teachers are talking. Are we listening?

Teachers & Principals | 06/17/2015

Amber England
Executive Director

Amber England is the Executive Director of Stand for Children Oklahoma.

Imagine this. You turn on a camera and ask teachers to tell you about the challenges they are facing. No script. No second takes. Just an honest conversation about why they are staying in the classroom; why many of their colleagues are leaving; and why too many of Oklahoma’s brightest young men and women are avoiding the noble profession of teaching all together.

Well, that’s exactly what we did.

If you believe teachers matter, you’ll want to watch and share this video.



Last month, we released a report outlining the struggles teachers face every day in the classroom. The report was the result of a series of comprehensive focus groups of teachers from across the state and it was the first step of many in our Teachers Matter initiative. This video comes on the heels of that report because we wanted you to hear, in their own words and straight from them, what teachers were telling us in those focus groups.

Highlighted in the video are the voices of three teachers working in Oklahoma schools and an Oklahoma City Stand Parent Member Leader. These individuals illuminate the challenges facing students and teachers and shed light on how the state’s critical teacher shortage is having a negative impact on student achievement. They also provide solutions and a desire to have a seat at the table among those working to transform Oklahoma’s schools. As special education teacher Corbie Jackson says in the video “We have to figure out how to balance what [elected leaders] think with what we see” to move forward.

In the months ahead, Stand for Children Oklahoma will continue to lead a public conversation around why Teachers Matter and why focusing on ensuring teachers have the tools and resources necessary to do their job should be Oklahoma’s No. 1 priority. Our mission as an organization is to educate and empower parents, teachers, and community members to demand excellent schools and to ensure policies and funding are reaching classrooms and helping students. We know an effective teacher in every classroom is the surest way to raise student achievement.  That’s why Teachers Matter matters most to us and why they should matter to policy makers in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma must immediately have a meaningful discussion on the future of its education system, how we compensate teachers and ensure they have the tools and resources they need to help all students be successful, and an actionable roadmap for how we are going to get there.

As pre-kindergarten teacher Sue Kirk emotionally shares with us in the video, “When we look into the face of a child, we are looking into the face of the future. So we need to stand up for what is best for kids.”

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Comments

  • I teach high school art and al of my classes are 30+ kids. All of the grant writing I HAVE to do to provide what they truly need is incredible. What is more incredible is that it is never enough for our budgets. I loved this video and it should be taken seriously. Teaching is the most important job there is.
    Brandon Beichler

    June 17, 2015 2:50 PM

  • Are these Public school teachers or Private school teachers?
    Hugh Buckingham

    June 17, 2015 4:15 PM

  • Are these Public school teachers or Private school teachers?
    Hugh Buckingham

    June 17, 2015 4:15 PM

  • public
    Jace Kirk

    June 20, 2015 7:53 AM

  • They and I r public teachers teaching in inner city schools in Oklahoma City Public Schools. What they said is real. I hv taught 17 years and I feel less appreciated by our administrators, legislation, and parents than when I started. Education in Oklahoma is not a priority. Legislation and cooperate America need to remember. With out teachers they wouldn't be where they r. So treat us with the respect and pay we deserve. We do not just clock in, work 8 hours, and go home to be with our families. We hv lesson plans to prepare, differentiated instruction to teaching, RTI's to write, and that is after teaching 27 plus students all day. Sue Kirk and the others in this video said what needed to be said. Now legislation show us u care make education number one in fiscal budget. We get less per student now than we did just a few years ago. But still required to produce more.
    Shawna McLellan

    June 19, 2015 9:28 PM

  • Awe I'm so happy to see that one of my favorite teachers is still making an impact on children, she was my first grade teacher and really cared about and loved her school kids and loved her job! She makes a lasting impression on children and their parents
    Stephanie johnson

    June 19, 2015 9:38 PM

  • Awe I'm so happy to see that one of my favorite teachers, Sue Kirk is still making an impact on children, she was my first grade teacher and really cared about and loved her school kids and loved her job! She makes a lasting impression on children and their parents!
    Stephanie johnson

    June 19, 2015 9:39 PM