Good news

It’s been a hard time to be a teacher, let’s be real. Three years of pandemic teaching has taken its toll on all of us.

But as I was lamenting about the whiplash that has been our current schedule thus far in 2022 (pivot to distance learning, come back, pivot to distance for snow, real snow days, come back, virtual learning day…), one of my church friends who also has kids in the district said, “But I feel it’s getting a little bit better every year…”

What a beautiful perspective.

2020 we lost an entire quarter.

2021 we were in and out all year.

2022 we’ve only lost a handful of days due to Covid.

Still, I know we’re all tired of the unknown. One of the joys of teaching is planning short- and long-term goals to help our students experience the beauty of our subject and feel confident in the knowledge they’ve gained.

But successful planning has felt so elusive the last three school years…

Still…

Good news arrived to several Oklahoma educators today, myself included.

Our State Department of Education budgeted $6 million to finance teacher grants of up to $800 on Donors Choose. This platform allows for easy and quick—but still transparent—funding.

I applied on Friday.

My grant was funded before the end of the school day today, as were my two department colleagues’ grants.

One of the things that we love about teaching is the creativity it affords. But creativity also often takes some money. What a joy to be told “Here’s $800. Go shopping for your kids.”

I mean, if I think too hard about this, I get emotional.

My mathematicians will be given glass whiteboards to line our back wall, so they can collaborate and problem-solve like the analysts they are.

What a gift.

Our spirits are so lifted.

But it’s not just the money, is it?

It’s that people notice.

People notice that we need funds and we need autonomy (which is not mutually exclusive to accountability) to be able to spend those funds.

Thank you, OSDE, for funding but also for noticing.

I’m a proud Oklahoma public educator.

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