Monthly Archives: January 2014

Time to Make a Difference #TeachTheVote

I teach in a 21st century classroom. I’m one of few people in my building who do. My friends who teach English, social studies and math do everything in their power to expose their students to a 21st century classroom, but it’s not easy. Those who teach science in my building have newer labs, thank goodness, but even those could be better.
My 21st century classroom is great, but it’s also frustrating because our current infrastructure doesn’t support true 21st century education. We’ve grown accustomed to dance parties while our computers and their spinning pinwheels of doom provide a nice background.
In 2008 I started the school year in a wheelchair. My husband rolled me to class every day, and he was shocked to see the classrooms looked just like they did when he graduated in 1983.
When we go to Denton, Austin, Lubbock, Abilene, Mansfield for competitions, my kids wonder WHY their schools don’t look like those of their state peers.
When they see their friends in the small towns in our surrounding area going to new schools, they ask why we don’t have new schools.
That could change.
When bond election discussions started, our local school board made recommendations based on a study done by outside sources. They decided the decision shouldn’t be theirs alone.
A Community Facilities Action Team was created from people across the district: educators, parents, former board members. They worked for months on recommendations and heard from groups across the city. The district has kept the community factually informed on the district website.
It’s been democracy at its finest.

They’ve narrowed the decision down to two choices for now with an election scheduled for May. If you’re a Wichitan, I highly recommend going to http://www.wfisd.net and looking at the possible future for our secondary schools.
I hope you’ll get out and vote.
I know how I’m voting. Our kids deserve new schools. They deserve the chance to be competitive with their peers.

 

Advertisements

Jan. 1

ImageI love January 1. It’s a time for renewal, a clean slate, a rebirth. It makes me feel like anything is possible and helps me refocus. I’m not doing resolutions this year. Instead I’m going to focus on living out loud every day. My daughter Katie is 23. Before now I’ve called her DD most of the time. At 23, I think she can handle her name being on the blog. When I started this blog in 2005, she was a freshman in high school. Time flies.

Today Katie and I set out on an adventure. She’s moving to Cleveland, Ohio because she loves the Cleveland Indians. I’m going up with her and flying back in a couple days.

When Katie was a freshman, she said she wanted to go into sports marketing or journalism. She loved baseball. And hockey and the Olympics and pretty much everything sports related except basketball. I don’t know where she gets it. We like the Rangers, but we haven’t been avid watchers since the strike in the 90s. We love the Stars, but we live in Wichita Falls so regular game attendance isn’t practical. The only sports Katie really grew up with was high school football.

All that doesn’t matter, though. She loves the Indians and she’s going to their turf. I tried convincing her not to go. It’s cold. There’s snow. She doesn’t know anyone. She has a life here.

She told me she’s 23 and if she doesn’t like it she can always move back or anywhere else because Starbucks transfers. (Starbucks is her second love.)

I’d have to be okay with the move if she were going with school, so I have to be okay with this move too. It’s the school of life. I sure hope the Cleveland Indians have a good year.