Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Why teach?

Last week, I had two opportunities to answer that question for students. The first group were members of our student local at USAO in Chickasha. The room was full with a number of our members who are getting closer to doing their student teaching. I was able to share a little bit about my experience, but I also discussed about how great our country was because of its commitment to public education.

We owe a great deal to our forefathers, who understood the importance of an educated people. Education is the foundation of our democracy and our teachers play the greatest role in preparing young people for success.

We educate all children who walk through the doors and do our best to provide them with the best educational opportunities.

The message really came to life at Garfield Elementary School in Enid. I was there to address the 6th grade students as part of an ongoing program that brings people of different occupations into the classroom for the students to learn about.

The kids ask you questions, kind of like the old 64 questions game, as they try to figure out what you do for a living. After they figure out what you do, they ask you questions about what it was like to be in the 6th grade.

For me, the 6th grade was a tough time. My grandmother died of cancer. It was my first experience with death, and I had a great deal of growing up to do. I would never have been successful if it hadn't been for two great teachers--Mr. Sedgwich and Miss Grossmark.

I tried to let them know how much their teachers care for them and how they want to see them all grow up to be the best they can be. While that may sound cliche to some of you, it is so important to let kids know the sky's the limits when they are young.

I owe a special thanks to all the great students and teachers at Garfield for inviting me in to their classroom and allowing me to share what it's like to be a teacher and also represent teachers all across Oklahoma.

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