So you’ve heard about an education system in crisis. You’ve heard about teacher burnout. You’ve heard about No Child Left Behind and standardized testing.
Maybe you have kids – if so, surely you’ve, at one point or another, imagined a room full of kids and wondered how teachers can do what they do. Because facing 35 hormone-addled 13 year-olds is a terrifying prospect. And they do it *all day long.*
So how do you show your teachers appreciation? Well, there’s the (deeply appreciated – I don’t want to minimize here!) usual: get your kid to bring a Starbucks giftcard, send little heartfelt mementos – or better yet: chocolate. Or (my personal favorite) have your kid write a card to his or her teachers. That’s truly nice, and we always love the sentiment. It is important to feel personally appreciated.
BUT. If you REALLY want to show your appreciation with teachers it won’t cost you one red cent. (Well, except the money you pay for your driver’s license or other ID)
Now, I don’t mean in November. That’s important too, and I hope you will – but local elections (including school board elections) are often determined in the primary. Here in Texas, our primary is (finally!) set for May 29th, with early voting running from May 14-25. Please. PLEASE. Show your teachers some appreciation. Vote pro-education this election.
Education is arguably the MOST important issue your representative will be voting on in the next couple years. I say that, even though I have deep interests in many other areas – the quality of the public education system will outlast the effects of even things like cutting social safety nets, destroying the open beaches laws, jamming ultrasounds in unwanted places…the quality of public education is going to determine our overall future economy, it is going to determine the ability of the Texas public to think critically and ask the right questions about liberty and democracy in the future, it is going to determine how many people end up in low-wage jobs…this is big stuff!
So how do you make the right decisions about education?
The problem with these DESPERATELY IMPORTANT local elections and statewide elections: how do you find information on the candidates? They don’t have the money and clout (if they do, you should probably be skeptical!) to get their messages out like in Gubernatorial, US Congressional or Presidential elections.
Well, try these resources on for size:
Seriously, though, folks. Voting in national elections is glamorous and fun. I enjoyed checking my box for president. But it’s these local elections and state elections that affect us the most – and get the lowest turnout – and have the least publicized positions – and affect us the most (did I say that one already?).
But don’t forget to make your kids write some thank you notes to their teachers. That’s awful nice too! <3