Okay...here we go. With all the awesome education-based blogs out there, I really am not sure that I should be adding to the noise. But one thing has become quite clear to me as of late. Public education is under attack in this country, and if you are not part of the noisy rabble fighting against this, you are as guilty as those sabotaging our schools. And so, here I go, putting my two cents into the game and trying to do my little part to keep free public education intact.
I am a product of public education. I was that kid that you never noticed. Not an academic superstar, but not a problem for anyone. I kept my head down and my mouth shut. I wore hand-me-downs, ate free lunches, and knew very early on that if I wanted to go to college, I was on my own. No one in my family was college educated...we were farmers and blue collar folk who came to the dinner table with grease under their fingernails. The only salvation for me was the fact that I had access to the same classes and teachers as the kids from the good families.
I did go on to finish college. Three times. And still going. I have a love for learning and teaching and the schooling process that is a direct result of my time in public schools. For people from my background, public school is a life raft in a sea of low-paying jobs, teen pregnancy, and hopeless futures. I look at my students and I see myself every day. For a kid from an impoverished background, life is not a series of dances and cheer practice and athletic events. It is a daily grind where they hope their stomach doesn't rumble in class because someone might suspect they didn't have dinner last night. All these kids have is hope that someday they might be able to do better for themselves.
If we don't fight for equal public education, we are taking away all those somedays.