Today, I joined 15,000 other teachers, administrators, counselors, community members, and students who flooded through downtown Indianapolis to fill the grounds of the statehouse. With friends, coworkers, and my dearest love by my side (himself a teacher of thirteen years), I donned my red, cheered, and marched to advocate for better conditions for public education, educators, and, most of all, students. For the 150 students that currently sit in my classroom day in and day out, the one young student who lives in my home and whom I call ‘daughter’, and all the other students who will pass through my classroom and those of other teachers over the years.
I know the narratives that are out there. I know what people often think of teachers. I know what is “expected” of us. I know what I do day in and day out. I know what I pour out and what I give. I know the prayers that I say over my classroom every morning. I know the students I gather into my arms when they come running. I know the hearts I am trying to help soften that souls I am trying to help grow. I know my standards; I know what I am supposed to teach. I also know what I have to teach, what my soul demands and what my vocation–what love–compels me to teach.
So, today I gathered, I showed my face, I used my teacher voice. I SHOWED UP. It was scary; it was encouraging; it was amazing; it was a first; and, if things do not improve, it will not be a last for me. I AM SO HERE FOR THIS! #redfored #youmademeusemyteachervoice #forourstudents