For All The Teachers

This post is sponsored by Our Schools Now in partnership with Forward Influence.
However, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

I knew she was special the moment I met her.

She smiled warmly and introduced herself to me as Ms. Stuart. She was going to be my son’s second grade teacher. When I nervously began to fumble over my words—attempting to explain the challenges that come with Cam’s autism diagnosis—she replied confidently, “It will be okay. He’s going to be great and we can handle this.” Her manner was calm and her voice was kind. My fears quickly subsided.

My hope would be that every child (and every parent) could have a Ms. Stuart in their lives. A teacher who will rally for the success of all, who will champion those who are struggling. A teacher who works hard and cares even harder. A teacher who makes a difference in the lives of families for many years to come.

I worry about Utah teachers, as a parent and as a teacher myself. Did you know that Utah teachers are the fifth lowest paid teachers in the country? But that their classes are actually some of the largest in the country? It’s no wonder half of our teachers are leaving the profession within the first five years. Their class sizes are too big and their resources too limited. The lack of funds for our schools is affecting the test scores of our children. They aren’t proficient in math and science; key subjects that give them a shot at a bright future and a good career.

This November, Utahans have an opportunity to vote to increase funding for education. (And what a blessing it is, to be able to vote and to make the changes we wish to see!) Voting yes on the first question on your ballot means you are for increasing Utah’s gas tax by ten cents. This ends up being four dollars per month—or roughly fifty dollars per year—for Utah drivers. Amazingly, this will send an additional 101 million dollars to the classroom. Wouldn’t that be wonderful?! The money will NOT be used for building costs, district or administrative overhead. It will go exactly where it needs to be…to our children.

I plan to cast my vote in favor of question one. I’ll do it for my oldest daughter; who loves algebra and numbers, who deserves to be successful in fields historically dominated by men. I’ll do it for my baby girl, who is learning to love the alphabet. I’ll do it for my special needs son; who MUST feel safe and advocated for, who needs a chance to be victorious in life.

I’ll do it for Ms. Stuart.


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