When I was a Social Studies teacher at Hilton Head Island High School there was a fellow Social Studies teacher who would always challenge me about Republican politics. Myself and others in the department always believed this one teacher was an avowed Democrat. Then one day I went to our local Democratic Headquarters to secure a speaker for our election assembly. The lady who helped me asked if a certain Republican was still teaching? My jaw hit the ground because the teacher she named was the same teacher I thought was half a step to the right of a socialist. When I confronted this teacher the next day he told me it was not his job to push his politics on anyone but to get others to defend their political beliefs.
This was good advice which I actually follow myself in the classroom when I taught Social Studies. I would tell students it was important to inform themselves about the issues then research all the candidates so they could choose the one who the student thought would do the best job regardless of political party. So much for those who claim all Social Studies Teachers are only pushing liberal agendas.
I believe the 2010 election is more important than 2008. We are now feeling the pain the current economic problems have caused. According to a letter from the Beaufort Teacher Leadership Council meeting dated May 24 the following are at stake in this year’s possible budget cuts in the Beaufort County (SC) School District:
- Hall Monitors
- School Resource Officers
- Nurse Assistants
- Pre-K Teachers
- Pre-K Assistants
- Athletic cuts of 5%
- Increased classroom size
- Furlough days
- Require employees to pay all health insurance costs
- No step increases
- No Adept stipends
- No stipends for National Board certified teachers
Other districts and states are facing more severe budget cuts and repercussions this year. The outlook for next year is even more grim unless something is done now. It is more important for teachers to become politically active this year than in any other year. At the very least teachers need to get out and vote which they have not been doing in past elections. One thing I have learned in my studies of government and politics is elected officials are good at counting votes. Politicians know who is voting for them and why so guess who gets the attention?
Teachers need to take a look at all the elected officials who have any impact on their school’s budget. Candidates are running from School Board seats members all the way to the Governor’s office. Take the time to learn all of the issues facing your state and local community. Then take a hard look at all the candidates running for office and find the ones you believe will do the best possible job in office. At least take the time to vote for these candidates but work for them if you are willing and able.
I don’t like to bring up politics to my blog about educational technology but this election is important. Primaries to determine a political party’s candidate going on now. My home state of South Carolina’s is June 8th. So whether you are a Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Independent. It does not matter if you are a Conservative or Liberal. If you believe in the Tea Bag movement or support MoveOn.org you should find the candidate you believe will do the best thing for you. Just take the time to educate yourself. If you are looking for an endorsement here just remember. it is not my job on this blog post to push my politics but get you to think about yours.