Governor Ducey, Representative Griffin/John/Nutt,
I am a registered voter in Arizona who highly values education. This coming school year our oldest will enroll in kindergarten. She is very excited to go to her school and comments on it every time we go past. Each time we go past her school in the evening around dinner time she always asks why there are still cars there and why the teachers haven’t gone home to eat dinner yet.
My mom was an elementary teacher when I was a child and I have taught elementary school as well. I know exactly why there are still cars at the school when the school day is long over and everyone should be home eating dinner. I have been that teacher spending my evenings at school and going home after the sun goes down.
There are still cars at the school because the teachers and staff care about their students and want to make sure they have everything prepared for the next day. They are there after hours because teaching is more than just what happens during the school hours. It is preparing lessons, activities, and science experiments. It is grading assignments and figuring out how to teach the next topics based on how well the students know the past ones. It is researching ways to help students who bring to class with them their mental problems, their physical problems, their family problems, their emotional problems, because none of that stays at home when a child comes to school.
To work in a school means having your heart split amongst all your students. And unfortunately to work in a school in Arizona means trying to teach your heart without adequate supplies or support.
I will gladly provide my daughter’s teacher with however many reams of paper she puts on the supply list, with facial tissue, crayons, pencils, and whatever other supplies she needs. Because I care about my daughter’s education, and all her classmates. And I know that based on past actions my daughter’s teacher will not be able to count on the state supporting her.
You have an opportunity right now to have a positive effect on the future of Arizona. Without adequate education in this state corporations will not be able to attract employees because they will not want their children to go to school here. And the businesses, and their tax revenue, will go elsewhere. Consider the future. Make a difference.
Lisa M. G. Dennis, PhD.