BY CLAUDIA SWISHER
One week. In one week one of the longest, most contentious election cycles will come to an end. One week, and finally, the hard work begins.
Next Wednesday, some will be celebrating and some will be mourning. Emotions will be close to the surface … elation, despair, promise, pessimism. No matter the outcome, we will face a new reality Wednesday, and a new opportunity to be of service. Overcoming differences, putting partisan feelings aside, letting go of the rhetoric that has sustained us through the campaigns. We need to bring our passion with us, passion for the work ahead. We need to be ready.
What we do next Wednesday matters for us all.
Next Wednesday, kids will file into classrooms and teachers will teach. Pundits will “pund.” Spinners will spin. But all that really matters is our kids and the education they receive.
Next Wednesday, new alliances must be forged, new plans must be made. After being fiercely supportive of one or another candidate, we must come together and move forward … together. For our kids. We must remember our ultimate goal is a robust public education for every child in our state, and we deserve to be part of the discussion, part of the solution.
Can we do it? We must. Our kids desperately need all the grownups in their lives to forge a new path together. We need to put differences aside. We need to reach out to our new office holders and offer to help, to be there, to work for Oklahoma kids, for #oklaed.
We must be able to say to our policy makers, “I voted; now I’m here to work. I want to forge policies, to ask important questions. To put a face on education reform in Oklahoma. I’m not going away. I will hold you accountable.” That’s why we voted.
Next Wednesday. One week. We will have had our say, and it will be time to step up and do the work.
– Claudia Swisher, a National Board Certified Teacher and regional coordinator for Education Leadership Oklahoma, lives in Norman, OK and is a frequent contributor to The Oklahoma Observer