JENKS, Oklahoma - An American History teacher at Jenks Middle School put her normal lesson plans aside today so her students could watch the inauguration. She says the event is helping her student's history lessons come to life.

How big should government be? It is an age old question that an American History teacher at Jenks has been asking her students to think about as they go through their lessons. She is hoping that by watching the inauguration, her students might realize the power they have to shape the future.

As Oklahoma's 28th governor took the stage, a group of Jenks 8th grade American history students were all ears.

"I thought it was cool how motivated he was. He is very optimistic about Oklahoma's future," said Jenks 8th grader Carly Morgan.

"I agree with him. I am hoping for more top tens, but I am hoping for more school funding as well," said Jenks 8th grader Michael Bahle.

"The part where he said your future doesn't just like come to you, you have to work for it and I thought that was really cool," said Jenks 8th grader Chloe Scott.

It is an opportunity teacher Pam Smucker says helps her students understand what the political process they read about in their textbooks, looks like in real life.

"Every generation has to know and understand or they have the potential of losing the freedoms that we have,” said Smucker, “This is your future. You need to pay attention."

Smucker says watching the inauguration also helps her students gain the knowledge they'll need in the coming years, when they vote for the first time.

"I want them to have a handle on what it is they are voting for and knowing how significant and important it is," said Smucker, "they need to see how everything he does and he talks about is going to impact their future."

Smucker hopes the opportunity gives her students a fresh perspective of a future they will have the power to help shape.

"It made me feel hopeful about Oklahoma's future," said Morgan.

"I am really optimistic for the future," said Bahle.

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