Jenks Teacher Challenges Legislators To Substitute Teach

Friday, March 16th 2018, 5:00 pm

As we get closer to a possible teacher walkout some teachers are challenging lawmakers to spend a day in their classrooms.

3/15/2018 Related Story: House Reveals Teacher Pay Plan With No Way To Fund It

Jenks Middle School teacher Pam Smucker said her idea could help break down the communication barriers between legislators and teachers.

"It is a profession. It's not something someone can just walk into because they've been a student and do," Smucker said.  

With the threat of teacher walkouts statewide, Smucker said she emailed the chair of the state's common education committee and challenged legislators to come substitute teach a class before April 2nd and see what teachers are dealing with.

"Trying to teach them something when they have so many other distractions in their life and to get their attention I think they would probably be surprised at some of the discipline problems teachers deal with every day," she said. 

Smucker posted on a Facebook teacher group about her challenge and now dozens of other teachers said they want to see lawmakers step into the classroom for a day.

State representative Earl Sears who is a former educator said legislators need to find a way to spend more time with teachers and students.

"I think it is imperative that every elected official [goes] back to their communities, go to their schools, talk to their teachers, talk to their principals, visit those schools, see what's going on in those classrooms," Sears said. 

After 31 years in the classroom, Smucker said kids are dealing with greater challenges than ever before.

She said lawmakers need to see that firsthand.

"Whenever you're trying to make a decision about anything, gaining more knowledge and understanding is going to give you the wisdom you need to make the right decision," Smucker said.