By Rep. Mike Sanders
It’s that time of year when yellow buses will soon take to the streets and young people will be riding their bikes and walking to school. I urge drivers to be on extra alert and observe our school zone speed limits.
I want to extend a special thank you to our teachers who will soon face classrooms full of fresh, new faces. So many of our teachers go above and beyond for their students, not only teaching them how to read and do math, how to think scientifically or about the history of our nation and state, but they care and love their students. Outside of a parent, a teacher is probably the person that has the next greatest influence on the life of a child. I remember fondly the great teachers who encouraged me in my studies and taught me that I could be anything I wanted to be – even majority leader of the House of Representatives. I owe so much of what I am today to great teachers.
I also want to thank our school administrators, who’ve worked throughout the summer to hire great teachers to fill our classrooms, to make sure programs, materials and facilities are up to date and ready for students and staff to return for the school year. Many of our administrators fill in doing other jobs around the school buildings, yet these extra duties may go unnoticed. I want to say thank you for all of the work that you do to make sure young people are prepared for the next level of learning and for life after school.
Education is such an important building block for society as a whole. We’re not just teaching our children their ABCs and their numbers. We’re teaching them how to succeed in future jobs and how to contribute positively back to society. We’re training up the next generation of teachers, doctors, police officers, construction workers, bankers and lawmakers, all of the people who make our communities work. We’re teaching them how to think critically and solve problems, how to get along with others and to share.
At the Legislature, I’ll continue to work on behalf of our students, parents, teachers and administrators to ensure our schools have regulations and accountability measures that don’t stymie their work but that provide parents and taxpayers with the transparency needed. I’ll also continue to fight for higher teacher pay.
On a final note, when you’re picking up school supplies, get a few extra items or even a gift card or two to share with your child’s teacher. This small act of kindness will be appreciated more than you know.
I’m excited about this new school year and all the promise it holds. Again, I want to thank our teachers and administrators for their selfless sacrifices for our kids. I appreciate all you do.
As always, I’d love to hear from you. I can be contacted at Mike.Sanders@OKHouse.Gov or (405) 557-7407.