Oklahoma teachers are exhausted. Amid a challenging pandemic, our teachers are working harder than ever; taking on more tasks with less personnel and longer days.
Last week, local leaders of Professional Oklahoma Educators (POE) had face-to-face discussions with Gov. Kevin Stitt and Sec. of Education Ryan Walters as well as state legislators. POE members voiced their frustrations and shared their struggles to maintain functioning schools despite severe staffing shortages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Yesterday, the Governor signed an executive order aimed at addressing these issues. We appreciate Gov. Kevin Stitt and Sec. of Education Ryan Walters for listening to POE members and taking action.
The executive order leverages our state’s resources and personnel to help our teachers without adding to the financial burdens of school districts. Of course, state employees and community volunteers cannot replace career teachers, but they can ease the pressure. The executive order is not a long-term solution, but it is a short-term necessity.
For the sake of Oklahoma students and teachers, we encourage anyone eligible to volunteer to help their local school and ease the burden carried by Oklahoma teachers.
POE has received several requests for how to volunteer. For more information, please visit Oklahoma Guest Educator Initiative. Criminal background checks are required for all substitute teachers. The executive order is temporary and expires in 120 days.
It is nice to know that those outside the classroom are considering our plight and doing what they can to help. When our school had 17 personnel out in one day last week, one of our school board members dropped by and helped as a crossing guard, assisted in the office, and monitored the cafeteria. I love my school!!