I’m reading the Hunger Games trilogy and it occurs to me that all teen novels star a vibrant, head strong heroine with two handsome athletic boys fighting over her. That’s not what being 16 was like for me. If it was like that for you…good for you.
Read This: Open Letter to the Texas Legislature (written by my mom, Karen Wilbanks)
Dear State Legislature,
What did you do for the schoolchildren of Texas yesterday? I got to school two hours early to plan their lessons, enter their grades in the grade book and call parents of children who are failing. Then I taught 5 classes with lessons prepared on my own time and coached speech students preparing for advanced competitions on the regional and state level. But that’s not all - I returned a call from CPS about a student who is being beaten at home, I tutored a student scared about passing TAKS, I counseled two students about what university to attend and one who wants to attend trade school despite his parental lack of support. I explained to one student that cheating is stealing and referred to counseling a student struggling with his recent coming-out and his peer’s reactions. I dried the tears of students grieving over losing the coach and teacher who has been instrumental in their being State Speech Champions for the last three years, and I wrote three rec letters - one for a student seeking a scholarship and two for former students entering graduate programs. I ate at my desk while searching for a school-appropriate spoken word poetry performance I could show in my class. I met with a colleague to plan for next year, sent out information about a summer camp I’m planning that will enrich student’s performance abilities. I held my bladder until I was out of class and held my tongue when a student praised Rick Perry. I asked two students to stop cursing in the hallway and asked a couple to stop making out. I praised, encouraged and enlightened. Then I went home and graded papers. What did you do for the schoolchildren of Texas yesterday? Ah…that’s right. You weren’t thinking about them at all.