A Teacher’s Plea for Help

I used to think other countries were desperate for things. Traveling around for the past 2 years, I saw a lot of this desperation for education, for medical supplies, for help. I patted myself on the back because I thought I was doing a good job at noticing those things that others ignored.

But when I moved back to America, I never realized that America is kind of desperate too. America — the land of plenty — where you can go to a Target and buy just about anything you want, is desperate for people to care about our children.

I moved to Tulsa this past June to become a teacher with no idea what I was getting into. Sure, I knew it would be hard. I just didn’t realize it would be desperate. I didn’t realize that the education system in Tulsa, Oklahoma is in NEED. Capital letters and all.

Teachers here are quitting left and right. Half of the 8th grade department at my school quit within the first 6 weeks. And it doesn’t seem to be stopping.

When these teachers quit, there AREN’T more teachers lining up to take their jobs. There’s no one. It’s an empty job pool.

When Principals look for teachers, the district sends them people who haven’t even applied because they are looking for ANYONE.

I’m talking about how when I need to take a sick day, my Principal messages me to still come into work because there are teachers out and no substitutes to take my place.

And kids are noticing. They internalize what we’re telling them when we say “There’s no one here to teach you.”

So now I sit on this couch in my Midwest apartment crying because the need is too great, too much and WE SHOULD BE DOING BETTER.

Do we really value our children in America? Do we really care for them? All of them? The refugees and the minorities and the immigrants?

I cannot do it all. Most days, I feel like I can’t even do much. But I’m writing today because this need is too great for me to stay silent.

This isn’t just a blog post today to bring awareness to the situation of our desperate need in America to care for children, it’s a PLEA to rise up and do something about it. Teach. Pray. Raise up your own children. Encourage those in the fight. Mentor.

My heart is broken because I live in the buckle of the bible belt of America and still don’t see Christians embracing the call to care for children. There are so many people who are doing what I once did, and what I still sometimes do . . . pat myself on the back for noticing the need. Noticing it isn’t going to help anyone anymore. Stop noticing it. Please.

I used to be desperate for people to notice me, but I don’t really want people to notice me so much anymore. I want workers to work alongside me. Workers who care and won’t just watch. Workers who use their talents and sow them into something lasting. I want workers.

Let’s get to work.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on his glorious throne. Before him will be gathered all the nations, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. And he will place the sheep on his right, but the goats on the left. Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’ And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

Matthew 25:31-40

What do you think?