This is a guest blog from one of our highly-engaged advocates. Keep an eye out for future guest blogs from Sonya and some of our other key advocates.
First, please allow me to introduce myself. I am Sonya Taylor, a mom and a teacher of 1st grade. I have 3 boys, one living in college, and 2 still living at home. That alone keeps my plate full! But, I love being a mom! I am currently in my 21st year of teaching!
I have taught within both private and charter schools during my years of experience. I cannot believe how many years have passed for me to gain that much experience, but it has. In all my 20 years of experience prior to this, I would never have imagined the challenges of the 2020-2021 school year. Yet, I feel like I am a part of history!
We, as parents and educators, have been faced with a lot of difficult challenges this year. I salute all of us who have had to try and overcome the challenges of this pandemic.
This pandemic has proven to be a difficult journey for administrators, teachers, parents, and students. It has also been an eye-opening journey. Some of us have seen our students go from thriving to barely making it. Some have seen our students go from barely making it to thriving. I believe it has been eye-opening simply because we are realizing that all students benefit from different forms of instruction other than the traditional classroom. There are parents wishing they could stay virtual and others who couldn’t wait for their student to be able to return. With this being realized, this is why I am a huge advocate of school choice. Teaching in 2 types of school of choice, private (7 years) and charter (13.5 years), has given me first-hand experience of the importance of school choice for our students.
When some hear “School Choice”, they hear a term that attacks our current public school system. School choice is not about our current system; it is about the current students who represent our educational systems.
What is school choice? According to Wikipedia, it “is a term for pre-college public education options, describing a wide array of programs offering students and their families voluntary alternatives to publicly provided schools, to which students are generally assigned by the location of their family residence”.
Every child is different. One type of learning environment is not a one size fits all. This is why school choice is not only important but necessary for our students in Missouri. Every student deserves the BEST environment for them to learn. And school choice will allow for just that. It’s beyond a political statement. It is what Missouri needs.
‘School Choice’, (10 February 2021), Wikipedia: The free encyclopedia, Available at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/School_choice, (Accessed: February 17, 2021)
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