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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Being an Oklahoman

Teachers across the state of Oklahoma have lost years of accumulated teaching materials. How, as educators, can we lend helping hands to our fellow teachers?  As soon as the news of Moore, Oklahoma, hit television stations, TPT (Teachers Pay Teachers) participants came together to donate teaching units to make four teaching bundles. These include lower and upper elementary. The bundles are for sale at TPT for $25, and all proceeds go directly to help teachers in Moore, Oklahoma.  There is more information and a listing of the products at Teachers Care for Oklahoma

I'm an Okie, no doubt about it, born, raised, and lived most of my life in Garvin county, Oklahoma... It's in times of distress and disaster that people come together--regardless of differences and origins.

I get lots of kidding for being an Okie in Texas. Yet, I've got so many family and friends who live in both states. It's almost as if the Red River line is blurred. The dirty, muddy red water runs through rather than divides the states. Going forward from today, we are seeing lots of blurring of lines.

I've seen lots of tornadoes in my time. They used to follow the creek behind our home in Maysville. We would watch the storms form then get to the Washita River and split into two tornadoes. Many days and nights we sat in the underground dirt cellar and waited for the all clear sirens. As I got older, tornadoes were simply a "way of life" in Oklahoma. We relied on great weather forecasting and eyes of police and storm watchers to relay information. The skies were watched with uncertainty during the spring and summer months. Now, like the blurred lines of the Red River, the dates for tornado season have also become blurred. Tornadoes can happen at any time of the year.

As educators, there is so much we can do to help our Oklahoma neighbors. Schools have been demolished, homes are gone, and families are left with uncertainties and fear. Where do they go? What do they do? How do they get their lives together again?

Reach out and help a neighbor...

The beginning of the Moore tornado that caused so much mayhem on May 20, 2013. Picture courtesy of Kristy Bell, Newcastle, Oklahoma.
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