Episode 005: Interview with Carri Hicks

Education Podcast, Politics

Carri Hicks is an Oklahoma educator that is running for office. She started her campaign almost a year ago by promoting awareness for the issues most important to her and door-to-door campaigning. I met Carri when she began her teaching career atCH 1 Tulakes Elementary, she now teaches at Grove Valley in Deer Creek Public Schools. You can find more information about Carri and her campaign for Senate District here or on Facebook.

I wanted to interview Carri about her experiences as a teacher and a candidate for office, especially when considering our current political climate and the fact that we are in the midst of a teacher walkout in the state of Oklahoma. Yesterday, the first day of candidate filing, saw record numbers of individual filling for office. Our state may be at a tipping point for change or it may maintain the status quo. It is an exciting time to be in Oklahoma.

Below are the questions I prepared to ask Carri (there were some follow up questions in the podcast that are not included below):

  1. Tell us about your experience in education?
  2. What made you decide to run for office?
  3. What is the platform you are running on?
  4. How has your experiences as an education and as a mom helped you to define your platform?
  5. Why is it important for educators to run for office? Why is it important for more women to run for office?
  6. What do you think prohibits educators/women from running for office?
  7. What has been your biggest struggles/hurdles to running for office?
  8. How has the Oklahoma teacher walkout impacted your campaign?
  9. What steps do you think our legislators need to take to move our state forward? With what has happened in the month of April, what are your thoughts on change in our state?
  10. What advice do you have for people considering running for office?

Episode 003: Interview with Claudia Swisher, Part B

Education, Education Podcast, Policy

Interview with Claudia Swisher continued.

Episode 002: Interview with Claudia Swisher, Part A

Education, Education Podcast, Policy

I have followed Claudia Swisher on Twitter @ClaudiaSwisher and on her blog Fourth Generation Teacher for years. She has truly been an advocate for education throughout her 39-year teaching career and now into retirement. Over the years I have learned from Claudia the importance of advocacy and persistence in the face of seeming defeat.  Claudia has taught students at every grade-level in the K-12 system as an elementary classroom teacher, a school media specialist, a multi-categorical resource special education teacher, a title 1 remedial reading teacher, and a high school English teacher. She is certified in English Language Arts, library media, and reading specialist with a graduate degree and 20 hours past a masters in special education. Oh and she is a National Board Certified Teacher.

However, this quote by Marjory Stoneman Douglas, which she proudly displays on both her Facebook and Twitter pages, sums her up and her life mission: “Be a nuisance where it counts; do you part to inform and stimulate the public to join your action. Be depressed, discouraged, and disappointed at failure and the disheartening effects of ignorance, greed, corruption and bad politics – but never give up!”

The Teacher Walkout in the state of Oklahoma has been a true grassroots movement, spring boarded by the 9-day teacher walkout in West Virginia, where teacher pay was ranked at 47th. Oklahoma teachers banned together through the use of social media to plan, strategize, and get union leaders on board. The potential walkout in Oklahoma is remarkable, as it is not been pulled together by teachers rallying around a bill, was not union started, and is coming on the heels of two failed special sessions that failed to fund core services in our state. Further, this upcoming walkout is inclusive and is calling for state employees to join the cause. It is not just about teachers but our legislators failure to increase revenue and fund the government. The OEA has demanded that the legislator fund a teacher and support staff pay raise, increase funds to education, and fund a raise for state employees.

It is truly amazing what a group of dedicated, civically involved individuals can do to better our society. Further our students and children are watching. We are modeling for them democracy in action.