A Peek Behind the Curtain: How People are Working Hard on Your Behalf

Thoughts from the Oklahoma Retired Educators Association ...

I have been the Executive Director of the OREA for about a year and a half now. It has been fulfilling to work on behalf of those who have given their careers to education. Regardless of whether they were administration, certified staff or support, they all played a key role in molding the minds and characters of the youth of our communities and our state.

Although the work of the OREA and the OEA goes on all year, the beginning of the legislative session is exciting. Those of us directly involved in working with the legislature are moving in high gear, and are seen eating greater amounts of junk food and caffeine along with experiencing sleep deprivation. (I secretly think we are hooked on the adrenaline rush, but I’ll have to think about that later.)

I don’t live in Oklahoma City, so I have a couple of hours to commute every day. The up side to that is that I have time to pause and reflect on the chaos. There are many times I literally don’t know if I’m coming or going, but it occurred to me on one of those commutes how inspiring it has been to see so many working so hard to benefit teachers—teachers who are working long, hard hours in the classroom to take care of, nurture and educate our children.

I spent many years in the classroom, and I knew that the OEA was working on my behalf, but I think the few staff members I came into direct contact with were the ones I assumed were doing the work. I had no idea that there were so many people working on my behalf, people I never even saw, who were doing whatever it takes to get the job done.

If you haven’t heard of the Step Up Oklahoma Plan, you should pay attention and do a little research. There are people working HARD to get teachers a pay raise and to improve the financial condition of our state and its citizens. So many people. And they are doing it because they care. They care about teachers, they care about their children, they care about schools, and they care about our state. I am so inspired by the efforts of so many.

This morning I thought, “I wish teachers knew just how hard people are working to get them a pay raise!” If you did, you would have felt an invisible pat on the back, you would stand a little taller, and you might even feel a little bit less tired, if you could just see, for a few seconds, how much effort was being made on your behalf.

I hope you know that the support for you doesn’t stop with the OEA. The Oklahoma Retired Educators are working every day on protecting and defending your retirement benefits. It may feel so far away, but you have an entire staff at the OREA also working on your behalf. Thanks for all you do — hang in there. The future depends on you.

Sabra Tucker, OREA Executive Director


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