Teachers: A Voice that Matters

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By: Austin Green 

I sat looking up at the beautiful paintings sprawled across the House Floor ceiling, a rich history of the State of Utah’s legacy. Representative Steve Handy turned to me and asked for a quick summary of what Utah Teacher Fellows do. Suddenly we were standing… Representative Handy was reading the summary I had given him and recognizing the work that Utah Teacher Fellows passionately do as professionals. It was Educator Day on the Hill and I had the opportunity to sit next to my representative on the House Floor. It was a surreal experience! 

Just a few days prior I had been sitting in a town hall meeting and Representative Handy was sitting among a mixed panel of representatives and senators listening to public comments. I was among the public visiting that night and shared my appreciation in a public statement for “hitting the reset button” on tax reform. It’s been a long journey on this particular issue, but one that policy makers know will need to take some more time to get right. Yes, there is the process a bill follows in order to become a law. Being at Educator Day on the Hill helped me see that all the meetings, conversations, and discussions are pivotal moments on a bill’s journey to making a law. Additionally, our legislators want to hear from us and how their bills may affect us individually and professionally. 

Educator Day on the Hill was an opportunity to broaden relationships, and relationships are key in getting policy work done. As I drove away from the Utah State Capital and toward my school and classroom, I remembered my representative telling me he’d like to come and visit my classroom, and this shows me that what I have to say on education topics matters. 

I have a voice. I’m a professional. I’m a Utah Teacher Fellow.

Bio: Austin Green is a First Grade teacher in Davis School District and a Utah Teacher Fellow. Follow him on Twitter @beingmrgreen and follow the Utah Teacher Fellows @hsg_ut and on Facebook.

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