Now what do we do?

So Election Day has come and gone and many people are thinking what’s going to happen next?  How are things going to change? What do I do? Well, you are going to do your job.  That’s what you are going to do! Tomorrow is going to come and you are going to wake up and walk into your classroom and teach your students. 

For us in Arizona, there is a new person in charge of public education.  This person is bringing their ideas and agendas to the table. Some of us may agree with him and some of us may not.  He may change things and drastically improve public education or he may enact new policies that we find disagreeable.  No matter what he does, it does not change our number one mission: to positively impact student achievement!  

A new law may start next month that says we have to sing Yankee Doodle Dandee every hour on the hour. So, we will do that and try to find a way to tie in a reading lesson on rhyming words or a history lesson that covers American history.  Maybe, we will have to begin every school day by hopping around the school on one foot.  We’ll tie that into a math lesson about measuring the distance. 

There have always been different people that have been in charge that have told us how to do our job.  The people and policies may change over the years.  However, the one constant in our job is our students.  And those students deserve the best education we can give them.  It is our charge to weather any storm of change and show up in our classrooms full of hope with a smile for our students.  Some new policies may not be the best for our students but it is our responsibility to enforce them in a way which causes student to grow.

 A few years back, a new policy was enacted which forced my sheltered English immersion (SEI) students out of my classroom for 4 hours everyday.  I did not agree with this one bit. However, I still had to find a way to teach those students math and make them feel like they were part of my classroom.  It was a challenge but I had a job to do. I had to teach those kids. 

This is our job every day. We need to be effective, hopeful and inspiring educators! Will you accept that responsibility or will you be weighed down by every new policy that comes our way?  


Donnie Dicus

Donnie Dicus

Tucson, Arizona

My name is Donnie Dicus and I have been teaching in Arizona for 12 years. I came to Arizona from Southern Illinois to attend the University of Arizona in Tucson. I graduated in 2003 and began teaching second grade. I taught second grade in Tucson for 8 years before moving to Phoenix. I now teach third grade. I achieved National Board Certification in 2012 and I received my Master’s Degree from Grand Canyon University in 2015. I achieved a National Board Certificate in Middle Childhood Generalist in 2012. I’ve been teaching mainstream and SEI 3rd grade classrooms in the Cartwright School District in Phoenix since 2013. I taught 2nd grade and was a math interventionist in Tucson in the Amphitheater School District. I’ve been a technology coach and have helped teachers apply technology to improve instruction. I facilitate coaching cohorts for teachers going through the National Board process and organize peer groups at my site to pair new teachers with experienced teachers. In 2010 I was nominated as a Rodel Semi-Finalist for Exemplary teaching in 2010 and featured as a Teacher Leader in February 2016 by the Arizona K12 Center.
I have class pictures of every single student I have taught behind my desk on my wall. After 12 years, that is approximately 350 students. My students know that this is my Wall of Accomplishments. I am so proud of the difference I made in their lives. I became a teacher to make a difference and I strive to do so every day.

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