My grandmother was a remarkable woman. She is the face of Peachyteachy on WordPress. She was a teacher at a time when it was amazing for a woman to graduate from high school. She marched for women’s suffrage. Taught in a one-room schoolhouse. As far as I can tell, the kids who flipped chairs and refused to follow any direction were home plowing the fields. My mother was also a teacher. She left the profession when she married and had children in her late thirties. My sixth grade teacher came to her memorial service and expressed to me how much it had meant to him that she was always so supportive and appreciative of his work. I had not seen him since sixth grade. What a powerful testament to how meaningful parent support can be to an educator.
I don’t know what either of them would say about what is going on in education right now. Neither of these women viewed students as statistics, and so I suspect that they would be alarmed at current “reforms.”
Regardless of how they would vote, were they here today, the point is that they carried an understanding of the battle that was waged over a very long time so that they, and I, would be able to do so. Although it is painful to acknowledge that I cannot strongly endorse many of the choices out there, I will exercise my hard-won right to vote as an American woman.
For anyone who is less than familiar with the story of the struggle for women’s suffrage, I recommend that you (and your daughters) see the eye-opening film, “Iron-Jawed Angels,” and the Ken Burns documentary, “Not For Ourselves Alone,” which details the amazing work of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton (neither of whom lived to see the passage of the nineteenth amendment).