A squeaky wheel

I don’t remember the first time I heard the phrase.

Probably a jerryism*.

She’s a squeaky wheel that one

Grandpa to grandson about my grandmother

But, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. To end the quote.

And my grandmother usually got whatever she was asking.

As a poor kid growing up if you needed something you either had to act, ask, or beg. I always start by asking.

Can I?

Would you?

How do I?

Usually the sequence of questions

The first professional I heard echo this phrase was a fellow union member. After another meeting in which we were being told all kinds of new procedures and expectations for our work force. During the meeting I, as usual, had been asking all kinds of why questions to the boss.

Squeaky wheel usually gets the grease Tuck.

Keep asking your questions.

But, they never listen.

Or, at least they haven’t been

Sometime in 2010

I had been a member of the Noblesville Teacher Forum and the ISTA for about a year at that time. I joined the Union after I began to feel voiceless not just as a teacher in my building, but also an educator in the state of Indiana. Also, I was a bit scared. I had been developing my voice in meetings over the last two years or so.

The first few years for any teacher are a chaotic time. But five years into it I began looking around and thinking. This isn’t what is best for kids, the staff, our community, the state, and or nation. I’ll stop there. But if you are unfamiliar with Indiana’s public education system from 2006-today I’ll send you here. All you need to do is google Indiana’s war on Public Education.

My own thug life

Even before joining the Teacher’s Union I had been asking my questions to very mixed reviews. My boss’ never liked them but my coworkers always thanked me for speaking out. I remember one conversation I had with an administrator that ended with me feeling like I had been told to be quite or get fired. That’s when I joined the union. Even though I couldn’t afford it. I did it just to ensure legal coverage if I ever did get fired for not being a yes man.

In college I remember a few professors telling our class to wait until a few years in before joining the union. But after 6 years I was only making a little more than when I began. I figured it was now or never.

Over the next few years I continued asking the right questions, at the right time, to those that should know. But, I was usually told they didn’t know or was sent to another person/agency/testing adminstrator/etc for an answer. I followed the leads but never really got anywhere.

Over my last 7 years in education I took on more of leadership role within my building and district. Team Leader, Multiple Committee positions appointed and elected. I learned that my concerns were also shared with not just my fellow teachers but also the administration, curriculum companies, testing companies, and even state representatives. Then, my wife and I had our first daughter, 10 months later our second and I got out of teaching to be a stay at home dad.

But somehow little has changed in this state over the last decade. Some may argue that it is even worse. I’m an outsider now but from what I hear it is the same old story within the walls of any public school for the last four years.

Low pay

Standards debacle

Too much testing

Wasteful spending

Non professionalization of the profession

Ridiculous licensure practices

Just to name a few

Now as I turn my professional attention to politics I am running for educators everywhere. I still hear my friends, family, colleagues, and perfect strangers quote the squeaky wheel phrase my grandfather instilled into my memory long ago.

I have spent the better part of two decades as as an adult being a squeaky wheel. A decade into my squeaking against the State of Indiana’s War against Public Education I promise to keep asking questions. More importantly I promise to get get answers and explore new and innovative ways to better educate our state as a whole. I’ve tried everything else to help. Now I want to know,

How do I get elected to Public Office?

So now I’m running an Independent campaign for Congress. Education has been a big part of my life. I continue to fight with my friends for all of our kids.

Squeak, squeak.

Can I help education?

Would you help public education?

How do I help public education?

Tucker for the 5th

Happy Fat Tuesday Indiana.

I’m not giving up anything. But I always get by because of the fish fry’s or is it fish frys? frys’? Either way, I’ll take fries with that. I’m sure someone will correct me. They always seem to : ^ ) Or someone always does. So I guess that means keep writing!

Ken

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