SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Members of the South Dakota Education Association stood in the cold and snow Wednesday morning in Harrisburg.
More than 30 teachers and education staff were hoping to get parents to pay attention to the state’s proposed social studies standards.
“Love your teachers!”
Teachers at Harrisburg North Middle School were feeling the love, as they braved a 5-degree wind chill this morning to draw attention to how they teach world geography and South Dakota history.
“The entire North Middle School staff is out here in solidarity to support American Education Week and to also show our concerns for the proposed social studies standards,” said 8th grade American History teacher, Tamra Huffman.
Huffman says the committee proposing the new standards only had two South Dakota educators on it — who opposed both the standards and the process.
“We want our voices to be heard. We are experts in our field and we know what’s best for the children of South Dakota,” said Huffman. “We think it’s best that we have a voice in what we are teaching in South Dakota and currently, we don’t have that voice.”
Huffman’s sign ripped in the wind, but she says she’s determined not to let the curriculum committee shred South Dakota history.
“We currently feel that our Native American population is not being recognized in our new standards and we would like to see some changes,” said Huffman.
“Geography would be completely eliminated from the middle school curriculum,” said 7th grade geography teacher Craig Swenson. “In 7th grade, geography does a really good job of introducing kids to the rest of the world.
Geography teacher Craig Swenson says the fact that this many teachers stood out in the cold should show you something about their resolve.
“We’re incredibly tough,” said Swensen. “We have to be, it’s a rough profession but we do it we love what we do and we love kids,” said Swenson.
“I love that parents are dropping off their kids and they’re honking for education,” said Huffman.
Now they just hope parents will show up on November 21st for a public hearing in Sioux Falls on the proposed standards.
Recently, the South Dakota Department of Education has released editorials in support of the proposed social studies standards.
The secretary of education Tiffany Sanderson says the goal of these standards is to help students become the next leaders of their communities.
Another from a member of the Social Studies Standards Revision Commission says complex standards empower students to succeed in school and later in their careers and life.
The next meeting on the social studies standards will be held on November 21st at nine a.m. at the Sioux Falls Convention Center.