Soon, right around the bend, we'll be receiving pamphlets and literature about local, state and national elections, as well as about measures that will affect local quality of life. My front yard will display what we believe are the right candidates and the right measures to support.
Were we always this open about our political views?
Most of our adult years were spent raising a family and providing for the present while hoping the future would automatically get better by itself, somehow. We accepted rules and the status quo automatically. After all, we were just cogs in big machines.
The first time I experienced a change in policy occurred accidentally.
I was pregnant with my youngest child, and had ten days to go to finish my third year of probationary status as a teacher. Ten days. If I didn't teach those ten days, I could not become permanent. Ten days at the end of a school year are the most difficult days to teach for reasons teachers know well : teens are most erratic at this time; their families angry at the school and the teacher that dared hand out failing marks; and vandalism can occur even among "good" students. The child was due at the end of April. Returning to teach for the last ten days of school in June meant that I would have to leave a small infant too soon.
I spoke with my administrators about my situation before I left for maternity leave. They told me rules were rules. I offered a compromise. What if I could return to work and bring my newborn and a nanny so I could still nurse him as necessary and not disrupt his life at such a stage? Though this meant that I needed to run to the lounge that existed in the next building over at break time and rush to nurse in the ten minutes left, they agreed it could work out.
The administrators were more than willing. They moved my classes closer to the lounge, and they provided both a rocking chair and an extra heater for that room. A colleague with a free period before break came by ten minutes ahead of schedule to cover my class and released me to go nurse for a whole half hour!
I was able to nurse the baby every two hours and the school didn't have to get a sub at the end of the year when any change would have been most distracting to students.
It was this act that changed my viewpoint about rules and regulations. Rules are meant to enhance our quality of life not diminish it. When I became an administrator, I made sure my staff had time to attend to their own children's needs.