Mid-Childhood Crisis

A couple years ago, I realized our family had entered the sweet spot stage (and wrote here about how it changed my perspective on camp-free summers drastically) where our children are in the precious balance of still needing us but not needing us. In other words, they can carry out their activities of daily living unaided but still think we are a valid source of wisdom and (let’s be honest) food. That awareness has continued to grow to where I will spontaneously bust out Trace Adkins’ lyrics loudly on my unsuspecting family at any given time: “YOU’RE GONNA MISS THIS! YOU’RE GONNA WANT THIS BACK! YOU’RE GONNA WISH THESE DAYS HADN’T GONE BY SO FAST!” As jittery as it may make them, my clan is used to me bursting out in song. But for me to let loose some country music rather than El Debarge (or Tears For Fears this Sunday when my younger son buttoned his polo-styled shirt ALL the way up) is simply a sign of one thing: mid-childhood crisis.

I did the math (I’m Asian, after all) and according to my advanced calculations, my older son is halfway through his childhood. (I need a moment. One more moment, please. Hang on…YOU’RE GONNA MISS THIS! YOU’RE GONNA WANT THIS BACK!) He has lived 9 years with us and in 9 more years (if all goes according to plan) he will be leaving us for college. God-willing, he will no longer be living under the same roof as I. His daily life will no longer be a large part of my daily life. He will be off on his own never to return in the same way as the here and now ever again.


My oh-so-(not)-sentimental husband only says, “Yeah, try to remember that when they are fighting and whining.” As hard as that is sometimes, I do try. It is undoubtedly harder to sing Trace Adkins on mornings like today when they screamed (!!) after I repeated in gradual escalation that they needed to hurry up (!!!) to get to school on time. Then their ear-splitting fight over whose items could occupy the middle section of the back seat made me think that square foot of prime real estate was a penthouse condo in Manhattan. Tonight the household yelling and crying had me think towards the open window, ‘Enjoy the show, neighbors! Pop some popcorn! May our drama be as unbelievable as APS and/or the pre-election shenanigans!’ As annoying and wine-inducing as those (too frequent) moments are, I know that they are all part of the total package that I will miss in 9 very short years. Silence is golden except when it is forever.


Though I am not a selfie-kind of person (I cannot take one and not have a double chin or face cut off or other unflattering results…distance is a forgiving friend), I took one of the boys and me on Sunday. We three were squeezed on my rocking chair where my 7 year-old reminisced I had rocked him as a baby years ago. Despite losing feeling in my legs because 2 elementary-aged children take up way more space and are ten times heavier than an infant, I held onto that lazy afternoon moment like the savor-worthy jewel it was. We relished in leisurely conversation that started with Ethan asking me if I had ever been bullied as a kid (thanks to a lesson on being fearless at church). Because, like Popeye, I yam what I yam, that evolved into discussions about race, class, diversity, character, godly pursuits, and my hopes for them to change the world for the better all in their short lifetimes. (And they thought Tiger dad’s expectation of extra workbooks was a bit much.)


The desire to burn that afternoon in my mind was strong enough to resist the urge to delete an unflattering selfie. It was worth it to preserve this precious period where they ask questions and actually listen to my answers, where I can ask them questions and they earnestly attempt to answer in their tiny awareness of the world and themselves, where for just a couple hours time seems to stand still and I make a conscious effort to file this in the memory bank.


I know it will not always be this way. In the blink of an eye, they will be flying away from the nest. If I am in mid-childhood crisis now, will I be completely undone then? No. (I think.) I hope then I will know it is truly their time to fly. I will be excited for them to be an adult, to vote (just like me), to taste their (first) beer at a frat party (and then call me to confess), to date girls (that they know I will love), to realize that there are tons of other Asians out there and become fully secure in that identity for the first time, to expand and stretch their worldview, and to grow into the men God created them to be. For now, I try to savor these days of the sweet spot for as long as I can even when sibling squabbles hit WWIII levels and the whining as a reactive response takes me to the place of weeping and gnashing of teeth. My older one has had to endure extra hugs (unlike his brother, he is NOT my cuddle guy and shrieks in protest). Get used to it, shrieker boy, because for the next 9 lightening-fast years I will be working out this current mid-childhood crisis with gusto.

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Their Love Story

This is my parents’ love story picking up from the prologue post you can read here.

After Dad graduated from college, his assignment for military service in the Korean Army was at an English language instructional school (training for military interpreter services) in Daegu, a city in the southern part of the country. He went there for a 12-week training course. While there, he read an article in the local paper about the May Queen of a nearby women’s college, Keimyung College (now Keimyung University). The May Queen was like the school’s Homecoming Queen except instead of being elected due to popularity or prettiness, one was officially appointed by the school, probably for being a role model student. Something must have piqued his interest because for some unknown reason, he clipped it out and saved it.

Later, one of the assignments for his English course was to write a letter. He decided not to write any random letter just to fulfill the requirement, but to write a letter to the May Queen from the article he had clipped and saved. In the letter, he introduced himself and said he had read about her in the local paper. After the assignment was returned to him, he boldly sent the letter off to her in the mail. His excitement in getting a reply soon turned to disappointed confusion. All he received was another article about the May Queen from the college paper that was lengthier and more detailed. There was no personal note included, just the clipping. He did not know what to think of that and decided to forget about it. She must not be that interested or willing to risk it with a complete stranger. He finished his 12-week course and returned to Seoul.

Because he did well in the course, he was assigned to return as an instructor in Daegu for the remainder of his mandatory 2-year military service. In Korea, all men are required to serve at least 2 years in the military. As an ROTC graduate, Dad advanced to an officer (lieutenant) during his years of service. In that era before speed trains, the trip to and from Seoul and Daegu took about 7 hours by train. An older officer at the time advised Dad to find a local girlfriend instead of trying to maintain anything in Seoul from that distance. He remembered the May Queen and decided that he would try and write her again, this time in their native Korean language. His repeated gamble paid off. He received a personal letter from her in return and thus began their written correspondence.

After a few letters back and forth, he suggested they meet each other for the first time near the train station before he left for a visit back to Seoul. Dad sat waiting at a bakery. The designated time came and went. An employee of the bakery called out, “Is there a Chong Woong Kim here?” The May Queen had called to relay the message that she would be late. At the time, she was living with a professor’s family as the children’s tutor in exchange for room and board. The children had an exam the following day, so she had to work late to prepare them.

Dad waited at his table anticipating his image of a beauty pageant queen: high heels, fashionable attire, made up face, and well-groomed hair. He pictured a glamorous model from the cover of a magazine. Finally his daydreams were interrupted by the sense that someone was standing over him. He looked up and saw a simple white blouse tucked in a sensible black skirt, flat shoes, and a plain completely make-up-less face. Maybe he thought May Queen meant something akin to Miss Korea and neglected to think that she was probably the most obedient scholar at a Christian college founded by Presbyterian missionaries. He felt undeniable disappointment but went forward with cordial conversation. Despite the lack of glamour, that first meeting grew into regular weekend appointments at restaurants, tea rooms and bakeries across Daegu. He came to realize that his initial pageant ideals were not the definition of actual beauty. He discovered that she was naturally and truly attractive in the ways that mattered most. She was the real deal.

As things progressed, he found that his heart was no longer dormant but awakened again. As far as he could tell, she reciprocated those feelings. Was this true love? Was he just bored and lonely being away from his family and friends? Was she really someone who could be his partner for life or simply an enjoyable distraction while serving out his army time? He wanted to be sure. He had a 2-week leave from the army coming up and planned to go visit his home in Seoul. Before he left, he suggested to her that during his leave they take a break and not communicate at all. She reluctantly agreed (not sure if she really had much choice).

When he finally returned back to Daegu, they met up in a park. He started telling her the story of his young love in high school. He spoke in great detail about this other woman and their relationship. Maybe the May Queen thought he had reconnected with her back in Seoul. Maybe she wondered how a simple girl from the countryside could override a cosmopolitan woman of the country’s urban center. She might have known not to underestimate the strength of first love; she knew the power of it seeing as how he was her first love. He continued with his story and confessed that he still had those saved letters after all this time. In fact, he pulled them out and showed them to her. He let her read every single word. After she had finished, he placed them in a pile before her. He took out his lighter and dramatically set the worn out papers on fire until nothing was left but ashes. The time apart had not diminished his strong feelings; it had only fueled them forward into confirmation that she was THE one. Once he knew, he was so inpatient to see her that he cut his leave in half and returned a week early. The May Queen, my mom, had completely extinguished the dying embers of first love and taken her rightful place as his heart’s true love. Burning those letters was, in a way, asking her to be his lifelong partner.

July 27, 1968

July 27, 1968

I think Dad considers their story a “true love story” because it stands in contrast to the typical matchmaker introductions of his generation. I cannot imagine my father (a Korean Rico Suave) having it any other way. Through a little newspaper clipping, my parents met and got married. They are celebrating 47 years today. Those years have not always been easy. They still fight and get on each other’s nerves. (They also still hold hands and laugh at each other’s jokes.) They still grumble at each other on a very regular basis. (And she still cooks dinner for him; he still washes the dishes for her.) They continue on in their covenant and in this way demonstrate the fulfillment of LOVE: unconditional commitment that forgives, extends grace, and promises future presence in spite of all the annoying habits and discordant personality traits that come with that promise. I am thankful not just because I am a direct result of their story, but also because I get to have their example in my life so personally.

Happy anniversary, Mom and Dad!

Keeping love alive

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Prologue to Their Love Story

On a road trip from Albuquerque to Phoenix with my parents this past February, I heard some of my dad’s oral history. Afterwards, he was not only hoarse but emotionally spent. Yet, I think it was good for him to tell of his days growing up in Korea: things he remembered of his parents (my grandparents whom I never got to know), what it was like to be a refugee during the Korean War, how he met my mother, and his early days as an immigrant to the United States. To have someone listen and their understanding of you grow by the glimpses they receive from those windows into your past can be as fulfilling as it is draining.

I take after my father in many ways. We like to tell stories, and we are not satisfied with the bare-bones version. We feel a need to describe the details. We want others to get as much of the picture as possible: to see what we saw and perhaps feel what we felt. In light of this, my dad could not start his story of “how I met your mother” (what he likes to call “a true love story”) with the day they met. He had to go back years before. He felt this prologue was important for me to know.

In Korea especially at the time my dad was in high school, students were expected to spend their time studying. There was no time for dating. His own parents had an arranged marriage and did not meet until their wedding day. For his and his siblings’ generation, arranged marriages had evolved into less rigid forms of matchmaking. Still, it was common to involve a 3rd party when the families deemed the time was right for considering marriage. Falling in love and even dating as we know it in the Western world was a rarity for most good boys and girls. To do so in high school could be downright scandalous.

In 10th grade, Dad first noticed her out in public one day. Tall and pretty, she caught his eye in the busy crowd. He saw her again at a later time in her school uniform. High schools were all-male or all-female and had their own uniforms. They also had rankings and reputations based on how difficult they were to get into through testing and admissions. She was wearing one of the top female high school’s garb, so he knew she must be smart. She lived close by and also took the same bus route to her school every day. For an entire year, he deliberately waited just to see her at those daily bus rides to and from school. All he did was look for her and observe for an entire year.

Finally in 11th grade, he got the courage to write her a note suggesting that they meet up at a certain place on Saturday. When he bravely gave it to her, she had had no idea he had been watching her for so long. She said something to the effect of, “What kind of guy are you?!?” He did not think it would go well but still went to the designated spot at the designated time. There was no reason to believe she would show and yet he anxiously and hopefully waited regardless. She showed up.

For a full year they met like this on Saturdays when their families thought they were studying or doing something else. It was never physical. They never even held hands. The only time they touched was when Dad was running late for one of their secret rendezvous. There were no cell phones to text an explanation. He arrived breathless and boldly took her hand to his chest so she could feel his rapidly beating heart as evidence to his intense exertion to get there on time. (For that time and culture, it was a huge move. Imagine the fireworks exploding with such a simple act.)

They wrote letters to each other until these letters were discovered by both families. Her family had notified Dad’s school; Dad got called to the principal’s office and was commanded to stop the relationship. This was illicit behavior; studying was to be the only focus for students then. It was not out of order for the school officials to interfere in one of their students lives like this. Her family forbid her from continuing the relationship. His family forbid him. Her nickname was Koala, and Dad’s siblings (he was the youngest of 6) had fun teasing him by singing “Koala” songs around the house. When his dad instructed him to get rid of all the letters found in his drawer, he hid them behind a picture frame. When his dad, who meticulously cleaned the house, found them hidden behind the frame, he ordered Dad to burn them. Dad burned most, but still managed to save a handful that he hid even more securely. He kept those letters with him and reread them from time to time.

During college he met a couple other women. One was through a friend of a friend. Another was just from going out with the guys when his best friends said, “Hey, let’s go out and meet some girls!” He informally “dated” them both at the same time throughout college. (What a player!) Again, nothing was ever physical. It just involved meeting up on the weekends for lunch or tea. Even though he maintained those relationships, his heart was not stirred like it had been in high school. When he was graduating college, there was a commissioning send-off service for the ROTC men. He knew he was in trouble because both ladies were coming to see him off. Somehow with the help of his best friends, he managed to say bye to them both separately. Separating from them was not difficult; it definitely could not compare to the forced separation in high school when his heart was undeniably broken.

To be continued…

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Mama Mediation

After a delicious dinner of my mom’s homemade duk mandu guk (Korean rice cake and dumpling soup) and her made-from-scratch kimchi that has ruined me against store-bought versions, I had the brilliant idea to get milkshakes since we are so close to a Steak ‘N Shake here (we are visiting my parents). On our drive over, the boys and I noticed a huge rainbow in the sky. The beautiful sight instigated a heated debate in the backseat.

It should come as no surprise that my younger son, Connor, was representing the pot-of-gold party. He was quickly shot down by my older son, Ethan, who just as unsurprisingly was speaking on behalf of all opposers to that belief. It went something like this:

Connor: “I wish I could find the pot-of-gold at the end of that rainbow!”
Ethan (with a little disdain): “C, there is no such thing. Who told you that? Rainbows are reflected light, and you cannot find them. That is just a myth!”
Connor (with a little hurt): “No…there could be one…”
Ethan: “That is SO silly.” (I’m picturing an eye-roll here.)
Connor: “Ethan, stop!” (I’m picturing a crushed spirit here.)
Me: “Ethan, don’t crush your brother’s dreams.”
Ethan: “Mama, but isn’t it true that there’s no such thing?”
Me (who am I to crush dreams?): “I don’t know. I’ve never seen one, but that doesn’t always mean it doesn’t exist.”
Ethan: “I’m a scientist! I know you can’t get to the end of a rainbow.”
Me: “And your brother has a wonderful imagination. Let him keep it.”
Ethan: “But even if he’s wrong?!?”

I told them about a picture I had just viewed on the internet before we left on our milkshake mission. It was of an African-American police officer, Leroy Smith, helping a white supremacist who was at a KKK rally in South Carolina. The officer was assisting the rally attendant out of the sweltering 98-degree weather when it became apparent the latter was suffering and needed shelter and water. We talked about how Officer Smith chose to be caring to this man who not only had views against him but views that were plainly wrong. We discussed loving actions over hateful talk. We talked about respecting others instead of just heatedly bickering with them. We don’t have to nor should we agree with them, but we can still try to treat them as humans.

We talked about how the world is full of people with different ideas, opinions, perspectives, beliefs, and personalities. My boys have many similarities but also many differences. We spoke of how to appreciate those differences and even capitalize on them to be much better than if they were both exactly the same. We imagined how a scientific realist like Ethan and a visionary dreamer like Connor could find a way not to fight against each other but instead combine those gifts into endless possibilities for good.

At this point, we pulled into Steak ‘N Shake and found that we all had a deep love for highly caloric dessert drinks. We could agree wholeheartedly that the dietary splurge was worth it. I hope the boys remember that life is too short not to enjoy an occasional milkshake. I hope they remember that life is too short not to love people, ALL people, whether those people are pot-of-gold believers or not. I hope I can remember this all as well.

Milkshakes! Mmmm.

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“She Is Worth The Risk”

This is someone whose initial hesitations changed into the title statement of this post. She is a professional photographer who took pictures of our mutual friend’s wedding. I have her black and white of my younger son (who was the ring boy) framed on our staircase wall. She is also a loving foster mom. She has mothered a handful of children who have given her many invaluable gifts. One of these gifts is an awareness to racism that led to this powerful picture and these heartfelt words.


I’ve debated on whether or not I wanted to post this because I know there will be some people ready to come at me with negative comments, but I’m going to post it because this little girl matters. I know, I know, every little girl matters, but she is the first little girl I’ve ever had in my life that might not have the same opportunities I had growing up, simply because of the color of her skin. I know, I know you want to tell me that if she works hard, there is no reason she can’t have all I’ve had. I wish that was true, but we live in a society where racism is alive and well, and white privilege is something that is so ingrained in us we don’t even see it or realize we have it. Not to say she won’t be successful in life, but she will have to work harder than I did. I do everything I can to protect her and sometimes I might be too sensitive or overprotective, but racism is new to me. It’s something I never had to think about before and the idea of “Princess” ever having to experience it breaks my heart. We can deny that it is a problem or say things like “I don’t see color” or “if we don’t talk about it, it will go away” but that isn’t going to change anything. If we could all just admit it’s a problem and there is something called white privilege we could move forward together. If you are still doubting that racism is a problem, I found this video super informative and very eye opening. Please take a minute to watch it:

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Polly’s Run 2015

Last weekend the boys and I participated in Polly’s Run, the Albuquerque race to cure pancreatic cancer. As far as running goes, I had been battling with recurring lower back pains and had reduced my frequency and distance for the past month. The day before I woke up with a sore throat that was starting to bring a little extra mucous. My boys were doing the kids K, and as usual their hard-core training was one afternoon of running around the couch a few times. ;)

My Polly's Run crew!

My Polly’s Run crew!

Maybe we were not in peak physical condition, but we were more than ready for this particular race. What we lacked in pace or stamina, we made up for in heart. We were running this race for our dear friend, Grace, who was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in April 2014. She has put a personal face to this aggressive disease. We wanted to raise awareness and help fund needed research to give hope and encouragement for her, her family, and all who have been affected. From the start, it has been a family affair. We had already been praying for her daily. The boys and I checked our fund-raising page regularly. Each of us contributed even from our kid-sized piggy banks. We each decorated blank bibs to wear why we were running.

We ran in honor of Ms. Grace.

We ran in honor of Ms. Grace.

Like all races and running in general, it was physically hard for me. It was not easy for the boys either. But we made it. It was not my personal best time, but it was THE best time. There were over a couple hundred folks running and walking for the cause. Some had personalized T-shirts identifying them as “Team Richard” or the encouragement to “Never stop fighting.” I noticed a father and daughter running together for their brother/uncle. It made me think of all the stories behind each participant. When one of Polly’s sons thanked the crowd prior to the start, the tears rolled down my face as soon as his voice cracked with emotion. As a mother of boys, I wanted to tell them how proud Polly is of the continuing work they do in her memory. I think they know; I am sure she tells them in her own way.


The kids are off!


I was amazed that Ethan ran the whole thing!


Connor crossed the finish line just behind his bro.

I believe in a good God. I believe He answers prayers. I believe He is trustworthy. I believe His love knows no bounds and His power has no limits. Yet, the biggest struggle I have had in understanding Him lately is how His perfect will allows for my 35-year-old friend to be diagnosed with an aggressive cancer. How He allows for her to experience the most harrowing forms of treatment that beats her up physically. How He allows for the most devastating of thoughts to slay her emotionally. (Why should she have to worry that her 2-year-old son may not remember her? She should not.) How He allows for her to journey to the darkest places spiritually. I know all the “right” answers. I just cannot always reconcile them to my hurting heart. This hurt never leaves me. Sometimes when I am singing songs in church, it keeps me from blindly echoing words on a screen. I cannot simply go through the motions. It brings hesitation because it produces the recurring “but…but…but…” in the midst of words I usually sing with immovable faith.

Just as ever-present as these struggles of existentialism is thankfully the constant proof of the goodness of humanity that I personally believe reflects the true nature of God. How else could we survive in this sometimes painful and often irrational world? All the things that counter those evils keep us going. It provides the belief for my unbelief. For this instance, it was the team of people who donated to our fund. Some were mutual friends of Grace and mine. Some were friends of ours who never met Grace. Some were friends of hers who never met me. Some were complete strangers to us both. However, they generously and graciously gave. They cheered us on in our efforts. Team Grace became the biggest fund-raiser for the race with a grand total of $2,250, and most significantly it gave our friend Grace some precious hope in her difficult fight.

For our fund-raising efforts, we were presented with a beautiful quilt honoring those affected by pancreatic cancer and the hope for a cure.

For our fund-raising efforts, we were presented with a beautiful quilt honoring those affected by pancreatic cancer and the hope for a cure.

Hard things will always happen; goodness will help get us through them. While we cannot always reconcile the truly difficult, we can always take an active part in bringing the redemptive good. Thanks to all who donated and to all who are doing their own acts of goodness every day in their particular parts of the world. You give us all hope, strength, and belief in the power of Love winning.

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Have You Hugged a Teacher Today?

The end of the school year is the time when teachers are filled with uncontainable joy. We parents know how they feel because despite loving our offspring like nobody’s business we are pouring mimosas and skipping out of the school parking lot 3 months later at the start of another academic year. We don’t blame them for their Cheshire grins. We know they have worked hard for 9 months teaching our children, grading papers, checking homework, staying late to write lesson plans, coming up with creative ways to engage our kids, and instilling social-emotional health in our little citizens.

Sadly, the end of this year for New Mexico teachers coincided with the receipt of their evaluations. Not even the start of summer could produce the usual happy dance. Instead their slumped shoulders were weary from a year of over-testing and then being told that despite living out their passion to educate young minds that they were deemed “minimally effective” by an error-filled system. We chose our particular school because of its high ratings and sound reputation. We know that the vast majority of teachers at our school are highly effective. We have seen our children learning and have learned from them ourselves. We have no doubt that we leave our kids in capable hands every day from mid-August to the end of May. To be honest, if they were truly minimally effective, we would NOT be sending our kids there.

The current evaluation system that teachers are subjected to is inaccurate and unfair. From our school alone, a teacher who received high marks from classroom observations by her administrator and has a great reputation among parents for her skillful teaching, caring heart, and experienced organization was given a minimally effective rating. For her, it was because 50% of the evaluation is based on student achievement which is largely dependent on high-stakes testing and a hodgepodge formula that leaves more confusion than clear understanding. Despite having students who were reading several grade-levels higher than expected, her poor rating will endanger her license renewal if she is unable to show growth. The difficulty with showing growth in a high-performing school like ours is obvious. Just because the test scores do not show this change does not mean that she was not effective in teaching especially considering her students are performing well above average.

Another teacher in our school had to have surgery which she purposely planned near a school break as to miss as little teaching time as possible. However, because she still had to take some of the sick days she is rightfully granted in her contract, her rating dropped from highly effective to just effective. Although she knows the unjust reason for the reduction in her rating, she cannot help but feel demoralized in not officially achieving the standards she sets for herself as a teacher. Does this not violate an employee’s right to use a sick day when needed, employment lawyers? It can’t be right.

These were only a couple of the examples from our school that had many more similar ridiculous stories that left me feeling so badly for our hard-working teachers. Then I attended a town hall meeting and heard these stories and more were common across the entire Albuquerque Public School district from kindergarten to high school. There were countless examples of frustrated and devastated educators from every type of school existing in our area. It was almost comical at times to hear how absurd these stories were. It is obvious the evaluation system is highly flawed and needs to change. Already we have lost highly skilled educators (our school lost an awesome teacher I wish my younger son might have had the chance to have next year), and we are in danger of losing more. This will drastically affect the quality of education for our children. APS is already experiencing a teacher shortage and with existing teachers feeling unsupported and under attack, the future could be very bleak unless things change.

Change happens when action is taken. Here are 3 steps you can take to help support our teachers:

1) Sign a petition by clicking here. The teachers have filed a lawsuit against the New Mexico Public Education Department (PED) who is responsible for establishing this current evaluation system. The PED and Secretary Hanna Skandera have requested the case be dismissed. The petition is simply asking the judge to hear the teachers’ case out and not immediately dismiss it. He will be making this decision on June 17th so all signatures need to be in place before then. It takes less than 60 seconds to read and sign. Then share it with everyone and anyone. You don’t have to be a teacher or a parent to sign. Any concerned member of the community who cares about public education can.

2) Write letters stating your support of our educators and concern regarding the evaluation system’s inaccuracy. If you need more stories and points, talk to your teachers. They will have plenty. Send these letters to your legislators. If you are not sure who they are, look it up easily here in 2 seconds: NM Legislator Lookup. It only takes 10 letters from constituents on one topic for it to stand out dramatically. You can also send these letters to your local Board of Education and the editor of your paper. Most of all, send them to the PED who has the immediate power to change this system:
Secretary Hanna Skandera
New Mexico Public Education Department
300 Don Gaspar
Santa Fe, NM 87501

3) Share all of this to educate the community. Post it on social media. Join a group in support of your teachers such as the newly formed Concerned for Public Education group here in Albuquerque. You can request to be on their list serve by emailing concernedforpubliced@gmail.com.

Lastly, hug your teachers. They might really need it right now.

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