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Mom, the White House Called You

Rachel Martin, a kindergarten teacher from Illinois, shares her experience joining President Obama at the White House last week to call on Congress to pass legislation to save 160,000 teacher jobs.

Ed. Note: Rachel Martin joined President Obama last week during his remarks in the Rose Garden calling on Congress to pass legislation that would save 160,000 teacher jobs.  Since then, Congress has passed and the President has signed this critical legislation

“Mom, the White House called you” is what my daughter Annita told me when I came home on August 9, 2010. I honestly did not believe her at first, so I called back the number and it was really the White House. I didn’t think the call would have led to me standing with President Obama to support the profession that means so much to me. Before, I knew it I was on a plane to Washington D.C.

I am a third year third kindergarten teacher, whose contract was not renewed for the following school year.  Teaching is not a job for me it is a calling.  I love working with children.  So, like many teachers across America, I was disappointed and worried about my future when my contract was not renewed.

Since going to Washington and witnessing the signing of the bill, I have been hired back and I am excited about returning to Richton Square School.  The staff welcomed me back with signs over my door and pictures of me with President Obama.  The local newspapers and local news media have been contacting me to conduct interviews as well! Words cannot explain the way I feel knowing that I was involved with something that will help bring thousands of my fellow teachers back to work.

To go from being worried about losing my job, to standing with the President as he made sure I and so many others could keep preparing the children of our communities for the world was an experience that I will share and treasure for the rest of my life.

I would like to thank President Obama, and the White House staff for allowing me this great opportunity!

Rachel Martin is a kindergarten teacher at Richton Square School in Illinois