Guest Post: Joylin Lincoln – Why I Started This


[Editor’s Note: This post started as a Facebook status. When I read it, I loved it, and I asked permission to reprint it here. Joylin Lincoln is a candidate for the Utah State Board of Education, but her words here reach far beyond Election Day.]

Yesterday I wrote a tongue-in-cheek post about the top 10 things I have learned while running for state school board.

Now I just want to cry . . .

Because nothing in that post is about why I started on this grand adventure. Why are we always so concerned about doing what is “politically right”? Education needs to be about each and every student who has been entrusted to the education system.

The goal of education should be to allow each student to rise to his or her full potential, whatever that is.

Students should come to school each day excited to be there because they are safe and have the whole world at their doorstep. I want students to see the world and ask: How does that work? Why does it work? Can I make it work better?

Students need to stand at the Grand Canyon in awe, because words cannot describe the majesty of what lies in front of them.

They need to be blessed by music, art, and drama, for without these subjects the world is, well, boring.

When they study the founding of our country, they need the opportunity to think, Wow! Ordinary men stood up and did this!

When they read about World War II, they need to cry at the lack of humanity.

They need to understand that fire is hot — and burns when they don’t pay attention in chemistry.

They need to feel the power of words, when they read a poem that touches them for the first time, and they need to sneak to finish reading a book when they should be paying attention, because they just have to know how the book ends.

Students need to know that as a society we understand that not every day is great — but that when we look out for each other, most days are tolerable.

They need to feel the joy that comes with accomplishing that task that seemed impossible.

When I think about what lies ahead for my daughters, each day that I send them off to school, I have hope. I know that each will chose a different path and that the education they each receive does not need to be common. I can’t wait to see the teachers and mentors that will influence their lives. And I am so grateful for those teachers and mentors that have already guided my girls along their paths.

When I joined this political race, I did not do it because I wanted power. I simply believed that I could make a difference. That my strange hobby of reading state code and attending state school board meetings would give me the background that was required to understand the implications of rules and regulations that are passed at the state level and the effect that they have on local teachers.

I want teachers to have the ability to teach instead of be handcuffed by rules and regulations. Because when we trust teachers to be the professionals that they are, students learn.

Each and every day, for each and every student we encounter, we can make a difference. So I will never be a politician, and I don’t want to be. I am a teacher!