Thursday, May 22, 2014

What Teachers Make Take Two....

Okay, I know that if you follow my blog with any sort of regularity, you'll know that I posted this TEDtalk before....

But... in lieu of the current situation between the teachers in this province and our government (who for some reason do not feel that they have to follow the law and adhere to the Supreme Court ruling that has found them to be guilty of illegal stripping our contract language) I thought, perhaps, it was worth a second listen.

And I think that it is worth noting that it is not only teachers who make a difference but the School/Staff Support Workers, Occupational Therapists, School Counsellors, Psychologists, Multi-cultural workers, nurses etc. that are no longer a part of our day to day system in the way that they once were (due to cut backs that force them to cover an absurd amount of students in the district or to not be in the district at all any longer) but that were an integral part of our school system when I first started teaching.

Just saying...that even though I am not thrilled at the strike action we are having to take (especially against a government that clearly is not interested in following the letter of the law - see comment about Supreme Court above) I am ALL for my students getting the support and time they need to be the best people they can be. 

I know that smaller class sizes would make a HUGE difference (been there, taught that!) but also the reinstating of services (that, unfortunately, most current families don't even realize were lost) would make a MAJOR impact on the learning and success of the children in the school system. 

The media (and government) keep the focus on teachers wanting a pay increase. They keep trying to make the public think it is all about money. And, I'm not going to lie, of course being paid a reasonable wage (especially once you see how much more other teachers in Canada make!) would be lovely. 

But, for me, this whole contract negotiation etc with the government is NOT about my making more money. It is about the government not following the ruling of the Supreme Court which has stated quite clearly that the government was in the wrong and needs to restore the contract language it stripped from us so many years ago. It is about the government giving back to the students and families of this province what they should have had for all these past years. A reinstating of contract language that protects the students and gives them the best possible learning conditions. Seems pretty simple, right? 

I don't teach for the money. Hello! If I wanted a career that was going to give me a heck of a lot of disposable income (as opposed to the zero amount I currently have!) I would have become a doctor or a lawyer or something else. The crazy thing is that those careers make more money but that they wouldn't have had the education to go into those careers unless they had teachers (who make significantly less. Hmmm...makes you kind of shake your head, doesn't it?) 

I just want to be able to come to work every day and put all of my passion and love into my job while feeling like I work in a province that actually cares about the well-being of its children. I want to live in a place that puts its money into early learning in order to prevent the issues that come later. A place that is proactive rather than reactive. I expect that I am dreaming but I am unwilling to give up hope that someday, someday my dream might be a reality and that our young people's education (after all, they will be responsible for us one day!) will be a priority and not an afterthought.  

Okay, enough already, right? I am going to get off my soap box and let you enjoy a moment of poetry that helps me to remember why I do this job in the first place. Because teaching fills me with love and because I know that if I make an impact, on even one student, I have done my job exceedingly well.

Okay, I lied...I am going to give you more than one moment of poetry. Here is another one of Taylor Mali talking about his experiences as a teacher. 



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