Monday – the labour day weekend. While most people are relaxing having a second coffee (okay maybe I’ve done that too) feeling fortunate for the extra day off teachers and students have a different feeling. It’s not that we don’t want to go back but it’s a combination of anxiety, anticipation and excitement all rolled into one. Endings are always difficult. My family had a particularly lovely summer. It was low key and relaxing. We didn’t have any grand vacations but lots of cottage trips, beach days, park visits, late night with neighbours watching movies projected outdoors. Many fond memories were created. While I don’t want to go back to work and I love the time I’ve been able to have with my children. I am ready. My room looks great. My new grade 3 teaching partners are lovely. My new administrator Kathy is wonderful (we miss you Greg) We have big exciting 21stC plans for the school. I cannot wait to start up Green Team with my colleague Sarah and Coding Club with my other colleague Michelle. I have a feeling that this is going to be a really great year.
So today while I enjoy my last day of summer with my family and friends I will also be ticking off items from my to do list. I’m sure there are about a zillion things I am forgetting and there are a bunch of things I’ve intentionally left off the to do list.
As my husband Phil and I prepare for the new school year it’s with a heavy heart as we think of our colleagues and students in BC. Nobody wants this. Not parents, not students, definitely not teachers. Admittedly I do not know all the intricacies of their negotiations (or lack of) but being a teacher I do have a sense of what is involved during contract negotiations and it’s not a lovely situation to be a part of. I’ve been following #iwillholdtheline and #bced on Twitter and reading articles posted on Social Media and what gets me the most are the comments calling teachers “greedy”, “selfish” and in some instances much worse. I get it emotions are high, parents are scrambling to figure out arrangements for their kids, high school students are worried about getting their credits this year – but to call teachers greedy and selfish is the wrong approach. Does a greedy person spend their last week of their vacation setting up their work space? Do they take a course to upgrade that they have paid for themselves? Attend conference and workshops and even present during their vacation? Do they spend their own money to buy resources and materials to enhance their workspace? Do they stay up until 2:00am the weekend before they go back to work prepping materials and planning activities? Maybe they do? Perhaps you don’t support or agree with the BCTF but perhaps you could hold back on the insults.
BC teachers while you hold the line we will be sending you our support from Ontario. We leave you with this message: