Friday, March 7, 2014

Strike

British Columbia teachers have voted in favour of taking job action (read more HERE )

This means teachers are about to be slammed in the media. Again.

Public sentiment is surprisingly seldom on the side of Educators.

The mood in our house will be somber.  Our bank manager a little twitchy.


A possible strike looms.

I obviously cannot speak for other teachers but I know the teacher in our house does not want to strike. But he is also done bending over backwards to compensate for a system that is in crisis.

He wants to work in a safe work environment where he can inspire and educate rather than run around trying to keep children from cutting off their fingers in machines.  And btw those machines....they need replacing.

As do the text books in my kids classrooms.

We will hear from the public about how easy teachers have it, how they only work half the day and half the year......

I may be especially sensitive to this at the moment as my husband, the teacher, worked all weekend and every night this week because he is off at 4am tomorrow on a school trip to Costa Rica.

Ahhh.... I hear you say.... "I bet he didn't pay for that trip".

"Must be nice jetting off to a tropical destination".

I won't deny he will get to see a new place, have a great experience with colleagues and teens.

But I also know this:

It cost us $1000 out of our own pocket (twinrix vaccination, prescriptions, tropical meds, donations to the project, spending money, gear, wine for me)

It cost him hours and hours of family time (meetings with parents and student and colleagues for several months, writing blogs to keep everyone informed, prepping for his substitute for all his classes, missing the cup game for the soccer team he coaches and our son plays on and missing 6 days of Spring Break with us)

It is stressful to take 32 teenagers into a jungle to build a house.  To be in charge of their safety and well being in a place that is less than predictable. To know that decisions you have to make will be challenging and could be life saving....or not.

(and lets not forget I have to single parent two teenagers and the dog..... drive his robotics teams to their competition and the robot, be the soccer parent .... did I mention the dog?)

You get the point.

Can you please do me a favour?

Before you believe everything you hear about teachers and their demands in the media - talk to an actual teacher

Before you listen to or participate in "teacher bashing" - remember these are working folks like you and me with families and lives and mortgages

Before you believe the teachers demands will bankrupt the Province and drive taxes up - do the research

Before you believe that it is OK for a government to ignore the Supreme Court - ask yourself what that means for our democracy?

There are slacker, uninspiring, obnoxious teachers out there.....I know....I have encountered them.   Don't let those very few stand for all teachers.

Most teachers I have encountered have been professional, caring, hard working, intelligent and dedicated far beyond their paid hours.  They have inspired my children, mentored them, nurtured and fostered their potential, held them accountable, opened their eyes, pushed their limits, expanded their minds, challenged their thinking, watched them closely.

These are not unimportant things.

Let's not let this current situation divide us....let's say that teachers and our children are important in our community and we stand united in seeing them well resourced, safe and fairly compensated.

PS. Call me if you want to walk the dog or deliver wine.

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