Something I love about my job is when my students tell me something that "blows my mind" (in teenspeak). Being a teacher of teens means that I am frequently having to adjust what I thought I knew about a whole range of issues. The most recent adjustment has been to what I thought I knew about teens' relationship with the Internet.
Personalized learning will mean that more often than not your child will be interacting with his/her personal computer while completing courses online. It makes so much sense to try to sell this doublespeak version of "personalized" to parents. It's so much cheaper to buy a new computer than to pay a teacher's salary year after year.
Understanding Ontario's financial woes is critical to understanding the need for real change. The province has been in deficit since 2008-09, accumulating more than $61 billion in debt. In 2013-14, the deficit was $11.3 billion. The province's debt now stands at almost $270 billion; it was just $130 billion at the start of the 2000s.
The teachers have been lying to us. For years. They've been covering it up. Papering over underfunding and mismanaged fiscal priorities with brightly coloured posters and sparkly stickers. Concealing an impoverished system by buying the damn supplies themselves. Without receiving so much as a tax break on those purchases.
The early afternoon sun brightens the kitchen as it shines down through the skylight; I can hear my two youngest children, managing to not bicker and argue their way through Lego Star Wars on the TV, and I'm sitting across the kitchen table from my teacher husband, typing this as he plots out his Socials 8 course for the year. This is the first Sunday in months that feels normal for us.
As families in B.C. prepare for the long-awaited return to school, I am inspired to sit down and write out my own reflections of this past summer. In countless movies, we see children hard at work on their first day of classes, writing out their first essay of the school year. And so, I take a page from that to bring you "What I Did On My Last Day Of School."