When you place your precious loved one on the bus in the morning or drop them off at our classroom doors, we want you to know, parents: we do not take this responsibility we've been given lightly. And might I add, when those dear ones are returned to you again, when those precious children arrive home at the end of the day, we won't stop caring.
As students prepare to head back to school next week, most people can imagine that they will be focused on studying and writing papers. However, today's students also face a new reality during the academic year: work. Currently, federal student loan policy actually punishes students, should they work 'too much'.
Yes, folks, back-to-school season is here. And with it comes a frenzy of shopping. This year, however, may be a little bit different. Almost half of Canadian parents say they expect to spend less than $200 on back-to-school items, with one-third of moms saying they plan to spend less than $100. So where are parents' priorities shifting to? Their children's future.
While I clean shelves and wipe down cupboards, readying things for those little bodies and minds, I ready my own mind. Clean out the cobwebs, so to speak. I need my head to be in the game, need my thoughts to be organized. Need my mind to be clear. For when all is said and done, it's not the classroom that houses the potential and possibility to make this year the best one ever for my incoming class: it's me.
A female in my nation may state education as the most important right for her, but others may feel the right to clean drinking water, basic healthcare, or freedom from torture more pressing. The fact of the matter is that human rights are all important. All of them must be fought for, and, once gained, must be retained.
It won't surprise you to hear that women are among the world's most vulnerable populations. But it might surprise you to learn that one of the most difficult parts about being a woman is also one of the most natural: menstruation. A girl's transition into womanhood is often marked by the beginning of her menstrual cycle, an occasion that is celebrated in many cultures as an important rite of passage. But in many parts of East Africa, it marks the beginning of a lifetime of discomfort, embarrassing health problems, and even harassment. It marks the beginning of schoolyard bullying, missed days of school, and the start of a lifetime viewed as a sexual object.
Be kind to yourself -- don't hold yourself to ridiculous standards. Try not to stress about the little things that no one will remember anyway. Get more rest. Go for walks. Exercise. Recharge. And although it might be unreasonable to ask that you leave your work troubles at your desk, try not to become a slave to your work.
As a teacher, this time of the year is one where my mind drifts to 'what ifs' and 'how abouts'. Summer is the time of year when teachers are finally afforded the time in which to breathe, take stock and think about what is yet to come. So while I am not ready to cash in on summer yet, here are five wishes I have for the upcoming school year, set to start in a few short weeks.
She would get a quality education in any of these places, to be sure. And she would learn about navigating life independent of her parents, whether she is in residence in Hamilton or Kingston or Fredericton. But would she experience a new culture in Kitchener-Waterloo? Would life be so much different in Eastern Ontario than it is here in Niagara?
People learn, but over the years I've noticed they try to keep the actual act of it to themselves. Maybe it's somewhat of a "macho" thing to do; state something new as if you've always known it, trying to convince others you're a repository of the world's knowledge, any point of which you can summon on a millisecond's notice.
Headlines and news stories keep us updated on the sometimes harsh truths around the world. While we are disturbed by the increasingly horrific situation in Iraq and the ensuing displacement of millions of Syrian refugees, another serious humanitarian crisis has been unfolding in South Sudan in near silence.
While some are horrified by the overtly sexual movies and TV shows consumed by today's youth, a PhD candidate at the University of Toronto's Dalla Lana School of Public Health has a slightly different stance. Shira Taylor, a doctoral candidate at the School's Division of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences, is taking to the stage to educate young adults about sex.
Don't end the conversation with "Yes, that's sad." There are many things to wonder about together. "I wonder who made the decision for this to happen?" or "Who do you think it hurt by this?" are great ways to keep them thinking. Encourage them to take it further: Some questions you can answer; others you can't. Help your child figure out who would be best to write to.