The current process has all the hallmarks of other industries that have been severely disrupted: centrally controlled by a head office, highly regulated, lacking transparency, subject to byzantine rules, and a lot of process friction from start to finish. There is nothing close to "online," "real time" or "customizable" about it.
Teachers: we have this year to write a part for ourselves in a child's life. To write a scene for ourselves in a student's life. To influence a young person, a teenager, a young adult in the writing of their life account. It might seem a small role. But we are crucial in that we are those who can make a difference.
Sometimes as teachers I feel we forget that we have priorities. There are some things more important than others. Curriculum is necessary, but if the house is on fire, that document is not coming with me. Outcomes are necessary but if the room is under threat, I will not give them a moment's notice. Lesson plans are useful, but if a child's life is at risk, that carefully laid-out plan for my day would be the last thing on my mind.
Okay, I was a bit of a keener, but I didn't think of teachers as being mere dispensers of marks. Because I was raised among teachers, I knew they were human beings too, and usually interesting ones. I did well in school partly because I worked my tail off, but also because acknowledging that my teachers were human allowed me to figure out what they expected, and how they worked.
New Power episodes are no longer playing on Starz, you can't turn on the TV or radio without some type of "bogo" sale going on and at least one person is having their final all white party. If this was Twitter, that sentence would have ended with #SummerIsOver #Back2SchoolSeasonIsHere #TeachersStopCrying.
Parents have a right to know what's really at stake, the issues that could cause a further decline in the teaching profession's reputation and resources as political leaders attempt to pay off their debts through cuts to education. These negotiations are about the fact that teachers matter, and the way they're treated matters too.
Teachers should ideally be called into this profession -- a calling of the heart. One that serves to inspire, motivate, encourage and arouse within young people the seed for greatness. Teachers talk about choosing this profession because we want to make a difference in someone's life. We want to be known as the catalyst for someone elses' greatness. We believe that we truly are the wind beneath our students' wings. We even desire to see our students surpass our wildest expectations.
A group called the Ontario Alliance of Black School Educators set out to complete the first ever comprehensive survey of black teachers in the province, specifically the racism they face. The survey was only able to reach 148 teachers, but the insight they were able to provide is shocking to those who have no idea what it's really like to be a black teacher.
We teachers have nothing to be sorry about. Despite what the government and school boards say, it's not our fault. It's not our doing. And it's certainly not our choice. Please don't tell me it's because we're asking for more money. Because we're not. Or that we're asking for better benefits. Because we're not. Or even that we're asking for more sick days. Because we're not. The only things we're asking is for is the freedom to use our knowledge as professionals to give your child the best education possible.
Dear teachers, Quite honestly, we can hardly believe the school year is quickly coming to a close. But we also realize that this last mile toward the finish line is a treacherous one. This is the reality of the work you teachers do. Believe us: your acts of kindness do not fall by the wayside unnoticed.
Canadian teachers love their students and want only the best for them. Our teachers work very hard and conscientiously, but often their best efforts are thwarted by a system that fails to give them adequate training, assigns them to teach subjects they aren't qualified to teach, micromanages their teaching methods and materials, and largely ignores their input. Canadian teachers are not getting the support they need and deserve. But it doesn't have to be this way. Here's how four other countries support their teachers' professionalism and give them a voice.