Saturday, September 13, 2014

Guest Post from a lovely and not silly BC teacher re the current BC Teachers' Strike

I loved this post on Facebook and I really wanted to share it widely (hopefully).  Thanks to Kelsey Keller who wrote this in response to British Columbia's Minister of Education saying teachers were silly to be on strike.  This is posted with her permission.

This letter rings so true for many many teachers…

"I'm sure I can't be the only one sitting, waiting, anxious, cautiously hopeful that this weekend might be the end, and we might be back at work on Monday? I know its far from 'over' despite any negotiations this weekend, but I can't shake this SILLY hope... and it got me to thinking....
Fassbender said teachers were 'silly' last week and, for the first time ever, I agree with him...
I'm SO silly... that I spent $1247.20 of my personal income on my classroom in a single year (books, teaching resources, printables, supplies, shelving, cleaning, health and safety -bandaids, hand sanitizer, kleenex) so it was more functional, safe, and inviting for my students.
I'm SO silly...that I have left a "secret" laundry basket under my desk where my students who are living in poverty can leave their dirty clothes to be laundered. When parents can't afford this luxury, I take clothes home, wash/dry/fold, and return the the basket and under my desk.
I'm SO silly... that I am still brought to tears when I watch the bumbling (but proud) assembly performances by the kindergarten students each year.
I'm SO silly...that Ive stayed up past 2am trying to prep a SINGLE lesson to make sure that Ive adapted and modified to meet the needs of ALL my students... and then feel like I STILL should have done more.
I'm SO silly...I spend personal money (and personal time) to attend workshops specific to the needs of my students - supporting student with ASD, CAPD, Down Syndrome, ADHD, Visual impairment, anxiety, divorce, death of a family member... and more.
I'm SO silly... that I sometimes I short change my own daughters (5/3/1) the time they deserve with me. My "just give me 5 more minutes to do ... for work" are rarely just 5 minutes.
I'm SO silly... that when my students asked me if they could duct tape me to the wall I replied "If you can make a compelling argument, that clearly articulates how me being duct taped to a wall will significantly enrich your learning and measurably develop your global citizenry.... then yes, you can."
I'm SO silly... that Ive lost sleep, full nights, over court cases, abuse, custody wars, and neglect of my students. Ive sobbed heavily knowing I can't fix these situations...
I'm SO silly...that even after knowing the history of BCED; knowing the court outcomes; knowing the appeal status; knowing the government spin and deception; knowing the push for privatization; knowing the 'union busting'; knowing the slow, painful, degradation of recourses and respect; and LIVING the ongoing public vilification of teachers.... I still have hope that maybe this weekend will be different than the last 18 months, and maybe I will be back to work Monday morning.
I'm SO silly, that when my husband and I excitedly describe what our lives will be like when we finally win that $50Million ... my millionaire life still includes teaching full time at the tiny 9 classroom public school that is my second home.
So, I agree with Minister Fassbender. Teachers are a silly group. The difference in our views though, is that while he sees our silliness as a fault, I see it as one of our most powerful assets."

No comments: