As some of you may know, and many of you may not, this is not a fun time to be a teacher in Ontario. This past August the contract between the teachers of Ontario and the government expired. In the past the unions that represented the varied interests of teachers across the province (i.e. elementary, Catholic, secondary, french-speaking, etc) entered into negotiations or collective bargaining with the province. This year our government legislated our contract. They made a law that stated what our contract was without talking about it at all.
Needless to say, things have gotten pretty ugly over here. I know that there are other teachers, in other places facing similar adversity (like in Chicago) and I feel for any educator who has been put into this position.
In the past three weeks since school as started I have felt like my morals and my dedication to my students has been questioned. As with many of these types of situations the media coverage is not exactly free of bias. It's a tough situation to be teaching in and sadly, it has not driven me to want to blog about teaching.
For that I am sorry.
But I would like to tell you why I became a teacher. I think in times like this it's important to think about where we started and why we are here.
I became a teacher because...what else would I be? I remember taking the babysitting course when I was around 12 years old. By then I had been going to summer camp for 6 years and I loved being around kids my age, kids older me and kids younger than me. By the time I was 16 years old I was a camp counselor and continued to be a camp counselor until I was 25 years old. I have always been a teacher it seems. Some people may not see being a camp counselor as similar to being a teacher but I think they are wrong.
I have always enjoyed being with kids when they were learning something new. Whether it was how to properly saddle a horse, mastering a difficult stroke in swimming or creating a beautiful pot on the pottery wheel I have been around kids enjoying a love of learning my whole life. The joy in a child's face when they master a new skill is like no other feeling in the world.
Children are incredibly dedicated and devoted to learning. They crave it. They desire it. They attack it. Why wouldn't everyone want to be around that as much as possible? I am thankful everyday that I get to spend my career in a classroom with children who are seeing the world for the first time. It doesn't matter if they are Grade 3's or Grade 8's (because as of this year I have taught them both and every grade in between)- the world is a brand new place, full of ideas my students have never encountered and I get to be a small part of their journey.
I became a teacher so I could continue to learn. I became a teacher so I could inspire children to hang on to their love of learning for as long as they can.
I became a teacher because I could.
To anyone that isn't a teacher, I say...why didn't you?
If you'd like more information about what's going on in Ontario- THIS is a great post.