Teach­ers will be ready for school

The Peterborough Examiner - - Opinion -

While I have never met a teacher who does not love sum­mer, for many of us Au­gust is a long month of in­di­vid­ual prepa­ra­tions for the re­turn to school. Teach­ers are think­ing, plan­ning, talk­ing, and yes dream­ing of their re­turn to work. This sum­mer, thanks to all the ad­di­tional head­lines and mixed me­dia mes­sages from our gov­ern­ment about the changes to de­liv­er­ing the Health and Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Cur­ricu­lum there is added con­ster­na­tion for teach­ers who are try­ing to pre­pare a pos­i­tive re­turn to class on Septem­ber 4th.

The new PC gov­ern­ment has made a lot of state­ments over the sum­mer and ap­pears to be mak­ing ev­ery ef­fort to ram through each of their cam­paign prom­ises be­fore all the leaves hit the ground. Se­condary teach­ers in this com­mu­nity are very con­cerned that the new gov­ern­ment is mak­ing up ed­u­ca­tion pol­icy without any con­sul­ta­tion with the work­ers who de­liver the lessons. The most re­cent procla­ma­tions made by Premier Ford in­sist­ing that teach­ers fol­low out­dated cur­ricu­lum or face dis­ci­pline are un­prece­dented and have caused tremen­dous anx­i­ety among the teach­ing com­mu­nity. We know that anony­mous snitch lines do not pro­mote learn­ing or im­prove school com­mu­ni­ties. These are di­vi­sive ideas which al­ways fail.

Let me as­sure this com­mu­nity, that there is no de­sire to re­turn our schools into ide­o­log­i­cal bat­tle­grounds. Teach­ers are open to change, di­a­logue, and con­sul­ta­tion. It is how we deal with is­sues, dif­fi­cult con­ver­sa­tions, and parental con­cerns daily. We want to as­sure the par­ents and stu­dents of this com­mu­nity that we are as ded­i­cated as ever to the ed­u­ca­tion of your chil­dren.

En­joy your last few days of sum­mer, and be as­sured that come the first day of school, we will be ready for you and your kids.

Ex­pect to be chal­lenged to learn within an en­vi­ron­ment which is safe, in­clu­sive, and ideal for aca­demic and so­cial growth. Dave Warda (Teacher) TBU Pres­i­dent OSSTF D14

We are one short week from school start­ing and the On­tario Gov­ern­ment has given lit­tle di­rec­tion or in­for­ma­tion to teach­ers and School Boards about their re­peal of the 2015 Health and Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Cur­ricu­lum, be­sides threats and a snitch line. The cur­ricu­lum the Gov­ern­ment wants Teach­ers to use was writ­ten in 1998, not 2014. Try­ing to pla­cate the public by in­sist­ing that it is a 2014 Health and Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Cur­ricu­lum, is in­sult­ing to our in­tel­li­gence and just not true.

What has the Gov­ern­ment’s re­sponses been to real con­cerns made by med­i­cal pro­fes­sion­als, health care pro­fes­sion­als and teach­ers? That it is only a brief change, that no stu­dents will be hurt by go­ing back 20 years. This is ab­so­lutely not true and demon­strates that our cur­rent On­tario Gov­ern­ment does not un­der­stand the re­al­i­ties of to­day's stu­dents and their fam­i­lies. In re­sponse to how Teach­ers should han­dle ques­tions, the Gov­ern­ment sug­gested, if a teacher is asked a ques­tion, that they can have pri­vate one on one con­ver­sa­tions with stu­dents. That is not only dan­ger­ous to our pro­fes­sional ca­reer but also sends a mes­sage that stu­dents should feel shame for ask­ing dif­fi­cult ques­tions, should hide how they are feel­ing and what they are won­der­ing or seek help when in trou­ble. It ig­nores the re­al­i­ties of what our stu­dents live ev­ery day and only puts them in po­ten­tially harm­ful sit­u­a­tions.

As teach­ers, we are re­spon­si­ble for pre­par­ing our stu­dents for life, for giv­ing them the tools and knowl­edge about the world they are ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in. The 2015 Health and Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Cur­ricu­lum gives us, as Ed­u­ca­tors, the tools we need to en­gage our stu­dents and to sup­port them on their ed­u­ca­tion jour­ney.

The 2015 Cur­ricu­lum cov­ers the re­al­ity of what our stu­dents live:

• it’s about rec­og­niz­ing unique­ness and dif­fer­ences

• it’s about re­spect­ing each other and self

• it’s about cre­at­ing a safe place to learn

• it’s about al­low­ing all to be part of our school com­mu­nity

• it’s about cre­at­ing a sense of be­long­ing

It is also about keep­ing stu­dents safe. Safe when in­ter­act­ing on the in­ter­net and so­cial me­dia, safe from abuse and safe from bul­lies.

BUT it is also about cre­at­ing crit­i­cal thinkers:

• cre­at­ing stu­dents who can stand up for them­selves and say NO,

• cre­at­ing stu­dents that are aware of how to ex­press what is wrong and how to get help

• cre­at­ing stu­dents that know how to keep them­selves healthy and ac­tive

• cre­at­ing stu­dents that know about their phys­i­cal health and well as their men­tal health.

The 2015 cur­ricu­lum is rel­e­vant, im­por­tant and nec­es­sary for all stu­dents and teach­ers. Tak­ing away the tools we use, in the class­room, to sup­port and teach our stu­dents is bla­tant dis­re­spect for our stu­dents and teach­ers. If this Gov­ern­ment wants to spend more money by of­fer­ing more con­sul­ta­tion, then go with that plan but do not place our stu­dents at risk and dis­count the im­por­tance of the 2015 Health and Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Cur­ricu­lum. Let us teach from it un­til there is some­thing new for us to use. That is the re­spect­ful and re­spon­si­ble thing to do for every­one! Shirley Bell Pres­i­dent, Kawartha Pine Ridge Lo­cal, El­e­men­tary Teach­ers Fed­er­a­tion on On­tario

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.