Sunday, 8 June 2014
This June is a little different. Regardless of where you place yourself on the vast spectrum of BC politics, there is no denying that the escalating labour dispute between the BCTF and BCPSEA has impacted our schools. On a minute by minute basis, I am bombarded with updates and alerts by phone, through email, as well as through mainstream and social media. The issues are complex, multi-layered and emotionally charged. Many times within the past several weeks, I have come home exhausted and discouraged. As well, many times within the past several weeks, I have become acutely aware that my students are watching me. And they aren't just watching me, they are watching all of us. They are looking to the adults in their lives to see how they cope during uncertain and undeniably stressful times. This increased scrutiny has served to ignite in me a heightened sense of responsibility towards my students. Regardless of my personal political views, it is my responsibly to model a professional, positive, and caring attitude towards my students, my colleagues, and the larger community. It is my responsibility to maintain a sense of normalcy and consistency in my classroom. It is my responsibility to reassure my students that the adults in their lives will do their best to sort these complex, multi-layered and emotionally charged issues. And it is my responsibility to assure them that these are not their problems to solve. Because my students are watching me, and they are learning. More than ever, I need to be mindful of what I am teaching them.
And so, I have resolved that this next week will still be a time of reflection and celebration for myself and for my students. Because we have accomplished some amazing things this year, things worthy of celebration. And I would argue that is especially during times of uncertainty and stress, that it becomes even more important to recognize and celebrate amazing things. This is my responsibility to my students.