Given the way educators in Ontario are being treated of late (to borrow from Pharrell) it might seem crazy what I’m about to say I could not resist the chance to pick up a supply job and hang out with some amazing students and staff today.
There’s nothing quite like actually being in the classroom….
I was so pleased to find that I was working with a student from last year sunshine she’s here,
I knew today exactly what Pharrell was talking about:
Clap along if you know what happiness is to you
Because I’m happy
I worked with the student, saw her progress since last year, was reminded of what it feels like to anticipate reactions, the ways to make progress while working with the student’s disability, taking into account both strengths and areas in need of improvement – to be able to spend my day and energy with a person whose value seems beyond the understanding of politicians at Queen’s Park these days.
I remembered why I did this work for 12 years. We sat and listened to music – sang a little, rocked back and forth a little, connected.
The building was not overrun with talk of strikes. No anti-government sentiment to be found. Not the time or the place. Just a lot of talk about the students and their progress, upcoming events, funny anecdotes. And caring. So much caring, everywhere.
When you’re out in the world, you forget that’s what it looks like. Out in the world it’s all sorts of bad news talking this and that.
If possible, I am more ready to fight the attack on public education. Liz Sandals and the Government of Ontario, all I can say is:
…..give me all you got, and don’t hold it back,
I should probably warn you I’ll be just fine….
No offense to you, don’t waste your time
Bring me down… can’t nothing…
Today I felt there is nothing that the government can say or do that will convince me that the fight for bargaining rights, for classroom working conditions, for students, is not worth our time.
I do not want to be in the fight. There is no doubt though, it’s on our doorstep.
I’ll be just fine because I know the truth.
(The song I spent all that time listening to was, of course, Happy by Pharrell – it’s amazing how many lyrics fit the fight we’re in….)