Saturday, January 5, 2013

Dear Ontario Teachers

I'm a parent who lives in Toronto, my oldest attends a TDSB school, and I have two more ready to join the ranks. My final years of high school were spent in the Mike Harris years, so it brings back a lot of memories...mainly of a teenager happy to not go to school. I'm a pretty political person and I veer towards the left, but my post and feelings are not so much based on politics as it does my personal experience.

I want to say thank you. I'm not a teacher, but know many, and I know what goes on behind the scenes. I see the hundreds of dollars of your own money you put forth to enhance your classroom. I can clearly see all the extra hours you spend on creating activities for my kids, how anyone cannot is beyond me. Even without all the teacher friends, I can see this. I know you must have lives somewhere out there and how your families sacrifice their time with you so that you can build lesson plans, mark, submit reports etc. I know that those glorious summer vacations everyone harps about, are often cut short by training, and most teachers I know return to school a couple of weeks early to prepare. Consistently teachers are at school before the bell rings, and after as well.

My oldest was disappointed that he would not be getting some of the extra curricular activities, however he is still educated, the walls in his school are still decorated with wonderful projects and overall the kids are happy. I don't think anyone is enjoying the denial of extra curricular activies, teachers included. I know some of my teacher friends are quite frankly, bummed out because they look forward to those events, teams, clubs as much as the kids.

I recently got into a bit of a debate with another parent in the school yard. She went on and on about you're overpaid, she has no sympathy, you get oodles of time off. In the end, I had to agree to disagree because neither of us were letting go of any ground. I ended (because I like to have the last word) with telling them that I doubt they would be so willing to put in the hours you guys to your jobs. I doubt that many parents would, judging by how many are itching to send their two or three back to school after the Christmas break.

Detractors are all too ready to bring up the bad apples, and sure, there are some, there are bound to be, but it shouldn't take away from the work and good most of you do daily. In many cases, you provide that safe adult that child may not have. Even with my own kids, my oldest went into grade one shortly after his father moved out. Now while he was loved dearly at home and we did our best to make things as stable as possible, his home life was changing radically as he knew it, and his safe constant spot was his school. His teacher knew of the situation, and having been through it herself, accommodated that need. When assigning kids to classrooms for the next year, the school took care of that need as well, by placing him in the class of the teacher not going on parental leave to ensure that stability. I was about to ask, but it was taken care of before I did. I've worked with kids who have been abused, I'm training to work with a wider group of children, but many people do not see this role that you play. Many kids who don't have a male or female parent often get that need filled somewhat by a caring educator.

Their school is safe, it's approachable, I run into the staff constantly running my errands, they are a part of my community in addition to being responsible for not only the education, but the well being of my children for the bulk of their waking hours during the week.

I sometimes wonder how other people don't see this. Maybe they don't have teacher friends, or work in social services. Overall, it's easy to criticise looking from the outside in and that's not exclusive to this situation. I'm sure many of you have heard more than enough criticism. So I wanted to put it officially on the record, that I know your job is hard, I know how dedicated you are to it, and that I, as a parent, tax payer, member of your communities appreciate it and want to express my wholehearted gratitude.

And, for any English teachers reading this, I apologize for grammatical or punctuation errors, one thing that teachers have not instilled in me, was the willingness to proofread...yeah, I'm a rebel that way.

Many thanks!

86 comments:

Mrs. Hardaker said...

As part of my schools parent council I often find myself defending teachers and advising parents to be involved and read the information for themselves and not the media spin.

I hope that teachers feel the support.

Joy said...

Honestly, I'm so often surprised when I have to defend teachers to parents with kids currently in that school. But more often than not, those end up being the parents who will never be satisfied with anything. But some of the things that need to be debunked really shocks me.

Drew said...

Thanks for sticking up for us! I was in high school during the Harris years too. I never felt my education suffered - even when I missed 2 weeks of classes because of the political protests - so I'm sure all students in Ontario will continue to enjoy one of the best education systems in the world, even without sports and club.
Thanks again!

Albert said...

Thank you for your support. There are plenty of extracurricular activities out there. The free ones have been put on hold for now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! As I am sure many teachers would agree with me... we focus on parents like yourself. One person speaking out in support of us truly represents a huge portion of the population. As I tell my students, those brave enough to stop and speak up have just been the spokesperson for the majority of their class. So thank you for being the brave one today.

Anonymous said...

Appreciate the support. As a teacher in her final years of the profession, I am disheartened, broken, and feel sympathy for the young teachers, entering this once valued vocation.
I love, love, love teaching. Every year, my class becomes "my" children. We laugh, laugh, laugh and learn along the way. I always go above and beyond in my classroom to ensure that my kids learn.
I know that I have impacted many kids. However, I am at the point now, where I cannot wait to retire. I have been beaten down and it saddens me. Education and educators should be valued by one and all. Not any more unfortunately - so when June 2015 comes around, I will leave this job, leave the stress, leave the criticism and embark on a new journey.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I honestly can't say thank you enough... As a teacher at the early stages of my career, it has been very challenging to read and listen to many of the comments being tossed around. I am proud of what I do; but I also struggle when I'm made to feel like less of a human being because of what I do... I don't expect everyone to know the "whole story", but I would hope that people are invested enough in the value of education - the value of the future of our youth - that they would invest some time to get to know why we are upset by Bill 115. Why it is the lack of democracy, not the lack of wage increase, that upsets us so. I am fearful for the future... But am so thankful for the kind words from people like you. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you

Anonymous said...

I am a mother of 2 children in elementary school with the Simcoe County board. I couldn't agree with you more. My son is in grade 3 this year and my daughter is in full day S/K. They have been blessed with wonderful teachers. I appreciate everything they do for the kids. This is also a small community and we see our teachers out with their kids at basketball, at the Y, at the library etc. I read the contempt that some of the parents have and it makes me very angry. Teachers - keep up the great work. You have my family's support.

Peggy L.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your support. I am tired of being portryed as an evil villian in the media because I have decided to stand up for my rights. This politic situation is hard on everyone and I appreciate support from parents like yourself.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. It's been a tough year hearing all the negatives. You brightened my day.

Meghan Cameron said...

You just gave me the boost I needed before going back to work. Thank you for being supportive and for recognizing the extra effort so many of us put into the job. I became a teacher to be that caring adult some kids need, because I had so many wonderful caring adults in my life during a rough time during highschool. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you. I think this protest has opened many people's eyes to the fact that all of the coaching and extracurricular things that teachers do are not actually part of our contract but volunteer work that we do after our day of teaching is done. Then after the aftercurriculars are done, we go home to do marking and lesson planning. I can't think of any other job where workers stay after work to do volunteer work. Yet we've been doing it for so long that people assume it's part of our job.

Anonymous said...

This is a super blog and, as can be attested to, needed by so many teachers who have had to endure a lot of negative comments over the past months. However, there is a group that no one has considered much. You have many teacher friends! I have many principal friends, and they are the ones caught in the middle here between the parents who only want what their students have had all along and teachers who are refusing to carry out various duties. And I'm not just talking about the extra curricular after school or weekend volunteer things. Teachers are refusing to order milk for kid's lunches, they won't attend staff meetings, won't do PD even when it's during the day and coverage is provided. They won't do band or sports during they day nor Christmas Concerts during the day. How can they pick and choose what is their job and what is voluntary during the normal work day? I just don't get it and neither can many principals who then have to find ways to cover all those tasks. Principal are the real heroes in this whole dispute. They are quietly working behind the scenes making sure our kids are getting what they need. It certainly isn't the Liberal gov't and right now it certainly aren't teachers. Not in the sense that they use to. This battle (if you have to battle) belongs in the courts, not in the classrooms of our country. It will be interesting to see what nurses and firemen do if the gov't does this to their salaries. Will they hold sick people and people in burning buildings hostage the way teachers are appearing to hold kids hostage in this battle with the gov't? I sure hope not.

Joy said...

So I had a big long comment, it got nuked and there was much cussing...thank goodness the kids aren't home.

I wanted to express my gratitude for all the great feedback, I was very surprised, but apparently not enough people are expressing positive feedback to their teachers, even though I know it's out there!

I can imagine the difficult position principals may be in and what they have to navigate. I feel confident in my kid's principal. When first visiting his school, I really took the time to evaluate how she communicated with her staff and just getting a feeling for her, because I figure you can't do a super job if you have a lousy boss. Anyhow, I confidently enrolled my kid in the school, so I must have liked what I saw.

I wanted to stress how I've observed that teachers are conflicted about the job action. Not in that they don't support it, but on a personal level, they don't like denying the kids their activities. They work hard on their teams and clubs and they have goals they look forward to within this volunteer role.

I'm sorry to hear that many of you feel disheartened. People offer feedback when they're all fired up about something, but seldom do it when they think everything is peachy. I've worked in social services, so can commiserate on that one. I just wanted to remind you that I still have teachers as far back as grade 2 that I think fondly of, who had a great impact on my life. The work you do is so important, I think more than you could ever fathom.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Joy, for your kind and supportive words. I have been feeling especially down since Broten made her announcement a few days ago and was having a hard time psyching myself up to go back to work. I am one of the many teachers in this profession who has always (20+ years) gone above and beyond for my students, often working 60-70 hours per week and ignoring myself (and my own kids at times) in the process. For years I have been able to shrug off the stereotypical negative comments I would read/hear about teachers from time to time but this time things are different. The horrible manner in which the government is treating us - coupled with the often ferocious way some members of the public are commenting on the issue - has struck me to the core. I am having a hard time turning the other cheek and feeling glad that I have chosen this profession.

However, your heartfelt letter has definitely helped and I plan to log off this computer and head into my classroom (likely for several hours) in preparation for return of my students tomorrow. And I truthfully know that when I see the warm, smiling faces of my students (I am blessed with a wonderful group of grade 8's) I will smile to myself and be thankful once again that I am a teacher.

Tricia MacDonell said...

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Tears of joy filled my eyes as I read this! After much criticism, it's nice to know that some people do "get it" afterall! Thank you Joy, you made my day!

Anonymous said...

Nurses and firemen are paid to "save lives", teachers are not paid to take lunch money or put on Christmas concerts. It's rather simple, we are paid to educate... We are not "holding kids hostage" from what we are HIRED to do. Parents have just been spoiled by these extras for too long and have now come to expect it rather than appreciate it for what it was - a bonus!

Anonymous said...

And, BTW, i have friends who are both nurses and firemen and neither would dream of working or attending a meeting after hours without their "time and a half" - something teachers never get. And any additional training they receive is also fully paid by their workplaces, also something teachers never get! You really shouldn't compare apples to oranges!

Anonymous said...

I agree, principals have been put in a very difficult situation and from what I see and hear most continue to do an amazing job of ensuring a positive and supportive school environment for students, staff and the community. However I have experienced that some people are often quick to 'blame'teachers for decisions that they have little or no control over. I know firsthand that teachers are also working quietly behind the scenes to make sure your child is getting what they need, but often have no voice or recourse when decisions that affect the students are made. To say students are being held 'hostage', is quite frankly offensive and untrue. Teachers continue to teach the expectations of the Ontario Curriculum. I have heard several teachers comment on how they now have more time available to devote to supporting student learning and achievement in the classroom. "You say that parents only want what their students have had all along..", then approach your child's principal or the local community and ask how you can help.

Jan said...

well said Joy.. my sister is a teacher as well as my sister in law and like you have many friends in the education field. I now live in Nicaragua and the parents in Ontario should get down on their knees and thank God that they have such dedicated teachers. The teachers here are under educated, no supplies paper, pens books to teach with and work for very little pay. The teachers I was blessed with in London Ontario were the best they were my role models. Today's parents I believe think of their child's teacher as a babysitter which is so not true. Teachers are dedicated to bringing out the best that a child can be.. I say well done to all teachers.

Anonymous said...

This was nice to read on Sunday evening before returning to school. As a newer teacher who wasn't raised in ON (therefore missing the Harris years entirely), I am bummed out and it's hard to feel good about my work this year. I can only hope that things will turn around, and I take comfort in the knowledge that there are opinions like yours out there (amidst the louder contrary ones). Thank you.

Suzanne S. said...

Thanks so much for your kind words and your understanding! We appreciate it all so much!

I too want to give recognition to our principals and vice-principals for keeping as much going as they have been.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your kind and supportive words.

Anonymous said...

Wow--thanks so much! This is just what I needed to hear before returning to work this week.

Anonymous said...

Wow Joy, Thanks so much for your letter to Ontario Teachers. You seen to truly understand that teaching, like parenting, includes the heart. I have been avoiding the negative comments of people because it hurts to be judged when people don't know both sides. I really appreciate that you have taken the time to understand that these is so much more to the title "teacher" than many assume! Best wishes to you and your family for 2013!

Nick H said...

Thank you so much for your support and attempt at clarifying some of the myths about teaching that seem to be commonplace.

Nick

Halton District School Board

Anonymous said...

I am very happy with the support that has been shown here. I am a HS Teacher and I love my job. I worked hard to get where I am. I hate having to defend myself in public. I hate the comments like "you get summer off", or "we pay your pension"...or "you are a babysitter". There are times when I wake up in a cold sweat thinking about a student, a project, a lesson plan etc...I don't suspect that many other people bring their work home like that...

Karen P. said...

Thanks for the kind and supportive words. I appreciate them.

Sandy M. said...

I have had an opportunity to volunteer in schools for over a decade....Teachers have taught me ...and guided me in further developing my own children. I am always amazed at the dedication of personal , unpaid time made on behalf of our kids.
There would be so much less enrichment for our kids if teachers didn't volunteer their unpaid time...
It's what made me want to volunteer too!

A said...

I just stumbled across this from my Facebook page - thank YOU for posting this! It brought a tear to this teacher's eyes! It's not too often, especially lately, that we come across parents that offer this level of support.

THANK YOU!

Heather said...

Thank you so much. I feel so much better and I am ready to go do what I love to do tomorrow; work with kids and support them in feeling capable and successful in this world!
Thank you Joy!

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher and I am crying as I read this. Thank you, Joy. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank You! Thank you! It was nice to get the support and understanding! You made this teacher cry!!!!

JILL said...

I am a high school teacher from South Western Ontario and I want to say THANK YOU!!! Your post was so very touching and so freshing.

Cheers,
Jill

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your support and empathy. Your opinion is often hidden by many of the negative ones, so it is nice to feel the love. :)

Anonymous said...

I am a high school special ed. teacher. Your comments brought me tears of "joy" Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Teachers in our area made Christmas concerts happen...they did... and parents worth their salt were able to be there for the concerts even though it was during the work day. The kids practiced during class time to prepare, not ideal but it worked. As a child of a teacher I pretty much grew up at the school my father worked at...early morning and after school practices I was there, weekends away for sports with the teams. My whole family gave up alot, time, money, etc... I can't tell you how many times we paid for the team to have pizza. Having said that, back then students and families were very thankful for the time and effort he put into the teams. I wouldn't say the same is true anymore, my husband is a teacher, last year he spent 4 days in Quebeck with his class. Upon returning he had exactly 2 parent's say thank you to him, and one was a volunteer on the trip. He took care of 38 students for 4 days....

Heather said...

Thank you, Joy, for recognizing the hard work we put in every day to educate the children of Ontario. It's nice to hear some positive feedback for a change. I have been dreading going back to work tomorrow but it is nice to hear that some parents can see how hard we work to provide a great education for our kids (I always refer to my class as "my kids" even though I have my own at home). I will continue to do the best job I can in my classroom even though the extra-curriculars are off the table for me. It's a matter of principle now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Joy. You are a class act and well spoken young lady. Thank you for taking the time to write something not negative, hateful, or demeaning about teachers there is enough of that being posted lately.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! Your words are much appreciated!

Anonymous said...

Mamajoy, thanks for you support! I was a music teacher for grades 1-8, who married a grade 9-13 music teacher. After our first year together, we agreed that 2 teachers in one house was one too many, if we wanted to have any hope for a happy family life. So I took a 9 to 5 job where I could close the door and go home to be a wife and mother, with time to help my husband with his marking, concert programs and other paperwork at night, as well as coach small groups on weekends. Our marriage and family survived intact, and our youngest, whether despite or because of this environment, is
one of those special teachers that students will never forget. Thanks for such an encouraging post! Meeeee

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the lovely comments.

Anonymous said...

I support teachers, but I support my kids first. You can't bargain with a dictator, so please leave any further fighting out of the schools. The courts, your union and the politicians will figure out this undemocratic legislation, just like when Bob Rae legislated the social contract for all public sector emplyees. Tim Hudak will make the the Liberals look like a day at the beach, thus we teachers must be careful off what we ask for. We can continue to fugh, but in the proper arena, not in the schools directly affecting the kids we all Love so much. Do we really want EC's to be part of the job description, whereby we must do them or must spend a mandatory amount of time at school, more than we have to now, without the flexibility we all enjoy. I Love my job, get great pay, have an amazing pension to look forward to, 12 weeks vacation and every weekend and long weekend off. We just had 9 straight years of pay increases. Let's get back to what we do, and stop looking like union thugs. This fight had been taken out of our hands. My wife that is not a teacher tried to volunteer at my 3 kids school (not mine), and was told she couldn't as there wasnt a teacher chaperone willing to supervise. This isn't truly Volunteer, when it's used as a bargaining chip at the kids expense. I have always looked at EC's as part of my job. It has always bothered me when I see many of my teacher colleagues doing either no or very little EC's. Let's get back to work, as per usual and let the pros take care of this. The undemocratic part this is for the Courts now.

Colleen said...

Thank you for the lovely support that we all need right now. As for the previous comments about how we "get great pay, have an amazing pension to look forward to, 12 weeks vacation and every weekend and long weekend off. We just had 9 straight years of pay increases." - I am concerned that clearly some of us do not take our responsibilities as serious as most - I have never had 12 weeks off... I am always planning and designing and redesigning my class and teaching methods. I have just started teaching in the last 4 years - 2 of which did not have a pay increase... perhaps you do not speak for all of you colleagues and that is why you don't understand why they are so upset. It makes me very sad when I hear that there are even teachers who do not support us. The idea that we cannot bargain with a dictator is exactly why we cannot leave this go... we are standing up for the rights of everyone in Ontario... we are not allowing a dictatorship to form. Sorry for your inconvenience but I am shocked at your narrow vision. As for Joy -your name says it all - you are a joy to hear from and thank you for making it easier to go back in tomorrow and face our current reality. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

As the parent of a young teacher, I have watched her beaten down by everything that has been written about teachers and have to defend herself and her position constantly! My daughter loves what she does and works hard for the children in her classroom. Working to rule is very hard on her and going in 15 minutes before and leaving 15 minutes after the bell is very difficult! The countless hours she used to put in and surely will again is not looked at by all these detractors. The difficulty of finally landing a permanent job, and then hoping not to be excessed is very stressful. I can honestly say I would not want her job! However all of that is tempered by one child making a breakthrough and finally understanding a concept! Thank you for all that you do!!

Anonymous said...

I believe it is tragic that EC's are used as a bargaining tactic. EC's have always and will always be part of a Teacher's job. If it was truly volunteer, then parents would also be allowed to volunteer or others that aren't teachers too. There is an avenue to dispute this undemocratic legislation, and it did in fact happen in 1993 for 3 years. My husband is a police officer, still working in 2013 from a 2009 wage and contract. We know he is probably nimmune the list, and could be frozen on that 2009 wage. We, as teachers do this job for many reasons including the pay, time off, and the Love of educating children. EC's are a very important part of that education. I do in fact believe the Gov't should have legislated EC's, as other Provinces have; to ensure our Children aren't held hostage. It would also ensure the teacher's that do very little or no EC's also do their part, and not leave the bulk to a select few teachers that make them look good. Do we really want EC's legislated and set working hours? Let's get back to our job, as my husband continues to do on his 2009 contract in 2013; and let the Courts take care of this mess.

Anonymous said...

Finally! After months and months of pouring over news articles and blog posts bashing teachers, I finally read something from someone whom has a brain.

Let me be clear, I am not a teacher, I am actually a (*gasp*) banker in the private sector. My husband IS a teacher ( an intelligent, decidicated one at that)
and it breaks my heart to see him so demoralized by this government and the peole ignorantly affirming
its actions with ludicrous statements like " Fire the
lot of em".

My husband and I are NOT rich. In fact, we are going to really struggle to keep our home and put both of
our children in daycare next month when I return
from my maternity leave. My husband spends more
time with the kids that he teaches than he does with his own. I don't begrudge him that, he gives his time
(paid and unpaid, but more the latter) to raising and
educating 30 (still yet to see those smaller class
sizes McGuinty and Broten keep harping on about)
other children.

So when I read things like "teachers are lazy and
overpaid", I have to ask "If teachers have it so easy
and if they are so overpaid, why aren't you one?" . I
am not living in a land of lollipops and make
believe. I like to think that I have a fair understanding of how the world actually works BECAUSE I was educated by dedicated professionals, like my husband. Yes, there are a few " bad apples" out
there. Please feel free to name a workplace or
profession (both public and private) that doesn't have at least one. These "bad apples" are definitely the exception and not the rule.

I will climb off my soap box now to give you a sincere "Thank you" . I know teachers like my husband, that truly appreciate this kind of support

Climbing off

I know this province is in fiscal crisis, but that DOSEN'T give the government the right to trample on the rights of ANY worker.

Anonymous said...

thanks for all the comments both from teachers and from parents..what a sad state of affairs as a mother of two experienced skilled and dedicated elementary school teachers, it has been difficult to watch their enthusiasm for their job drain away, becoming disheartened and bitter. I can only hope that returning to the classroom and focusing on what they love to do - teach kids, will bring some of that enthusiasm back.

And, finally, let's remember that is not just teachers who condemn the actions of this government or who are disheartened by the state of all levels of government. So.. pay attention... communicate with all your elected representatives and get out the vote next time

Anonymous said...

Dear Ontario Parents (even the ones with blinders on).

By all means read the Bill and blame whichever government you wish. The past three have all come to this same stage and conclusion.

We can't afford it to continue this way.

How about instead of picking on individual classroom teachers we started scaling back bureaucrats at school boards and the MOE to match declining enrollments.

Better yet, take another serious look at how Full Day Kindergarten is the elephant in the room.

If teacher unions hadn't opposed school councils as much as they did, those councils, had they have been allowed to evolve would mean teachers AND parents would have become less dependent on government for EVERYTHING.

But no....school councils and parents were screwed right along with teachers by this government.

Anonymous said...

The Children have been used for 4 months already. This legislation has been used, just as the Social Contract was in the mid 90's. The fight is now with the Courts. Let's get back to doing what Ontario Teachers have always done so well; giving our children the Best all around education possible, and no longer use their grads,sports,clubs and school pride as a bargaining chip. The bargaining is over and now it's our vote and the Courts that need to finish this fight. Who do you vote for as 3 separate parties have noe enacted undemocratic language and broken our collective agreements. Bob Rae and the Social Contract from 93-96 from the NDP. The
Mike Harris Conservatives and now our Liberals that we just finished helping elect again that have given us 9 straight years of Great raises. Who do you elect? They are all the same and Tim Hudak will definitely have legislation making EC's mandatory for teachers with also a teacher's school day being longer with no flexibility. Tim Hudak and the Conservatives will make Dalton and the Liberals look like a day at Wonderland. I guess it's NDP again, since they screwed us the longest time ago 20 yrs ago?

nicole said...

One thing that I noticed right off the bat...those of you whom are either 'bashing' teachers or just wanting teachers to 'get back to doing everything, extras are actually part of your job because I expect it', and so on...you *all* posted as "anonymous"...how curious. You have the conviction of your beliefs and it's a strong enough conviction to prompt you to speak out publicly, yet you don't seem to have the conviction to attach your own name to it. That is a trait shared by the 'trolls' on message boards spewing their vitriol.

I am so thankful for all the teachers I had in my life...even the really bad ones. They all managed to teach me something, even if it was only how *not* to behave.

I believe that a tiny bit of my faith in humanity has been restored by reading this post and comments; to be honest, I've had to avoid most of the press as the media seems content to lap up all the lies the government has been feeding them...apparently the same as the public (odd that the very same public whom believe every lie out of the government when it concerns teachers, also speak out about how everything the government says is full of lies -unless it's about teachers of course.) The amount and the level of vitriol directed towards teachers makes my stomach churn. How quickly people have lined up to demean teachers, bash them senseless, cheer for the removal of their legal rights...and then in the same breath demand that teachers continue to give up their personal time, effort, and money in order to give it to the public's children. If I felt so negatively towards someone, you can sure that there is no way I would want them to spend so much time with my child, let alone even more time.

All in all, we are very very lucky that teachers do not hate us the way we hate them.

(and yes, that is massive over generalization as most on this page love teachers!)

Anonymous said...

I would just like to remind those that compare us to essential services workers (police, fire, para, paramedics) its not accurate...these folks have legislation that forces binding arbitration. The government new that what they wanted to do would be tough to get through negotiations, and even harder if it came down to legally binding arbitration. And why would this be harder to use arbitration, which can be asked for by either party?

Anonymous said...

Parents ARE allowed to volunteer. It is happening in my Board for sure. You are certainly entitled to your opinion, but I am entitled to spend my lunch and prep time as lunch and prep.

Anonymous said...

I am a teacher and in my high school most (about 80%) do not do any EC at all. They show up at 8:00AM and leave at 2:30PM after doing a solid 4 hours of teaching. We could probably keep the EC going and they would not even know about it. As a coach of 4 teams and sponsor for 3 clubs I am falling into the lazy grind of most at our school. Their moto "three months off, great benefits, great pay, roten kids". "It would be a better place to work without the kids". But that's my school. I'm very certain that no other teachers in province have seen this in their schools. LOL.
I think my problem is I had a job before I became a teacher. I know what it is like to get fired, work 20 hour days, deal with upset customers and 2:00AM phone calls to go into work.
Our bargaining units dropped the ball here and I feel they did not read Bill 115 at all. Their 'wait and see' attitude screwed all of us into a deal that is actually an awesome contract for most normal people. Really!, what did you think was going to happen? EXACTLY WHAT WAS WRITTEN HAPPENED.
Fire the CBU's and start over. Some people have never dealt with an upset public before and have no idea how to deal with people. School to school to school - no real world job. Yes!, I said it as a teacher in Ontario. There is a real world and a teaching world.
I am, as a teacher, ( over 70K a year) making over $100.00 per hour doing a pretty sweet job with virtually no accountability.
I am posting as anonymous out of fear only.

Amanda said...

Thank you for your support. It is nice to read from supportive parents - we know you guys are out there, this just makes it more evident.
Thank you for pointing out the extras that teachers do - especially the point that sometimes we are the only stable point in a students days - that's a hard one for many of us because it is so hard to believe but it is so very important for us to be that support system.
Your support is very much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

409pm. Only police and fire are essential services thus have binding arbitration and why that teachers policeman husband is still working on a 2009 wage in the year 2013and interest is Never awarded on any back pay if given. When the Govt legislates, it overrides all contracts for that period; thus binding arbitration isn't a factor. Paramedics aren't an essential service and still have the right to strike, but
Never do. The policeman making the 2009 wage will be frozen at that wage when the legislation is passed for the remainder of the public sector. When Bob Rae passed the Social Contract in 1993 for 3 years, all contracts were null and void. Wages were frozen and all public sector employees had to take 5 days off each of the 3 years, without pay.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Grade 1 teacher. I love my job. I chose my profession carefully, with some awareness - as much as possible at that early 20s point of applying to teacher's college - of the positives and negatives of teaching. I love my job and fortunately have the aptitude to excel. I knew I'd never get a yearly financial bonus, but I didn't know that each year my students would steal my heart.

Even though I am not a mom, I don't think people realize that I - along with most teachers - love our students. I care for them deeply, plan for them individually, build their experiences and interests carefully through the day and over the weeks and months. I go home thinking about them.

But today, I walked into school feeling demoralized. Disheartened. It's not enough that our Minister of Education has publicly battered, bullied and manipulated us, but the general public seems to have joined in.

Thank you Joy for taking the time to speak out for and in support of us :)

Anonymous said...

Thank you Joy.

The person who posted at 5:43 is likely not a teacher.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Joy. I was a brand new teacher during the Harris years, and I almost didn't make it. I felt totally alone, and completely attacked. I love my job, and I don't have any of my own children so that I can make more time for yours. I am trying to teach them that you have to stand up for what you believe in and never let the school yard bully win. I hope they understand I miss choir as much as they do.
Thanks for your words of encouragement. It is much appreciated.

Anonymous said...

It's encouraging to hear this from a parent. Thanks for the post.

We are continuously excoriated and lambasted in the media, be it either our salaries, benefits or pension. It used to be our job security until the Liberal government demonstrated otherwise with Bill 115.

We are caregivers, regardless of what is thought of us. From 9-3:30 I am responsible for the education, emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing of 20 primary students who look up to me for everything. I put my students first and push myself as hard as I can in order to give them the best of my education.

The sheer amount of ignorance that takes place in the open public regarding what we do, and how we do it, and what we must do is mind boggling at times.

And is it only during work-to-rule that the value of extra-curricular activities is felt when they're withdrawn? I don't recall reading or hearing in the media a general thanks from "concerned" parents when we do them.

Thanks for your support.

A Grade 2 primary teacher, TDSB

Anonymous said...

Whoever posted at 5:43 is a troll, and most likely not a teacher.

Get a life...

Anonymous said...

Wonderfully worded
It is the process that speaks volumes of you and not the errors left behind when you passionately write and simply emotionally move on without proof reading (teachers do that daily I confess)

Thank you for your support. We are doing this because its right...we are sorry we can't be there with you when you stand up for us...those parents tend to shy away from teachers, but we welcome everyone...because we love what we do.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, Joy for your understanding and support. It is frustrating to not have extra-curriculars and I think often about families where they cannot afford activities for their children outside of the school community. I, along with many of my colleagues, am hopeful we'll be back to "normal" soon.

Anonymous said...

Jan7 458pm
Parents are only allowed to volunteer with a teacher chaperone for any club. Thus, why it is a monopoly and teacher unions hang onto it as a bargaining chip and Control. EC's are part if a teachers job, and it's time for Legislation that will now allow the teachers unions to hold the kids hostage again. What job do you know that gets 12 weeks vacation per year, every weekend off and every holiday off? All that is expected is a few hours per week of EC's that are very very important part of our Childrens Education. This is why EC's will Never be considered Volunteer, because somebody they is not a teacher can't run any EC's without a Teacher present. Truly Volunteer is ANYONE can run EC's as long as they pass a criminal check. Time to remove this bullying tactic by the teacher unions of our precious Children, so our children can never be used as bargaining weapons AGAIN. I am a teacher with 3 school age children and am sick and tired of this. Most of the teachers at my school put in NO time or VERY little tile for EC's. A select few of us, make the rest look good. But those ones that do little or nothing are the ones desperate to keep that bullying bargaining chip against our vulnerable and precious Children.

Anonymous said...

First, I am fortunate that my two children have finished high school and have graduated from university. I do have to say that they had wonderful teachers all the way through their education. That being said, I have heard enough complaining from teachers. If they don't like their job, find a new one. There are hundreds of young teachers waiting for a permanent position. In the real world, where I work, there are no banked sick days and extra long holidays. I don't have a problem with their holidays as I know they work very hard throughout the school year and of course, deserve time off. But I wish they would understand how fortunate they are. As a matter of fact, my entire office took a pay cut of 13% four years ago to keep our jobs. Have we had an increase since then? No. We are happy that we have a job and actually enjoy what we do.It's time to stop the belly aching and move on. The teachers union is living in La La land. It's time to look at the reality of what is happening in the 'real world'.

Cathy said...

Awesome work, Joy!!! I have loved my 30+ years of teaching, yet am disheartened by a public who demand extra curriculars (I coach 3of our 4 volleyball teams, as well as girls' gymnastics, and run our track and field meets)Thank yous, from either students or parents, are rare but very much appreciated. I do these things because I love to. Getting to know the kids beyond the classroom builds a whole different rapport with them. (I actually feel that those teachers who just put in their school day are missing out.)
PS In our board, the use of a "teacher chaperone" for a parent coach is because of liability.

Anne-Marie said...

Thank you so much for the kind, supportive words, Joy. To those of you who keep insisting we as teachers do not live in the 'real world', please get a grip. We are absolutely in the real world of children, providing them with the best education possible. We work hard, we love our jobs, and to say children are suffering is to truly demean the lives of other children in the real world out there who experience true suffering. It amazes me that so much of the vitriol from parents is about the work we choose to do for free.

Anonymous said...

Bravo!!!!!

Kari said...

Thank you for your support and kind words!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for your support! Like you, I was a high school student in the Harris years as well, and went through the strikes, work to rule, no extra activities - the whole gambit. Now, I am a high school teacher, and it is the BEST job in the whole world. I would not change my job for any other. I am currently on maternity leave, and while I am "glad" to not be in the thick of things at work (I think it would send my stress level with two children of my own under age 3 through the roof!), I am very sad to be returning to what might still be a possibly gloomy situation. I truly feel that that there is TREMENDOUS learning that goes on outside the classroom while at school, and while sports teams and clubs are NOT the whole issue of what's been going on these last months, clearly it's one that people on all sides care deeply about; I am sad that there is a possibility that I will be returning to work shortly, and returning possibly "only" to the classroom. Teachers, in the vast majority, care greatly about their students and about doing a great job - ours is not a job you can really put in less than 100% - and will, as you have mentioned, continue to do amazing things in our classrooms however we are able. The undemocratic manner in which the issues have been dealt with concerning teachers should raise a red flag for us - these are troubling times, for many of us, and now more than ever, we need to stand up for each other's rights.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for your comments and support. Teachers and parents working together - what else is better for our kids' education?

Artsy_Ally said...

Thank you for your support!!!!
I wish everyone realized how many hours of blood, sweat, and tears go into teaching. I'm up at 5:45 to go to work every morning. At 8:15 tonight I decided to call it quits for the day. That's right. I went to work, came home, and went back to work until now. At 28 years old, I often feel like I have no life and always put my job first. Even in the summer when I'm on holidays, I still work on things for my classroom, collect lesson plans and resources, and look into the next course I plan on paying to take to ensure that I am as educated as I possibly can be. I love the kids I teach and would do absolutely anything for them. I just wish more people like you realized the dedication it takes to be a teacher. I often have friends who say they wish they had gone into teaching....but when I tell them they can, they drop the subject. Funny how that happens.....But THANK YOU Mamajoy so much for your support! I just wish more people understood.

Lindsay Boyle said...

Thank you for your love and support and sticking up for us.

Anonymous said...

I am married to an elementary music teacher who works part- time in order for our family to spend quality time together. IF she worked full time, we would not have a family life due to the amount of time she puts into her program. The teachers are fighting for the right to negotiate instead of having a contract imposed. Yes, the govmnt of Ont must look at spending choices but to impose cost savings on the backs of teachers is wrong, all Ontarians are in this together. I do agree with the statement that full day kindergarden is the elephant in the room....it is costing us big $$$$$$$ but it sure bought the Libs a lot of votes. Keep up the fight Teachers, there are many who support you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much, Joy! It is truly amazing how with all the negativity and truly hurtful things we hear our government, media and shockingly even parents of our students say, one person`s kind words can give us that much more hope.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

Anonymous said...

Please take a moment to consider the rest of the working world. Husband and father each laid off on periods of private sector cuts, my mother hasn't seen a raise in 4 yrs, my husband (now in another IT job) has had wage freezes for 3 yrs, myself an accountant with more than 10 yrs under my belt and a professional designation - I get 3 weeks vacation, 80 hr work weeks in tax time and a pension? what in heck is that? - we are not complaining (I'm just stating facts) because these are the careers we chose and the jobs we enjoy. Every teacher here says they enjoy their job and the children. So why not just be happy with the (let's face it) unbalanced perks your union has been able to keep for you under recessionary times. I've read every single post here and have a vested interest in the effort put forth and the quality of our province's teachers with a 6 yr old and a 3 yr old. I would be screaming with joy and out celebrating with the # of sick days, personal days, vacation days and a solid union spending all that time and money working to keep it all in tact.

I feel the most sympathy for the new up and coming teachers out there who are finding it so hard to find a placement - no doubt supply and demand for teachers is unbalanced - and at least in my mind, there is no question why this is.

darn straight I'm signing this anonymous... but I did read all the posts. interesting read, but it does seem that there is a pretty big bubble.

Anonymous said...

I must agree with the person above. Very sentimental, but a touch off the mark.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Joy, it is nice to hear that you and many others are helping to defend and stand up for the teachers. It has been a very difficult year for us. The 2 comments above are exactly the kind of crap we have to hear on a daily basis. I chose my career you chose yours. For the record teachers do not get summers off for free. In fact, we are paid for 10 months of work September thru June. So those 2 glorious months in the summer are UNPAID.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for your words. I am also a teacher who loves her job and her students and I feel the same way you do. I will miss my students when I retire June 2015 also, but I will not miss being devalued for my work.

Anonymous said...

I challenge you to walk a mile in a teacher's shoes and then you will be able to make a comment. Just because you went to school does not mean you know what the job is about.

Anonymous said...

I am not devaluing the profession - I whole-heartedly believe it has been, is and will continue to be such a huge part in our kids' lives. Great teachers do support the healthy development of great kids.

I thank all the great teachers for years of dedication and commitment. I say this sincerely.

Why so demoralized? Why so much belly aching over compensation and perks that far surpass other industry? Education cost in our fiscal budget is outrageous... something's gotta give --it's just not sustainable. The government is taking steps to try and keep it in check.

Anonymous said...

Fire them all. And crush their sense of entitlement

Anonymous said...

To see such a beautiful supportive piece of writing helps a bit, but seeing the caustic hate spitting out in the comments brings me right back down. I am only fighting for my right to bargain with my employer. Withdrawing my voluntary services is the only form of protest I have left.

Anonymous said...

You could always quit and join the other 85% of the workforce who cannot bargain either.

Anonymous said...

A huge thank you from myself and my Ontario colleagues. During this time of uncertainty your note has been so uplifting. Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts and support. The effect of this is massive upon our spirits.
With gratitude,
Lara Eager
Teacher in Ottawa