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ETFO Members on the Campaign Trail

ETFO member who ran for office in the provincialelection reflect on the qualitie that teacher brin topolitic and on the impact of the campaig experiencon their teaching.

Katy Austin, NDP  Simcoe-GreKaty Austin says that running for office has underscored the importance of teaching critical thinking skills and encouraging students to take an active role in the democratic process. Being a teacher contributed to her confidence in public speaking and her ability to multitask during a campaign. Austin retired this spring after 23 years as a full-time teacher and currently has a long-term occasional assignment.

Cory Judson, NDP  Burlington Cory Judson ran for office in large part because as a teacher he sees the impact of poverty and the lack of affordable housing and nonprofit licensed childcare. He identifies organization, goal setting, and  self-reflection  as  useful  teaching  skills  he brought to his candidacy. Back in his grade 5/6 classroom in Brantford, Judson values the enhanced critical thinking skills he acquired as a candidate and the experience of having to consider issues from different perspectives.

Yvette Blackburn,NDP  Scarborough-Agincourt

Yvette Blackburn’s candidacy attracted strong support from her grade 8 students in Scarborough, many  of  whom  volunteered  in  her  campaign. Blackburn  believes  their  involvement  improved their leadership skills and got them more involved in the Student Vote campaign that coincided with the election.

Blackburn has also worked   as  a  program counsellor  for  at-risk  visible  minority  students, an employment readiness counsellor for women facing barriers to workplace participation, and an instructor with a police foundations program.

Frank dJong, Green Party  Davenpor

As leader of the Green Party, Frank de Jong is a seasoned campaigner, having run for federal and provincial office a dozen times. These experiences have deepened his understanding of how politics affects education and strengthened his commitment to teach young people about their civic responsibilities and the importance of being politically engaged. Teaching has helped de Jong be well organized, listen before speaking, and read his audience. His assignment as a half-time teacher of grade 7 and 8 design and technology provides him time

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