When I think about the importance of providing all Ontario students with the public education they deserve – class sizes that allow them to get the individual attention they need, resources to help them excel to the best of their abilities and the critical special education supports needed to ensure equity for every student – I think about our commitment to ensuring that every child is offered a promising future.
Since the fall, ETFO has been working to respond to government consultations on education. At the same time, we have been planning our own mobilization and engagement efforts, working in solidarity with parents and other allies, and doing the important day-to-day work of the federation – workshops, conferences and services to members.
The spring issue of Voice considers how we practise inclusion in our classrooms, and reflects on the impacts of the Conservative government agenda on Ontario students and educators and the importance of mobilizing our members and engaging our communities.
As we head into the new year, I want to propose that we don’t get distracted by the rhetoric of testing, meritocracy, austerity and privatization, which we will see more and more of in the coming months.
ETFO is continuing our work on the repealed portion of the Health and Physical Education Curriculum.
In this issue of Voice, we consider the important work we do in our classrooms every day to teach critical thinking and build community that reflects and represents our students and their families.
This year we celebrate an important milestone, ETFO’s 20th anniversary. In 1998, when the Federation of Women Teachers’ Associations of Ontario (FWTAO) and the Ontario Public School Teachers’ Federation (OPSTF) joined to form ETFO, we faced a devastating attack on public education and the teaching profession by the government.
ETFO’s 20th anniversary is an opportunity to look back on our remarkable legacy as an organization. Since our formation in 1998, we have worked tirelessly to ensure the health and safety of our members and our students and made important gains for our members through collective bargaining.
With this issue of Voice, we consider the importance of collective action as we move forward under the new Conservative government and some of the pressing issues facing us in our classrooms.