As a member, you have many opportunities to make your voice heard. Being active allows you to engage in important political and social issues and to connect your communities and interests with your union.
When I was a student, the only things that were taught during Black History Month were that my ancestors were enslaved and that Martin Luther King Jr fought for us. If it were not for my parents who told me about the kings and queens in Africa and the positive contributions that Black Canadians have made to society (and who helped to educate some of my teachers), I would have believed that my ancestors had accomplished nothing and were just victims in society.
As we approach the winter break, my mind turns to the ebb and flow of school life. Many of us are running on fumes to get through the December push of school obligations and expectations, holiday celebration events, and managing the excited anticipation of our students as we wind down the calendar year.
The election of Donald Trump in the US has had powerful reverberations internationally. This new political reality underlines the importance of ETFO continuing to work with and support our social justice partners. We must work together to fight against systems that undermine and oppress us.
As you know, in our last central collective agreement, we negotiated a definition of professional judgement, making it enforceable through the grievance process. This was a first for our union.
In this issue of Voice, we consider the factors that contribute to social and economic precarity.
When workplace violence happens in schools there is a risk of physical and mental harm to both adults and children. The classroom is disrupted and the whole school community can be affected. Both Educators and students can become fearful at the prospect of violence happening again.
In 2010, I started a program called Write To Give. I wanted to help others in the developing world but I also wanted to do something different in my Grade 1 classroom. Something fun. Something the kids would really connect with.
For years I did a variety of things in my class to raise money for various causes. Things like “hat days” or “candy o’grams” or “gum days.” They were all fun and raised some money. But I never really felt they had a significant impact on my students. The “meaning” or “cause” always seemed to get lost in the excitement of eating candy or wearing a hat. So I was determined to find a solution.
On December 3rd, we mark the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. We’ve come a long way but people with disabilities still face barriers to inclusion in the workplace, in schools and in our society. Many aspects of disability result directly from the barriers presented by the design of our society rather than being reflective of the ability of an individual to contribute to society.