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ETFO Voice Editor Izida Zorde

From the Editor - Winter 2023

Izida Zorde

The winter issue of Voice comes on the heels of one of the longest rounds of bargaining in ETFO’s history. ETFO was committed to ensuring that the Ford government addressed issues that were key to elementary educators and was willing to stay at the bargaining table for as long as that took. President Karen Brown writes in her column, “I am grateful to our members for their solidarity and support over this extremely long, slow bargaining round and to parents and communities across the province, who know that educators are not only fighting for fair wages and benefits but for highquality universal public education and the resources and supports our students need to thrive.”

In this issue’s cover article, More than a Page: Our Journey with Photography and Identity, Tina Zita reflects on creating opportunities for her students to represent themselves by collaboratively publishing print and digital texts. “As a teacher-librarian, part of my responsibility is to ensure our community sees itself reflected in our collection, that the texts in our spaces, as Rudine Sims Bishop wrote, provide learners with mirrors, windows and sliding doors,” Zita writes. “We thought, who better to capture the nuance of our individual identities then our learners themselves?” In Making My Way in the Makerspace Nicole Netherway writes about how the makerspace is the perfect environment to foster adaptive and creative thinking and to give students who may not excel in traditional classroom activities an opportunity to shine.

In Dismantling the Gender Binary and Sexism in Our Schools, Jey Plourde reflects on strategies educators can use to challenge stereotypes and assumptions about gender identity. “When I teach children about gender identity, I compare gender to someone’s name,” Plourde writes. “When you first meet someone and you don’t know what their name is yet, it isn’t wise to simply guess (‘Hmm, you look like a Jordan’).” Also in this issue, Sue Ducau writes about the benefits for both students and educators of integrating well-being into every day classroom practices in her article Weaving the Threads of Well-Being.

These articles, along with a curriculum insert on accessibility and disability justice from We Move Together, book reviews and a winter crossword are sure to make great winter reading.

Happy New Year!

– Izida Zorde