CODE is seeking your personal stories during these challenging cuts to education. The following blog is from Alison Green, who works in North Bay in the Near North DSB. Thank you, Allison. CODE appreciates you reaching out and taking the time to do this in the midst of so much stress and at such a busy time of the year.
“I keep going as usual.
That’s what I’m doing for my kids.
This week I planned lessons, taught, engaged and evaluated my students as usual. I brought students to Toronto on a school trip to a musical - some their first trip south of Orillia, their first subway ride, their first musical. I helped other students and colleagues with set up and take down in the theatre for a music concert, cheerful spirit events for next years’ new Gr9s, for next years’ student elections - a “next year” that is now becoming even more unlikely for me.
We all keep going. We do it for our students - and I’m not sure if other professionals who are laid off would do the same. All of the teachers on the “redundancy list” keep going on as usual. The list got 37 teachers shorter this week in our NearNorthBoard - but all of us keep going as usual.
I don’t feel redundant.
I didn’t feel redundant when I planned, taught, engaged, evaluated, chaperoned that trip, and showed my school spirit. What a horrible word - REDUNDANT. No longer useful; superfluous. It’s hurtful. It cuts us at our heart - because DESPITE being told we’re “useless” we know what we do each and every day.
I keep trying to convince myself to “wait and see”, to act normal around my students, to be calm at home. I keep informed. I listen to my admin. I read emails from the board and union reps. But I’m beginning to feel hopeless - and it’s far harder to keep going as usual when you lose hope.
I can’t speak for all teachers - but for me - please don’t ask if I’m ok, don’t ask me/or tell me that “isn’t this usually what happens each year”, don’t ask me if I’ve heard the rumours, or speculate about the future, the politics, the conspiracy theories — because I’m too busy trying to make the effort to keep going as usual...”