Every year of my teaching career has ended with some similar routines. Report cards are written, work areas are cleaned up and organized, report cards are distributed, commencement happens...generally wrapped up with some kind of staff luncheon with a few good-byes to retirees/LTOs/etc. And of course the personal "have a great summer, see you next year"s are shared and we are on our merry ways to some time to refresh & reconnect with life.
And these days are always filled with a few mixed emotions - but this year was more difficult than most.
It has been about 10 months since my last blog entry. This was not intentional or by design. It was something I thought of many times throughout the year but could never sit myself down (or make the time) to share. We accomplished some great things. There was probably a lot worth sharing. But I couldn't do it.
Personal time was more of a priority, in part. But trying to digest this year's political climate has come with a lot of emotion that makes sharing professional triumph and reflection a lot more difficult. I take it personally. I want Ontario to know what a difference this generation of teachers is trying to have on the future. There is a generation of teachers that politics wants to be ignorant of. It is easier to treat us like the past has treated us then to figure out who we are, why we are here, and what we can accomplish.
|My Facebook post from May 12, 2019|
Usually my year end would culminate with getting home to enjoy a refreshing beverage and blasting Alice Cooper's "Schools Out". This has been tradition since my university days. But I can't bring myself to bust out the positive vibe that comes with the knowledge that I can relax for a few weeks, decompress, and look forward to another year.
It is hard for me to admit that I am struggling with the idea of summer this year.
We had to say good-bye to some amazing colleagues today who had unfortunately been declared surplus to region weeks ago (and therefore could not have timetables assigned to them with us). Luckily most of them already know where they will be in September - though not all in contract positions and none with confidence that they won't have to go through this again next year.
I am tired of the misleading media (and blatant lies/ignorant statements from the Ontario government) and frustrated with losing rock-star colleagues. I am tired of feeling helpless despite being a front-line worker in our public system. I am tired of having to explain and justify to others as to why surplus to region was necessary and how there is ZERO mathematical support for the claim that "no jobs will be lost."
Today we watched the first graduating class of our school cross the stage. But we also watched the system, as we currently know it, walk out the door at the end of the day.
And it is not okay.