I live in Nova Scotia and on Monday, my children will not be attending school as a labour dispute between teachers and the province escalates. I am observing the reactions from the perspective of my lessons in Logosynthesis and I am going to offer a few words in an attempt to broaden the conversation. The common theme on social media is ‘If you care about our children you would …’.
Yes, we should all care about our children! But our reactions are not always beneficial to the solution. Labour negotiations with a union are not altruistic for the benefit of our children. There is significant money at stake which I am not in a position to fully understand. Are teachers overwhelmed by what they are being asked to do? I believe they are, just like myself and most other people I know who work for large organizations who push work down without a true understanding or appreciation of how it affects everyone. As parents, are we putting too much pressure on the system with our demands and expectations? As a government, is role and mandate of government clear and consistent in all decision making?
Unfortunately, things are not as they should be and we react. When we hold strong beliefs, we react with passion. As teachers, as parents, and as elected government officials, we all have the desire to make things better for our children. However we all come from different experiences which influence what we believe needs to be done. I have come to realize that I cannot fix things when I am clouded by reactions. I have become aware of these reactions and work to create a space where I can bring more creative energy. As a parent and a taxpayer, I ask that both sides consider what is beneficial for our children in the long run. I believe if we can be aware of our reactions on all sides, we can remove some of the barriers to teaching and remove some of the financial demands on an already overtaxed system so that we can focus on what really matters, our children!