As a teacher, the only things I have stopped doing due to the teachers’ job action is 15 minutes of supervision per week and the collection of money and permission forms. My job has become more difficult due to the job action. As a result, I have to work harder to make sure everything is running as it should.
Contrary to popular belief, I write report cards at home in the wee hours — not at school. When at work, I am teaching kids, marking work, assessing students, preparing for the next day, organising school-wide events, planning field trips, booking guest speakers, answering questions, meeting parents, handing out band-aids, returning phone calls, helping colleagues, talking to kids, implementing daily PE so kids stay in shape, planning Halloween activities, searching in vain for paper and art supplies that do not exist, learning about computer programs so that I can teach the kids at all learning levels, attending meetings, refering students to LST, counseling and doctors, etc., and teaching myself French. That pretty much covers my eight-hour work day.
Then, when I get home, and my kids are in bed at 8 p.m., I start working on my report cards.
I invite anyone who is interested to come and hang out with me and my grade 5s for a day. Seriously, my door is wide open. Then you can decide for yourself whether or not I work hard enough.
Job action is difficult and never black and white no matter what side you are on, but I’m keeping my 15%. I’ve earned it.
Lori Opper, Aldergrove