One of the key aspects of my classroom is the concept of mutual respect. I think it’s very important that my students feel they can be themselves and ask questions that support their learning whether it’s connected to curriculum or real life. As I’m also a believer in the Atticus Finch style of parenting, (answering student/child questions honestly) I do my best to give a truthful and honest answer for my students’ questions.

As can be expected, this week my students have questions related to our work-to-rule job action taking place in Ontario. What I really appreciate about the group of students I have currently is that we have been able to have an open and honest conversations about the issues we as teachers are facing, but also they as students are dealing with currently. I am quite pleased with how this is transpiring as the students have taken the time to listen to what I have had to say and have felt comfortable enough with me to express their concerns.

I can appreciate what they are going through as when I was in high school, extracurriculars were an integral aspect of my teenage experience. I can also imagine that it can, at times, feel like a pretty negative environment as many of us are really feeling demoralized by the constant “demonification” of us by the media and the Ontario government. I think the government needs to take a lesson from my students and actually listen to our issues, take the time to talk to us about their concerns, stop portraying us as this completely evil entity that is ruining education in Ontario, and come to a mutually respectful compromise instead of dictating the terms of our contract. 

The government could learn a lot from my students if they only took the time to listen and follow their positive and respectful example.

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