I have just posted my May/June 2012 newsletter in which I included the following:
Supporting Our Teachers
Our teachers are facing a troubling dilemma. They are teachers first and foremost because of their passion for the profession, their genuine commitment to increasing life chances of children and their commitment to making a positive difference for not only those children but their families, our communities and society at large. That is why they work so hard and consistently give so much of themselves, exceeding even their own high expectations.
At the same time, as evidenced by the action plan that teachers voted to undertake in response to Bill 22, teachers are feeling the need to push back against legislation that they feel undermines their profession. As an optimist (some might say too much so) I believe that the provisions of Bill 22 can be made to work in partnership with teachers and the BCTF. However, I understand the concerns that teachers have and I respect their right to act on those concerns. I look forward to these matters being resolved where they need to be, which is at the provincial level, but in the meantime I want to say thank you to our teachers for continuing to bring passion and enthusiasm to their work with children, families and colleagues.
While we await and support restoration of relationships and resolution of challenges at the provincial level we have a job to do at the local level, and that is to be in strong and respectful collaborative relationships with teachers. That begins with appreciation, not just of positions but of values, beliefs and intentions. Let us continue to treat this uncertainty about things contractual as an opportunity for dialogue and, while we are at it, continue to celebrate all that is right with the profession, the teachers who care so much about it, and the public education system as a whole.