Been tapping my thumbs quite a bit on twitter lately, as it seems many educators have expressing their concerns of various school re-opening plans. While many of my colleagues have been critical of various governments, my ire has been directed at the teacher unions and their fervent followers. Obviously, my comments have been questioned by teacher union supporters, What they fail to grasp is how a teacher and passionate public education supporter would take issue with their own unions. Perhaps a little background is in order for how my view has developed during my 20 + year career. Being politically minded, I was very interested in the teachers union and its role in public education. Early on I was voted by peers to be my schools collective bargaining rep and later a district federation VP. Here, I received further negotiation training and sat on multiple rounds of negotiations with my corresponding school board. My rose coloured, idealistic glasses were soon broken, by these experie
Been certainly enough speculation from concerned parties about what is going to happen in Ontario Schools this fall. Since I have more than a little skin in the game, I wanted to share my thoughts on the matter. Knowing first hand as an educator and parent the vital role teachers play in the development of young minds I was very satisfied to hear that Sick Kids recommended that school return back to the classroom (with enhanced cleaning and safety measures of course) this fall. I thought this would be met with relief, and it was for some. But for many it seemed to only bring anxiety. I can understand this feeling of unease coming from some parents, but I thought educators would embrace being relevant and essential again. Teachers know the dark side of abuse and neglect that occurs in homes of the vulnerable. For these students, school is their safe space. We also know that e-learning does not work for many students with special needs and those facing tech inequity. So barring a chang
Update - I am an dual citizen and have discovered I have an American mindset, so I stand by my prediction, as it has come true in the U.S. and many parts of the world, but sadly not in Canada. Limited capacity in our healthcare system, little risk tolerance and the power of the collective over the individual has kept Canada in paralysis. Even with higher case counts in some states than all of Canada, red and blue America has moved on. If you are trying to find a sliver lining to this pandemic a popular one is to appreciate its historical significance. You may have been told or said to others to think of the stories you can tell your grandkids about the pandemic of 2020. Sadly, it will be a sombre tale. But it will be one that I am glad to proclaim will come to an end after one year. Yes, the pandemic will stop as soon as we decide to put an end to the pain and suffering caused. Of course I am not talking about the disease. Sorry, but that's not coming to end just yet.
I am heartened to see many videos and images this morning of Police joining with peaceful protesters in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. While racism in society is pervasive and progress toward true equality moves at a frustratingly slow pace, the relationship citizens have with those sworn with a duty to protect them is at the core of this anger. I am not a police officer and I have no family connection to law enforcement. However, like many of us I know many and some very well. I have heard their stories and have nothing, but respect for the job they do. Many of the officers I know are also black. I have deep admiration for these heroes because I would imagine their sense of duty to their communities comes with an inner battle that must be won before they join that group and don that uniform. So I am careful not to suggest solutions in policing, or offer changes to law enforcement structures that I don’t understand. I am a member of another professional tribe a
Kids and I have toured quite a few ball parks prior to the pandemic. Love doing the tours and taking notes of what works and doesn't. Had noted some of my observations for ideas on how to improve the Rogers Centre for baseball. With a new ball park now hopefully on its way soon, I did some revising. Ultimately, I don't believe it will be in its current location as its in too valuable a spot already. Better to leverage cheaper real estate down by the lake and build up around it. The Jays also have few options of where they could play while a new park is being built. So I expect, it will eventually end up by lake, so let's not make it another mistake. But either way here are … My top ten suggestions for the Jays new ball park... Let's end this post appropriately, with a walk off from many fans fav park - PNC.
As I sit on the eve of strike action by Ontario public high school teachers - I really have to shake my head as to why the provincial government allows this to happen. No, I am not talking about the government giving in to all the demands of the teacher unions to make labour peace. What I am questioning is why they allow the right to strike in the first place. If you believe in the collective bargaining process, then let it run its course. Instead the current government, like the previous one would rather circumvent the bargaining process and impose legislated caps on pay and sick leave. That leaves the public unions with few options to apply bargaining pressure on the government. Job action, is very unpopular for all involved. As a parent and taxpayer, it is very disrupting and makes for bad public service. But what choice do public unions have when many parts of the contract are being imposed. It might make you wonder why the government allow public secto
So 2020 has been a bad year for a lot of people, including public sector unions. The one exception of course being nurses. Thank goodness for us that their allegiance to their professional oath trumps that of their union. First it was the Ontario teachers' unions and their strike actions, coupled with foot dragging on synchronous learning. Then came the streams of police video showing officers committing deadly crimes against humanity and other acts of police brutality. We then learned that many of the officers involved faced little discipline after previously reported infractions. We also had the issue of fearful OPSEU members not going in to do their inspections at long term care facilities. Finally, seeing some concerned teacher unions are balking at reports that schools should re open in the fall. Even though the report comes from a highly respected source - Sick Kids and concludes what many knew already, that school closures do more harm than good. Sense a pattern here.