We all remember our elementary school teachers.
They were our role models who inspired and motivated us, who helped to set our moral compass. They gave us invaluable life lessons like courage and compassion; how to collaborate and to compete.
Today, many people are losing their love affair with teachers because we are seeing their world through the lenses of their many unions, whose bargaining tactics teach our children at their vulnerable age and these vulnerable times the worst possible lesson. Survival of the entitled versus survival of the fittest.
Our children are experiencing firsthand that the best way to get your way in life is to “work to rule.” To deny, take away privileges, cancel extracurricular activities and most forms of communication and reporting while still collecting a full paycheque.
If that doesn’t work, then you threaten a strike knowing that puts the feet of parents and politicians to the fire by creating chaos with today’s two-income families, some of whom have to split day and night shifts to have someone at home to watch and protect their children. A strike strips away the peace of mind that comes with knowing your child is at school learning, playing, creating, performing, and socializing and forces you to scramble to find an alternative and less attractive plan.
The angst we are feeling is further compounded by the growing divide between the certainty of job and retirement security for those working in the public service and the majority of others who live in fear, who are clinging onto their jobs and their standard of living and wondering if they will outlive their money. We also don’t trust the politicians who get elected by panhandling for the union vote to, in turn, negotiate in good faith their next teachers’ contract.
We know that too much bureaucracy marks our current educational system, too many kids in a classroom, too few assistants and too little technology and tools. Test scores; dropout rates, teen suicide rates and depression all suggest that these are big problems that will require big solutions. Work to rule or having the unions be the only person steering the course hasn’t proven to be the answer.
It's time we reinvent and reimagine education in Canada. Our children will be entering a marketplace marked by the business without boundaries, where only the most creative & competitive will attain the standard of living we take for granted.
What if we took one school board and privatized it to see if we could fix these problems?
What if we stripped away the bureaucracy that prevents learning and focused on hiring the best teachers and administrators? What if we took away the right to strike and instead rewarded teachers for how well they improved our children’s intellectual, emotional and social intelligence? What if we let ones that couldn’t go?
What if we used game platforms and gamification theory with the best content creators to create immersive learning across science, technology, engineering, math, and the liberal arts? What if learning was as fun as the best PlayStation game? What if teachers were facilitators and motivators and Canadian students were among the best creative collaborators and problem solvers?
What if we put our children's needs first and in doing so gave our kids and Canada a chance?
It’s time to teach our children well.
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