I believe teachers are at the hub of B.C. families educational experiences. In fact they are the center of each of our child’s one year educational experience through primary, middle, high-school college and university!
Think a moment about your relationship with your child’s teacher. .
- Who do you go to discuss your child’s learning.
- Who do you go to when you want your child to do better.
- Who do you go to when you react about something about your child?
Now reflect for a moment on what might influence your child’s teacher. How about their relationship’s with:
- School administrators and community
- School Districts
- B.C. Teachers Federation
- Governments; Provincial and Federal
- Oh yes ~ the 30 (more of less) children themselves whose education they are directly responsible for. Teachers who are not outside the room talking about it rather they are inside the room with unique and sometimes challenging little people!
Imagine, if the teachers are not being given consideration and cared for, in a way that is meaningful to them then what is it like for them to be at the center of our children’s direct experience. If the teachers is not being given the recognition they deserve and not having their needs met, will they be modelling confidence and power in their world experiences to our children? Before going into judgement, think a moment what it’s like for you at work when you are distracted by many sources of authority over you, all with separate agendas and feeling like you are not being supported as an individual. Now bring your thoughts to your children’s different needs and multiply that by at least 15 (based on a family of 2 children). Add this to your equation at work!
As a comparison, in times before schools and classrooms parents taught their children or hired educator’s who then resided with them. Teachers governed directly by their employer while being provided housing, food, transportation and a community. Education was not limited to the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and academic subjects. It was a fuller community experience integrating like skills, the arts, therapy, counselling, and more usually for a term longer than 10 months. Perfect? No, I do not imagine it was, yet imagine the benefit for the children. A teacher who was integrated into the family dynamics and individually getting to know the children’s personality, learning style and abilities in a meaningful way. There was no separation of home and school and community, it was a whole system. A system with the parents being responsible and at the center governing their child’s life experience. Education was apart of the family, not separate, in the children academic learning and learning to be future citizens in their community. The change we see in our world today is that responsibility and governance has shifted from the parents. Parents no longer supervise or have input into the direct experience of the child in the classroom or school. If they are unhappy about their families experience they change schools. Their child becomes one of many. If unhappy at this new schools the cycle continues, they search for another school.
Therefore I enjoyed reading Clark say she is prepared to put her preconceptions aside and urged others to do the same. How I would like to hear her statement of , ” and find ways to compromise,” is to find ways to hear what is important for both sides in a way that there is a connection. It does not mean it needs to be met, yet it is important to acknowledge what it is. When both sides can do this perhaps a new strategy that includes what’s important to each side can be created together. I would enjoy that they have a dialogue that shares what each side wants with an outcome that reflects they have heard each other that allows for a new and better strategy to met the needs of the parents for their children. To me that is what putting aside preconceptions means. How about you?
More on Clark story in our local Times Colonist