On Wednesday, April 15, I attended a meeting that included the majority of presidents from teachers’ unions across Canada. During this meeting, hosted by the Canadian Teachers’ Federation, the presidents shared their province’s pandemic experience in terms of school closures and the impact on teachers, students and their communities. Throughout the conversation, one theme was constant — teachers across Canada are rising to the challenge of remote teaching. Teachers in every province are being creative, collaborating with each other, working with parents and doing a lot of problem solving.
What we are experiencing as teachers right now is common from coast to coast to coast. Though we may be doing it differently, we are all the same. Across the country, teachers are all identifying the same issues: equity of access to technology, reaching all our students and worrying about the ones we can’t connect with, food security, and what exactly does assessment look like in this new teaching reality.
Further to our discussion about the pandemic response, the presidents also discussed how each province will tackle the issue of how to open schools once our chief medical officers say it is safe for teachers and students to return to the classrooms that we so dearly miss. Like you, teachers across Canada are eager to see their students, but safety needs to be our number-one priority.
We often hear about how we are so different from all the other provinces, but when it comes to figuring out how to make things work in this strange space we find ourselves in, there is more that unites us than separates us. Truly, we are in this together from coast to coast to coast. ❚
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