What strange times. Normally I would be celebrating the end to my school year with my students or anticipation of summer plans with my family or a huge pile of books that I want to read.
But school hasn’t really ended and summer hasn’t really started. We have been out of our classrooms here in B.C all week – picketing on the sidewalks because of a full scale teacher’s strike. Before this we had rotating strikes for three weeks – out one day a week. While rotating strikes were happening, we were partially locked out and our daily pay was reduced by ten percent each day.
Finally, both sides have agreed to mediation. But this has been a long haul with no real end in sight. We all feel in a strange sort of limbo. I want to be in my classroom teaching. At the same time, I have deep concerns about the funding and respect for public education in this province and feel strongly that this government needs to fund education in a way that means students can have the support that they need. There is a big story about court cases ruling in favour of the British Columbia Teacher’s Federation. Government appeals. Months of bargaining. No contract.
Very challenging. Very complicated. I am not going to get into the details here. Instead, I am going to find something to celebrate because in times like this, we need to remain positive. The alternative is too depressing. I have surprised myself with how positive and even optimistic I have remained. And this is what I celebrate. The positive spirit of so many as we endure one of the most challenging labour disputes of my career.
I celebrate my colleagues, my family and all of our children. I celebrate positive sentiment despite all that is at stake. I celebrate support from near and far.
Students and their families have visited us on the picket lines. And our own families come too! Always a recipe for big smiles and joy.
Shift change is social. Public generosity and support means much. Time together is positive and encouraging.
At rallies for public education, we find strength and meet colleagues from other schools.
Our children are often on the picket line with us. They are decorating the sidewalks, enhancing our signs with art and kid sentiments. They play and connect with each other and always entertain us.
This is our current reality. I celebrate that we still hang on to such positive spirit.
Thank you to Ruth Ayres, for the inspiration and the Celebration Link up that she hosts each week. I treasure this #celebratelu community.
Struggles are aplenty but celebrating life, that’s how we move on. Beautiful photos and words.
Thank you Faige. All of your frequent tweets of support really have meant so much.
Gosh, this is so challenging, but I applaud your ability to celebrate in the midst of it!
The alternative is . . . sinking. So I need to stay positive!
It’s so true what they say that during the most trying times, people tend to step up to the plate and help others get through. At least, for the most part, which is still good.
We have had a lot of support and it really does make a difference.
Oh my goodness Carrie! You and your colleagues should be commended for remaining positive through all of this. Glad you have each other and your families for support. Hope things resolve very soon.
Thanks Gigi. I really am not sure of what is going to happen in the near future. Trying to stay optimistic.
It is very moving to see your photos here…and to see so many on Twitter as well…
What beauty you are seeing in this challenging time!
Thank you Loralee. It is challenging for sure. It hit me really hard in the beginning and I have tried to be positive ever since. Makes it all much easier.
Thank you for sharing so many photos. I applaud you for being able to find the positive in your situation. You’re right, it’s times like these that we need to find the good because otherwise it might just be too sad. Good luck as you go through everything. I hope you find a swift solution.
Thanks Julie. We need luck and possibly a little magic!
Being able to maintain positiveness in the midst of unknown, that is truly a gift. Wishing for a quick resolution!
Thank you Jaana. It has been a long journey. Something quick would be a dream.
Well said, Carrie. My cousin is a teacher in BC and I have been following this situation. Stay strong, find the positive, celebrate what you can.
Thank you Jennifer. It is really an intense time. My husband is a teacher too so we have no income. My husband has been doing a variety of odd jobs to bring in some money. We have cancelled a vacation. Lots is on hold.
Tough times, sad times. Ruth would certainly call this “gritty celebration!”
Oh, so true!
Since I was gone this week, I was hopeful that you had completed a good agreement, Carrie. I’m sorry that it’s still going, but what a positive group you are working with! I celebrate you and your spirit in this tough time.
Thank you Linda. I fear that there is not a resolution in the near future. Challenging to be a two teacher family with two children. I was hopeful that it would be done already. Now I pray that we will be back in for September. Our creative managing can’t extend forever. It’s a huge mess. But, yes, we keep trying to remain in good spirits. What else can we do?
This is wonderful. I’ve been reminded as I take coffee and doughnuts around to picketers what an amazing bunch of creative and caring people we are. I’ve never seen us so resolute and cohesive. What will happen will happen, but it won’t be because we didn’t put our everything into it.
Thanks for this Cheriee. Educators are creative and really can rally around the positive! Thankfully!
I commend your positive spirit. And good vibes being sent your way in hopes for things to be resolved quickly, fairly, and with the best for kids and teachers.
Thanks Alyson. I know you know how very much I would love to be in my classroom reading books aloud and teaching! Hoping for the best.
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