Teachers are on the front line of education. They live and breathe it everyday. They see what is happening, and they see what is not happening. So, when things need to change, who, logically, should be ones who have a say?
New curriculum roll outs, policy changes, new and newer initiatives, standardized testing, priority schooling, specialists overseeing teachers, unbalanced class sizes, decreasing student supports, meetings, evaluations, reports, assessments, data, data, and more data… The list goes on.
The thing is, for years, in Nova Scotia, teachers have not been asked. Changes are made, things keep piling on, but not by teachers, not by the ones who are teaching… in classrooms… today.
We look at the above list of things coming down the pipes for teachers today and we’re left, scratching our heads, wondering - when do teachers get to actually get to do what they so truly love and prepared for - when do teachers actually get to teach?
When are they given the time to get to know what each child needs? When do they have the opportunity to talk with each of their students, every day? When do they have time to pull together ideas, activities, and resources to better support each of their students? When are they supported in their judgment on how to best support the children in their class? When was it acknowledged that teachers, good teachers, were leaving the school systems behind to pursue other endeavors due to lack of support, resources, and freedom to teach in the way that best suits their students?
When was it documented that each child is different, and therefore learns differently, so therefore, we need to support the teacher who is reaching each of those children in a different way? What about that each community holds a vast diversity of learners, with varying support networks of their own and that that should be taken into account when attempting to blanket assess students today, or rather, when administering standardized testing across the province?
When were teachers recognized for being the ones who know, who really know, what their students need – be it extra one-on-one support, a breakfast, a moment to take a breath, a smile, or someone to listen?
When was the last time a teacher was asked, in their professional opinion, because they are professionals who received specific post secondary and often post graduate education in their field, and they live and breathe the education system everyday – when were they asked how the education system could better prepare students for the world they are growing up in today?
With the current conditions, teachers are working to make things work, but they’re hearts are breaking because they know many students are not getting what they need. They’re doing what they can with what they have, but there is so much standing in their way: piles of work unrelated to actually teaching the children sitting in front of them and funds that seem to be missing the connection to what these students actually need to prepare for a future so vast and ever-changing. Teachers need a voice. They need the help to make things change.
We hear you, teachers of Nova Scotia, and we are proud to see more teachers taking a stand and making changes for the sake of our students and their future – our future.
Our friends, our colleagues, our fellow professionals are making history by standing up for their students in the only way they can – the only way in which everyone will hear them all at once, finally. They’re saying it’s time for a change, and we couldn’t agree with them more. Meghan and I, owners and teachers at Via Vita Academy, are teachers, too, who, not that long ago, chose to take a different path in the field of education for the very reasons many teachers are standing up today. We believe there is a better way to teach, to educate, to inspire, and to make a positive change in our world. We opened a school in hopes to make a stand for that needed change in education in Nova Scotia. Education matters. Let teachers teach and stand up for our children. Let teachers do what they so truly love to do, inspiring students to succeed and making a better future for us all.
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Each post is written by a supportive member of Via Vita Academy, be it a teacher, parent, student, community member, who is invested in the topic of education. Take a read and comment below!