It has been incredible to watch the kind of storytelling that has taken place during this labour dispute in BC. Teacher bloggers and tweeting teachers have given voice to a variety of issues. A critical mass of teachers are obviously taking up the tools of the digital age to enrich their own professional lives, make their classroom work accessible to kids and parents, and to bring the world to their students. Many teachers also wrote letters to the editor, or posted on Facebook. Images of emptied classrooms, pictures from the picket line, and stories from the classroom have belied the predominant narrative that this is just about a recalcitrant union executive that needs to be brought to heel.
The lockout was particularly inspiring.
This outpouring is a huge difference from the last ‘withdrawal of services’ back in 2012.
Yesterday, we rushed to say good bye, to send out emails to parents, to get work back to students, to send home work for students that didn’t quite get there, to take student work home that didn’t get assessed. (Yes, I know I am on strike. I was also locked out, but I have a job to do, and I have no intention of letting a single student down if I can avoid it.)
Today, it was a pure joy to watch the #thisismystrikepay hashtag dominate my Twitter stream. It was uplifting, and helped me deal with the wide ranging emotions that toppled me yesterday around 4pm.
We tell our stories, or someone else will.
I tried hard not to feed the trolls, or curse the media’s lack of clarity or stale commentary.
This is not about them.
This is about the courage to tell a story. I am so grateful to you all. You helped make a miserable couple of weeks doable.
I am hopeful that we will get a fair deal and that students will have more supports. I am hopeful Districts will have enough money to provide services, rather than trying to do more and more with less and less, year after demoralizing year.
In the meantime, all of you that posted and tweeted, wrote letters, took pictures, penned signs, and attended rallies you are my #thisismystrikepay.
Also, these two great kids, who give up loads of time with me so I can go to work, #youaremystrikepay!