Fears over safety have left the majority of parents continuing to keep their children home, as evidenced in the low attendance rates. Given that almost all students learn best through in-person teaching and learning, the government needs a better plan for the safe reopening of classrooms and schools.
Why teachers and students should be provided with masks, N95 respirators, face shields, and other PPE now
I call on the BCTF to do what it takes to ensure that every teacher is provided with a N95 respirator and a face mask, that all students are provided with PPE, or that the government prove to teachers and schools that there is no risk by not having these resources provided to us.
The B.C. Teachers’ Federation is a union of professionals and represents the teaching profession in British Columbia. At the heart of this profession is the expertise (professional knowledge) and standards of practice (professional action) that guides teachers’ autonomy when meeting the educational needs of students. Like an profession, the purpose of public education is to serve a benefit to the community at large and to the students we serve.
I am a teacher because I care deeply about making a difference for the students in my school. Again, this is not unlike most other teachers. We all care about students. We are a passionate group of professionals who teach because we love caring for others. That is why I am so proud to be teacher.
Steve Querengesser is a teacher in Haida Gwaii and was a candidate for 2nd VP of the BCTF at last week’s annual general meeting of the teachers’ union. Steve’s campaign focused on engaging members, raising the status of the teaching professional, and support for equity and reconciliation at all levels of public education in British Columbia. He also proposed a strategic response to COVID-19. He was not elected but many of the issues that he raised are still critical to public education and are worth the read.
“Silence = Death” was a clarion call to action made by AIDS activists in the early days of that pandemic. At a time of willful government neglect, because of who the HIV virus killed, we knew that our survival depended on our voices being heard. What I learned then, when I came out as an AIDS activist in the early 1990s, is that silence always equals death, even now.