OPSEU is extremely proud to count among its membership thousands of frontline workers in Ontario’s schools. We know first-hand what a difference teachers make in the lives and futures of Ontario students.
That’s why we join with the United Nations, as well as uncounted communities, families and individuals in Canada and abroad, in observing Word Teachers’ Day, which has been celebrated every October 5 for the last quarter-century.
For most of us, teachers have been the most important adult figures in our lives, after our parents and caregivers. If we were lucky, we’ve experienced the welcoming and nurturing ambiance that caring teachers create in their classrooms. We’ve benefited from their zeal for excellence in every aspect of our young lives.
Unfortunately, many governments – like the Ford government – don’t think very highly of teachers or their work they do or even public education generally. They’ve tried to increase class sizes. They’re pushing online learning. They’ve cut teachers, along with the extracurricular activities they oversee. They’ve cut arts and trades and other programs. And fundamentally, they don’t trust teachers to do their jobs.
The theme of this year’s observance is “Young teachers: the future of the profession.” As aspiring teachers consider a future in Ontario education, many will choose to take their talent and enthusiasm elsewhere – to another field or another jurisdiction. The Ford government must make a 180-degree turn in its attitude towards our province’s educators, and appreciate them for the irreplaceable work they do.
For its part, OPSEU warmly salutes its educator members, as well as all Ontario educators. In an online world that so often seeks to turn youth away from the path to fulfilment and success, our teachers are showing the right way.