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OPSEU’s educational members light the way amidst pandemic gloom

On World Teachers’ Day, October 5, we honour and thank the many thousands of OPSEU members who work in education at all levels of Ontario’s public education system.

Whether you’re an early childhood educator at a child care centre, an educational worker at a board of education, a LINC or ESL Instructor, or a faculty or support staff member in postsecondary education, you ensure our places of learning remain among the very best in the world. The reputation you’ve earned brings students from every corner of the globe to learn here, encourages families to live here and draws business to invest here.

Passing along knowledge comes with countless challenges. It requires creativity and sensitivity, passion and patience – sometimes at heroic levels. COVID-19 has added a whole new level of complexity to those challenges.

When the pandemic abruptly shut down schools, you rose to the occasion by bringing virtual learning to millions of students in a matter of days. This included helping parents navigate the demanding world of home schooling. Over the summer months, as questions swirled around the return to school, you were busy adapting curriculum and resources to in-class and online forums.

It’s not surprising the theme for World Teachers’ Day 2020 is “Teachers: leading in crisis, reimagining the future.” The pandemic has left the future up in the air for virtually every segment of society, including education, which finds itself at a crossroads.

If the quality of Ontario’s public education is to be maintained and enhanced, educators and all workers on the front lines of learning must be supported, consulted and involved in keeping schools safe, conducting emergency remote learning, filling knowledge gaps, and ensuring vulnerable populations have access and are adequately supported.

As staff, students and parents take on the challenges of the 2020-21 academic year, we assure you of our deep appreciation and support, and we wish everyone success and good health in the coming weeks and months.

In solidarity,

Warren (Smokey) Thomas, President of OPSEU
Eduardo (Eddy) Almeida, OPSEU First Vice-President/Treasurer