Kids have been out of school for two weeks due to the education crisis in our province but today is the last of official day of school. And hopefully there will be an end to bargaining between the teachers and the Liberals. But I’m not holding my breath. So I’m sending this even though I just published a post earlier today. There’s just so little time and so much coming my way that I’m trying to get to. So I apologize in advance for the bombardment. I hope you stick with me.
In the past weeks you’ve probably noticed that the topics I’ve been writing about lately have shifted to focus on the crisis in BC education.
And if you know me personally you’d know that I have a 4-year-old son and my partner is a Fine Arts teacher in BC. But what you may not know is I have never been interested in politics, never mind writing about it until just recently. I’m definitely a newbie to the topic and while I am getting more informed there is so much I don’t know about the state of education in this province.
I’ve been sifting through much of the information out there to decide for myself on how I feel about this situation. It’s not easy as there is a lot of conflicting information from the Liberals and the BCTF. What has come out of my research is simple though.
This fight is and never was about money. There are much deeper issues here.
This fight is about respect. Respect for student’s needs. Respect for the teaching profession.
Priorities need to shift for anything to change.
Does the employer, in this case the Liberal Government, appreciate the connection between having support resources available to teachers and students and how valued those teachers and students feel?
Before I became a mom, my workplace was full of people who complained about money all the time.
The complaints came from both management and employees. The employees were not being paid on time and felt disrespected. The employer felt staff were paid too much so there were cuts and changes to the pay scale for new employees. Turnover increases, training costs skyrocketed, costs were downloaded onto staff and their pay cheques went down.
Their productivity went down and sick time went up.
But was money really at the heart of it all?
Of course not. An intrinsic lack of respect for what employees needed and the inability to manage a budget was however.
Any successful business, whether its Google or Hootsuite will tell you that when you treat employees with the respect they deserve, they respond by working harder and longer because they want to.
People need to feel valued and respected. Whenever the argument is about money it is because these are the deeper issues that are not being addressed. And while education is certainly not a business per say, there are similarities.
It’s easy for the focus to be on money because it is tangible. Of course it is important, especially in this province it would seem in order to keep up with the cost of living. What is not easy is to put that aside and focus on what really matters.
If you want good work from your ’employees’ you must ensure that they feel valued. And the ‘customer’ in this case is the kids, must always come first.
Please, please, please call your MLA. Here’s a link for you to help find yours.