Outdoors, Sleeping, and the Value of Teachers
I have decided it is best to be busy with Calder in the morning and that getting out of the house is what is best for both of us. Calder is missing Hugh and he battles me when he is like this. I am missing Tripp, which makes the outdoors good for me. So, yesterday, Kerri, Dylan, Calder and I went to Richie Bros. Auctions to look at all of the machinery they have in their yard. If you have a boy who likes "mighty machines", you should really take them there in the next couple of days (they have a sale on Thursday and after that the equipment will slowly leave the yard). You will see farm equipment, semis, skid steers, front end loaders, golf carts and much, much more! Today, Kerri, Dylan, my friend Twyla, her daughter Sydney, Calder and I went to the zoo. The animals are quite active right now and we got a close up look today a the bears, female lion and some buffalo. I think the buffalo's head was bigger than all three kids put together! I would highly recommend rubber boots for everyone if you are planning on heading there.
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I have had a hard time falling asleep the last 3 nights. Consequently, I am getting tired. I haven't used my sanctuary in the last few days and I am wondering if this is directly related to my sleep issue. I am wondering if maybe I am not letting myself grieve and think about Tripp enough during the day and so when I go to bed, my mind wants to do these things. I am going to try and spend some time in my sanctuary this afternoon and see how tonight goes.
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Saskatchewan Teachers have been without a contract since August. Negotiations have not gone well as far as the Teacher's bargaining committee is concerned. The government has offered 5.5% over 3 years. I feel that this offer does not show that the government values the work that I do. Did you know that a Saskatchewan teacher with a 4 year degree and 8 years experience, makes 20% less than a teacher in Alberta? Five and a half percent over 3 years would not even cover cost of living increases.
I put in hours outside a regular work day, but I don't get paid for the overtime I put in. I work really hard to create lessons to engage students. I make over 100 phone calls or emails home to the parents of my students a semester (and yes, I keep track of all my contacts, because otherwise I forget if I have done it!) and the calls don't get done during the work day, because there isn't time. I eat lunch in my class almost everyday. Most days I am helping students, but if not, I getting my own work done. I put in over 100 hours of coaching a year (and yes, I count these as well). I can honestly say, that when I look around the building I work in, I don't see one teacher who is not putting in hours doing extra-curricular volunteering (and yes, it is technically volunteering, but can you imagine if teacher's didn't do it? Teachers value the importance of extra-curr in the development of students, so I put in the time, along with all of my colleagues).
I see the government valuing the job nurses do. They give nurses meaningful wage increases that show that they not only value the work nurses do, these increases reflect the knowledge, skill and stress that nurses have. Is educating kids not as important as looking after patients?
I can honestly say I love my job. I love teaching kids. But, it becomes very disheartening when the government (who represents the pubilc) doesn't recognize all that I do. Hugh and I have talked on multiple occasions about finding another careers. We feel like we could find rewarding work elsewhere that would be valued and that, quite frankly, would pay better.
I have written a letter expressing my concern to my MLA. She represents me and should know how I feel. This is the first time I have written a letter of this fashion, but I think I will do it again when other issues arise. How will she know what I think if I don't tell her?
CTV Saskatoon has a poll on their homepage right now asking if 5.5% is fair over 3 years. I clicked, "No".