Teachers are ….

I don’t know how to finish the title. Weird for a teacher to be speechless, isn’t it?

We (our board/district) are about to go on strike for the first time in over a decade (and the first time in my 11 year career). I have never been more stressed about work than I have in the past week. I can’t sleep. I have no energy. I’m always hunting for any sliver of good news on the internet, sometimes late at night, because I can’t sleep.

After being unfairly treated during the government’s legislation of Bill 115, I was angry. I continue to be angry about the way things unfolded. I thought striking was the only way to show our anger and displeasure. I was actually looking forward to go on strike to let people know how poorly and unfairly we’ve been treated. I was ready to picket & march on the sidewalk, whenever, wherever. Rally at Queen’s Park? No problem. I’ve been angry for so long. It’s time to fight back and go on strike until we get the respect we deserve.

I was wrong. So wrong.

My life isn’t at stake, but I feel like a soldier on the brink of my first battle. I’ve been psyching myself up for months, years even. Now I’m sitting in a truck, getting ready to start this battle and I’m thinking to myself: “No. This is bad. I can’t pull the trigger and shoot someone. None of this is good for anyone.”

I don’t want to go on strike. I want to go to work. I enjoy it, and (I think) I’m good at it. How often have I told students to find something they love to do and be good at it? All the time! Why did I ever think going on strike is a good thing?

Because I’m an idiot, that’s why.

I can only hope that the strike doesn’t happen. Because a fictional movie character once said: “Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of good things, and no good thing ever dies.”

I will do whatever it takes so that I can continue to love what I do. If we have to strike, so be it. I will be out there. Whenever, wherever.

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