Striking a chord

I’m in the thick of it already. Summer vacation chaos. Trying to meet deadlines between beach dates and camping trips. Working to the sounds of Looney Tunes, water fights, and children playing Yahtzee at my kitchen table.

School holidays started two weeks early this year. As though 9 weeks of summer break isn’t long enough for my kids to completely forget everything they’ve learned since September. These bonus vacation weeks come courtesy of a B.C. teachers’ strike that’s been a depressingly long time coming. Here are some facts that influence my position on this whole mess:

• The school system in British Columbia is currently funded $1000 less per student than the national average.

• This province also has the highest rate of child poverty in the country.

• There’s money for all kinds of other things around here. For instance, big sporting events. Big sports arenas. Big pay raises for politicians.

• The B.C. Supreme Court has ruled that the government broke the law the last time they negotiated with teachers.

Before the teachers went on strike last week, my kids’ school managed to squeeze in a music recital. It was a bright spot in an otherwise disappointing end to the school year.

Whenever my frustration and outrage have boiled over this week, I’ve found myself watching this video again.

There’s so much to love about it. The tune. The kids’ energy. The way the song goes off the rails through the middle section and how they manage to pull it back together by the end. The big finish. The visible pride they take in performing something they’ve been working hard on all year.

The way they all work together to create a complex, harmonious arrangement.

It gives me a glimmer of hope that maybe the grown-ups responsible for the public education system in this province will manage to do the same before school starts in September.

Oh please, please let school start in September.

Perhaps it’s time for me to go and re-read this great Rabble post that explains why teacher strikes make British Columbia better.

After that, if anyone needs me, I’ll be right here, self-medicating with freezies and searching frantically for inexpensive mid-August summer camps. 

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One Response to “Striking a chord”

  1. Andrea says:

    It’s killing me, imagining that school might not start the day after Labour Day. It’s all just so unfair.

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