We're here, we made it, it's the last day of classes. My daughter tried fervently to convince me to let her skip today "no one is going so the teachers won't be doing anything anyway". I feel that won't be the case at OD/Park in Orillia though. This is their last day as that school. They already had a 'last day' when ODCVI and Park St closed respectively but this is different. When that happened, most of the teachers carried on. Most of the other staff members carried on. The two student bodies joined together and for the last two years, have worked as one very cohesive group. This IS the last day with those students for some of those teachers. Some of those teachers taught those students' parents. That combined student body will stay the same. The rest of the staff will stay the same. They will actually start in the same building since the new one isn't ready. Some of the teachers though won't be returning. The staff who won't be returning don't feel valued. They don't feel respected. They don't feel like their contributions mattered. This is a very difficult day for them. Some have been re-assigned to a location over an hour away. Many had worked in Orillia for 20+ years. As you celebrate the last day with students wherever you teach, give a thought to what the teachers at OD/Park must be feeling, the teachers who will be returning and those who won't. Some of the teachers actually decided to retire, perhaps earlier than they had planned, as a result of this process. I send positive thoughts their way and ask you to do the same. Let us not take thought for our separate interests but let us help one another.
The view from my desk, as Teacher Bargaining Unit President for D17 Simcoe