Over the last two days our provincial government has taken to make "major announcements" in regards to education. Political opinion & allegiance aside, there's a ton of questions as to why they would make such "major" announcements about education on the week the education world is on a week of rest and relaxation?!
The first announcement was about additional funding for "new" students with autism (ASD) entering the school system now that they have slashed their therapy funding. Here's the catch... the funding they have announced is what school boards would receive ANYWAY for a student with special education needs. Yup, that's right... the $12,300 average funding per new student is what they have already been providing...nothing new here. However, the catch is that the majority of the general public does not realize this. They think they are providing funding that parents have been fighting for weeks to get back. Nope...all smoke & mirrors!!!
The second announcement leaked today was that they will be banning all cellphone use in schools. This too has got people both irate or saying "finally" because cell phone are a distraction (and whatever other reason to ban them is). However..., the policy they announced is the EXACT policy we follow right now!!! Again, the general public doesn't even realize this nor understand that just because there's now an official government stance that things are going to change. While I don't teach students who have access to cellphones or other comparable technology of their own, I do supervise students who do. And guess what?! They are not allowed their cellphones out unless they are for learning purposes as directed from the teacher. And guess what again?! I take away phones that are out at recess, in the hallways, or during the national anthem. I didn't need the government to empower a ban for me to do this though. Today's announcement is again, all smoke & mirrors.
I've been stopped a couple of times the past few days by people I know and they are asking about the announcements. How is it going to help my job? Is it going to change anything for us? And once I explain that it's all "fake news", they understand. My struggle is how do we get the rest of the general population to understand that these latest announcements are just announcing the status quo but said by a different minister?
There are three more official days to our break...what could the next major announcement be about?! Any guesses?
A snippet about me...
I'm a grade 2 teacher; wife; mama to #TeamA & #TeamO; runner; chocolate lover and always wanting to learn.