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Teachers: For the people

in Opinion by

In the mid 1990s, while working at a newspaper as a young scribe, I wrote what I thought was a great story about a teacher who was taking a sabbatical. He was going to visit an overseas country and increase his learning and experience. He would inevitably accumulate new wisdom to bring back to future students one day.

Except that particular story never ran. I was told to get the ‘real’ story. How much was this going to cost? What sort of burden would this be to ‘taxpayers?’ The headline was altered, the focus shifted. In the end, the teacher and board of education were meant to feel shame for allowing such a thing to happen. I was embarrassed to see my name on that byline.

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Blame Wynne for some of the doctor shortages Kawartha Lakes is facing

in Community/Health by
Blame Wynne for some of the doctor shortages that Kawartha Lakes facing

The family doctor shortage in Kawartha Lakes, and the rest of the country, might not be so bad today if the previous provincial Liberal government had done things differently in 2015.

In Ontario, after a medical student graduates, they don’t immediately start a practice. First, they must complete a residency where they train with established physicians for at least two years and up to four years depending on the discipline.

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Unions call on education director to counter Ford government’s ‘false narrative’

in Education by
Over 100,000 students walked out of more than 700 Ontario schools to protest the PC government’s cuts to education. Photo: Roderick Benns.

The heads of the elementary and secondary schools’ teachers’ unions are calling on Director of Education, Larry Hope, to set the record straight – that teachers did not coerce students to walk out on April 4.

Just a few days ago more than 100,000 students walked out of more than 700 Ontario schools to protest the PC government’s agenda, including changes to the health curriculum, deep cuts to OSAP, and the recently proposed changes to class sizes and e-learning. These were student organized and student-led protests.

But on the evening of April 4, Minister of Education Lisa Thompson, on the official ministry website, dismissed the activism of the student organizers “and attempted to spin a false narrative about the role of teachers and teachers’ unions,” according to the open letter from the union reps.

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Literacy in the library — it’s about more than just books

in Around Town/Community/Education/Opinion by
A father and son reading.

When you consider the word ‘literacy,’ you mostly likely think about reading, but did you know that literacy encompasses so much more than that? There is digital literacy, financial literacy, community literacy…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Schools are designed to teach students all sorts of literacy as they progress through the grades – preparing children for the ‘real world.’

Can you think of another institution that has similar goals? If you guessed the local library, then you are absolutely correct.

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How parents can best support their kids in school

in Education by

By now, most of us with school-aged children have settled into the routines of fall and the new school year. Of course, this means getting up early, packing lunches, driving here and there in our very busy lives and of course hearing about the school day at the dinner table.

If your kids are anything like mine, you likely hear stories about what their friends did that day, who the favourite teachers are and how they’ve done on their assignments. Of course, we always hope the stories are positive and that your child’s experience at school is a good one.

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Board finds needed $2 million in estimated teacher sick leave

in Community/Education by
TLDSB Director of Education Larry Hope has reached out to local unions for support.

As the Trillium Lakelands District School Board grapples with a $2 million funding shortfall in expected revenues, it found the solution in decreasing the amount of money it is allocating for teacher sick leave.

Director of Education Larry Hope just hopes it wasn’t a one-time solution, and so has reached out to the local union presidents for support.

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Teacher says ‘travel is the only thing that makes you richer’ as students prepare for Normandy

in Community/Education by
From L to R: Shaun Soutar, Alison Smith, Emma Bartley, Reece Eason, Rebecca James

Several students gathered over a free lunch at Fenelon Falls Secondary School recently to enthusiastically discuss a 10-day trip to Normandy next year – and they got a chance to network with students who have already travelled internationally.

Julie Rocheleau, a teacher at the high school, has been organizing these international trips with her students for several years.

Rocheleau says, “I’ve been taking kids out-of-country pretty much every year since I started teaching, whether it be for sports or an immersive experience. Travel is the only thing that makes you richer.”

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