Why I'm on Strike

My OneCity considers education an investment in the future – an investment in our children. My dreams for my students and my classroom aren’t crazy, either. Here are a bunch of things I want for my dream classroom. Have a look and see what you think: 

  • A consistent internet connection so that I would be able to access relevant news clips and articles online to show my students as issues come up in our discussions as well as available computers/tablets that kids can use to assist with learning;

  • some fun art supplies like water colour pencil crayons and real art paper for the kids to express themselves creatively;

  • earphones available for kids who like to listen to music while they’re working and some MP3 players with eclectic playlists so that while they’re doing their work they would be able to expand their musical tastes;

  • healthy food I can provide as snacks to kids who come to school without having eaten and who miss the breakfast program;

  • a healthier lunch program with a cooking component so that kids might become more interested and invested in healthy eating;

  • a subscription to fun and engaging (and current!) magazines – on topics ranging from skateboarding to cooking to space – that they can read during silent reading time and get excited about reading;

  • a white board with non-toxic markers so that I don’t have to use a chalk board and have the kids with allergies triggered by being near to the board;

  • teacher psychologists who can test the students in my class that are struggling with reading and writing and whose parents can’t afford private testing as well as counselling time for my students who are having a hard time at home;

  • intensive ESL support for my students who have recently arrived to Canada to help them build relationships with other kids sooner so that they feel more confident and comfortable at school;

  • fewer kids – not because I don’t love every one of those little munchkins, but because I want to teach each one of them in the way that they need each and every day.

That’s why I’m on strike. 

That’s why I’m doing my best to make this city better – for my students, for my teacher colleagues, for everyone.

 Anna Chudnovsky is a Vancouver elementary school teacher and a member of the OneCity Organizing Committee. OneCity supports teachers, students, and better public education.

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