To my fellow teachers - I put no BUT in the speech that follows, but you all know it is there. Please don't take the the "NICE" in this speech as a sign of weakness. Please do concentrate on doing the best you can under difficult situations. If everything is going great in your class or at your site think of your situation as the model we would like to see at all sites and in all classes. Your Bargaining Team and Your Crisis team are STILL working hard. We will act when the time is right and in the meantime we will keep talking and trying to work towards a solution. Thank you for your trust and your patience. We are in this to win the war, not just a single battle.
Board Speech September 10, 2015
It’s the middle of September and we are done with most of the events that mark the beginning of the new school year. Kids are settling into their routines and as I’ve heard in the staff room many times, the honeymoon is over. Teachers have established their routines and education can begin again. The newness of the new year has worn off and just being the new face at the front of the room isn’t enough anymore.
Much the same could be said of my tenure in office. I’m learning to live without bells. I’ve made my first mistake (several actually - but who’s counting). My concerns have gone from what’s the name of the principal at… to how can I help. And as I used to pride myself in learning all 200 student names in as short a time as possible I’ve also met with many of the principals and had some great discussions.
What strikes me in these conversations is the passion. The passion to teach. The passion to make the world a better place for the children in our care. And the passion that principals see in those teaching our children. I won’t say I was surprised, because it has always been obvious to me that teachers care. But it was nice to have this belief confirmed. Day in and day out, through the heat or the cold, our teachers do their best to help their charges grow and learn and develop. I think I can honestly say I have yet to run into an educator that says anything different.
We, the Vista Teachers, do our best to educate all the children that come to us. What I want to focus on tonight is the WE. We are the WE. The WE should include all of us in the room tonight. Even the students in the room tonight should be part of the WE. We are the W in WAVE. We are all educators. We all get to work for or with the students.
BUT - There is no but in this speech tonight.
I Challenge all of us in this room tonight to become part of the WE. I challenge all of us in this room to accept the others in this room as part of the WE. Lip service will not do it. If we really want to make a difference, if we really we want build a better community, if we really want to inspire others, if we really want the respect that is part of positive working relationships then we have to start by being part of the WE. Without the WE it’s Us and Them. This is Vista. We’ve seen how the us and them plays out. I for one want to be part of the WE. I want to be able to say that We Educate.
So my commitment tonight - Board members, I will try my best to meet with you in the next two weeks if you are willing. I apologize for not having done it sooner. It was not an intentional slight. I hope to build a working relationship with you so that WE can make Vista an even better place to be.
Dr Vodicka - I will try to remain an optimist. Communication and Collaboration are essential to avoid continually repeating the same ineffective processes over and over. WE can make this work. WE have the power to make Vista an even better place to be.
And To the the audience in general I will strive to always show respect. I will strive to act in a way that allows you to see me as one of you. And I will strive to see all of you as fellow educators with the best of intentions.
I ask that you join me in this. Together WE can Educate.