Dear editor:
To begin, I would like to thank a close friend of the family for telling me to write this letter. Without his insistence, I may never have had the courage to do this.
I am a mother of three and a teacher of many. Today, I broke with my regular school day routine and participated for the first time ever in a political protest. As I endured the cold and the harsh winds, I reflected on several questions: Who allowed me to teach? Who supports me as a teacher? What have I learned as a teacher? and Why am I now outside far away from my classroom?
I concluded that I owe many a sincere thank you and that because I care for all children and their future, I cannot support the proposed education reforms.
I would like to thank the separate school board for giving me the chance to teach. Nine short years ago, I remember graduating from university. My thoughts were very clear that day. I was finally going to be a teacher! Wow! I would soon have my own classroom, my own students. What a thrill it was for me to be hired at St. Francis School.
I would like to thank the parents whose children I have taught. I remember looking at the wonderful little faces that showed up the very first day of school nearly a decade ago. I was terrified. All of a sudden it dawned on me that parents had entrusted me with their children. I was to nurture and teach them. Thank you, parents, for all the wisdom and support you have given me.
I would like to thank the children I have taught, and am currently teaching. Thank you for the many lessons you have taught me. I now know which music groups are hot and which are not. I have also learned patience and understanding. Thank you children for being who you are–unique and special individuals.
I would like to thank the people of the community who have shown teachers such great support. Your warm and inviting homes, kind hearts, and no-calorie chocolate chip cookies are a blessing. Your attendance at our rally also deserves a heart-felt thank you. Your solidarity has made me realize that others care as much as I do. You will be in my family’s prayers this evening along with Batman and Spiderman.
Today, Oct. 27, 1997, I am convinced more than ever that teaching is my life.
Lastly, I would like to thank God. This thank you is for my life, my beautiful family and all the wonderful adults, colleagues and children I have met during my teaching career. This truly has been a blessing.
So you ask me today, where would I rather be? Hands down, I would rather be in my classroom with the children. However, my choice is to fight for the long-term interests of all children.
I want to show how much I care for them, their education, and their future.
Lisa Cousineau