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COMMENTARY: Food banks invest in ways to become more self-sufficient

COMMENTARY: Food banks invest in ways to become more self-sufficient

Canada's food banks are embracing gardens and greenhouses, cooking classes and more to help clients achieve greater food security. For food banks, it's now about nutrition security and providing hope to the victims of economic failures. Food banks offer sustenance, and are committed to healing and giving people a chance to succeed.
OPINION: If teachers could focus on their primary tasks, inclusion would work better

OPINION: If teachers could focus on their primary tasks, inclusion would work better

Inclusive education assumes that everyone belongs and deserves opportunities, provided by actual teachers, which enable learning. There have been pockets of schools and classrooms in particular areas and school boards that have had a degree of success with this philosophical approach, all for the benefit of all students, not just for those who have special needs. Mostly, it does not exist in Nova Scotia.
COMMENTARY: Lack of supports undermines 'no fail' policy, but multi-age classes a success story

COMMENTARY: Lack of supports undermines 'no fail' policy, but multi-age classes a success story

'I have very, very seldom encountered a child who was not ready to move on at the end of their time in a multi-age class. Classroom sizes must be smaller to accommodate this kind of teaching, but more importantly, teachers need to be freed from constantly trying to meet arbitrary outcomes so that they can give each child what they need.'
OPINION: School support staff battered in the trenches along with teachers

OPINION: School support staff battered in the trenches along with teachers

We have heard the government tell us on more than one occasion that getting hurt, being kicked, hit, bitten or spat on is part of the job. I ask, in what profession — outside of boxing or mixed martial arts — is being beaten up part of the job description? Anyone who has looked at the education system can tell you that there has been a gradual decrease in support staff in our province, which leads to teacher burnout.
COMMENTARY: Teachers' revolt should change tacks, emulate resistance movements

COMMENTARY: Teachers' revolt should change tacks, emulate resistance movements

The NSTU leadership must surely now see that its strategy, if ever there was a strategy, did not and does not work and will lead to enormous contributions away from the classrooms and to the coffers of law firms. Teachers should now force their leadership to learn and embrace the strategies of Idle No More or Black Lives Matter if we want to make serious and democratic change that will positively affect the lives of those in the classrooms of this province.
OPINION: McNeil should backtrack now; pour money into classroom, not court battle

OPINION: McNeil should backtrack now; pour money into classroom, not court battle

Instead of risking a costly court challenge to Bill 75, Premier Stephen McNeil should listen to teachers, students and parents and use collective bargaining to create a better education system.
OPINION: Nova Scotia's rulers overrule the people again at their peril

OPINION: Nova Scotia's rulers overrule the people again at their peril

In two years, the government will find itself back across the table from public school teachers who have learned how to fight on every front, from legal action to social action ... The Liberals believe this is the end of a momentary interruption. They will discover very quickly that they have unleashed something very different, and no amount of press releases or promises of committees or pat, inane talking points will make it stop.
OPINION: 'Back to normal' is not acceptable and neither is dismissing democracy

OPINION: 'Back to normal' is not acceptable and neither is dismissing democracy

Several Liberal MLAs added insult to injury during these emotional presentations at the law amendments committee when, instead of listening attentively to their constituents, they played on their cellphones, spoke to their colleagues, walked out midway through people's presentations and used presenters' time to sermonize rather than ask questions, as is the protocol.
OPINION: Teachers marched for the sake of students and all citizens

OPINION: Teachers marched for the sake of students and all citizens

I have witnessed my pregnant wife continue to risk her safety, and that of our unborn child, to assist certain students with special needs — even while they throw chairs in frustration — because it breaks her heart to see them not get the support they need. She’s frustrated, too.
COMMENTARY: We've created a new species of student and caused the breakdown of the education ecosystem

COMMENTARY: We've created a new species of student and caused the breakdown of the education ecosystem

Education in Nova Scotia has reached its carrying capacity; the system is no longer sustainable and the problems are spilling out of the barrel and into the public. Teachers have spent many years trying to keep the water in the barrel. We have patched holes when the barrel has sprung leaks, but despite our best efforts, the barrel is overflowing.