I always enjoy teachers’ convention. I appreciate it more now that I know that we as Alberta teachers are fortunate to have dedicated days for this professional development. Most teachers in Canada do not.
In addition to the learning that occurs, it is also a time to reconnect with our colleagues, to reignite the spark, and reaffirm our purpose. (Not to mention actual bathroom breaks and a sit-down lunch!)
I often try to take in at least one of the keynote speakers. This year it was Rick Mercer. As you might expect, I found myself laughing at his wit and humour, and feeling proud to be Canadian. What I didn’t expect was an affirmation of my choice in career. Near the end of his session, he talked about the Spread the Net challenge that he put out to students in 2007: the school raising the most money winning a visit. The fundraising challenge continued each year with the goal of purchasing hundreds of thousands of bed nets to reduce malaria in African nations.
As I watched the videoclips of the students involved in their fundraising efforts, I couldn’t help but feel proud and humbled by kids. Students, young and old, were passionate about the campaign: raising money through bottle drives, bake sales, and the selling of candy-grams. Some teenagers even donated their entire monthly paycheques to the cause.
As teachers, we are so fortunate to be surrounded by the enthusiasm, hope, and innocence of children. Kids speak their minds. Kids react in the moment. They add humour and fun into each day. As demanding as our profession can be, kids make it worth all the effort.