Remembering To Remember

Life is so busy that it sometimes takes an overwhelming effort to make time for yourself, let alone remembering all the sacrifices that have been made that allow us to live in such a free country. Yet we must and we must teach our children so they understand the why of remembering and not just the act of remembering.

Every year we make a concentrated effort to bring the community and school focus on Remembrance Day. Teachers and students put together emotionally compelling presentations to honour the generations from our past that made the ultimate sacrifice to make Canada the country it is. As part of our daily commitment to students we must commit to educating them not only about the world events that lead us to November 11, but also the small, day-to-day acts that make their world safer, healthier and provides them with a seemingly endless list of opportunities.

Take the time to have classroom discussions about the role of police officers, firefighters, physicians, crossing guards and any other key individuals that impact their life. Write letters of thank you and deliver them to those individuals or organizations. As a teacher (and key role model for your students) model for them on a daily basis how remembering can be demonstrated in such small ways as simply saying thank you.

Finally, as a teacher who has been in the profession for over thirty years, I must say thank you to the generations of colleagues before me. They spent days on the picket line, sacrificed family time and were the target of public scrutiny in order to make my profession what it is. I am blessed to have job security, benefits, peace of mind knowing my wife is treated equitably as a teacher and that my working conditions and student learning conditions are constantly being protected. This was not always the way for teachers.

 “Remember For More Than A Day”

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The Author

Mike Beetham

I am currently entering my 32nd year of teaching and work with the Waterloo Region District School Board in an area behaviour class. I am actively involved with ETFO at both the local and provincial level. My passions are my family, teaching, the outdoors and personal fitness.

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