risk, change, social activism, equity and inclusivity, tokenism, self-care, limits, boundaries, human rights code, curriculum
Garrett: I think for me the main message, especially to new teachers, is – well there’s two-fold. One: you’re not going to save the world. Right? So that, because you’ll burn out. And I was there in my career twice where I almost actually just went “I can’t do this anymore”. And it was burn out. It was you can’t tackle everything, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a part of change. And so, um, to take the risk, you’re now protected. You can now, you actually have to do this work. Um, and you can close your door, and you can teach. Right? And embed, embed, embed, right? Have those conversations all of the time, not just – I really am opposed to tokenism.
Garett: I struggle with Pink Shirt Day. I struggle with Black History Month. I struggle with those concepts. I never wear the shirt, myself. I see the value in it if it’s just – you know, it’s awareness, it’s conversation, sure, but I’m not going to wear the pink shirt. Um, because I live it every day. And so, taking the risk to embed it. Um, self-care is really, really important in this work. Recognizing that there’s only so much you can do. It took me a long time, especially in alternative, it took me a long time to realize that, one: I’m making a difference every single day even if I don’t feel like it, and the other is to leave more work at work, right? Knowing that I’ve done everything that I can for those seven or eight hours that I’m with them. But after that you’ve got to have interests, you’ve got to have a life outside of just equity, equity, equity. So I think that’s important, um, as well, and that things have changed, right? Things are changing really, really quickly and it’s an exciting time to do this work. Um, I’m still excited doing the work, whereas I almost gave it up. Right? But now that it’s in the curriculum, Ontario Human Rights Code is there, it’s embedded, it’s safe schools, right? The conversations are happening now.