TORONTO, ON – The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) celebrates Education Week, May 3 to 7, 2021, by recognizing the extraordinary efforts of Ontario educators throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The work elementary educators do makes an incredible difference in the lives of children and their families. Despite the endless challenges they faced this year, which were in large part created by the province’s mismanagement of the pandemic, educators stepped up once again and proved that they always have students’ best interests at heart,” says ETFO President Sam Hammond. “Saying thanks doesn’t seem like enough, but we want them to know that we are grateful for their inspiring and dedicated contributions. It is because of teachers, occasional teachers, early childhood educators, educational and professional support personnel, and other education workers that we are able to celebrate our public education system as one of the best in the world.”
Throughout the pandemic, we have not seen the Ford government genuinely acknowledge and thank education workers for all they have done to keep students learning. Notes Hammond, “Unfortunately, educators have been recklessly abandoned by Premier Ford and Minister Lecce repeatedly. They have repeatedly refused to adequately invest in Ontario’s public schools, neglecting their responsibility to keep students and educators safe. In this difficult context, I want to recognize educators’ incredible work in the classroom, whether in person or virtual. Their professionalism and commitment to students is what continues to sustain our public schools.”
Families are also appreciative of the efforts of all education workers. “I hear from families often who are so very grateful to their children’s educators for being steadfast in their care of students. At a time of unprecedented change, children benefit from having adults in their lives who provide consistent support and a sense of belonging,” adds Hammond. “This has been particularly challenging year, given the constant disruption to in-person learning and mental health impacts, but educators have demonstrated their dedication despite every hardship.”
ETFO represents 83,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province. For more information on the union’s position to build better schools please visit BuildingBetterSchools.ca.