Friday, August 6, 2010


I've taken 3 of 6 classes for the Early Childhood Education Administration certificate. This is a post diploma course, not necessary for anything, more for general knowledge. I took the courses because, up until McSquinty made his announcement about Full Day Learning my plan was to open a daycare centre. Now there is a shift and I'm not fool, I'm riding the tide so as not to get left behind.

However, I also don't want to be a person who starts something but doesn't finish it. So I was torn. Do I take the other three classes in this program or do I cut my losses, be glad for what I learned in the first three and go forward with my new career or do I take this last three classes despite them being of little use to my new career or future plans and therefore probably a waste of money?

So I decided, I would take one more of the three, a communications course. It never hurts to bone up on communication skills right? But the other two; marketing and computers, I decided not to take. They are of no use to me now.

In my class there was a guy who looked remarkably like Mr. Kotter. I mean a lot. I mean every single time I saw him I couldn't help myself with the greeting a la Washington "Hey Mr. Kotter!"

Anyhow, he's been in the field a little longer than me. He's pushing 50. He's opinionated, loud, somewhat pigheaded but a nice guy all the same. We had a friendly banter going on.

Yesterday I got an email from him. Here's what it said

I think this may be my last letter to you. It was great to finally get a chance
to work with you. I KNOW you did just fine in Karl's class. I want to wish
you luck in your new career, I just want to give you some advice (from someone
that can really screw up with his words) be careful at your new job, I would
feel sorry for you if you had to swallow your words (and your pride) by coming
back to school to take what you describe as a "useless class". Take care of
yourself and be well.
Really? Really really? So, you think that for some reason I'm going to fail at my new job and have to go crawling back to the world of daycare? And crawling back to a course that I probably wouldn't take even if I did for some reason fail at my new job (Marketing? Come on, I marketed the shit out of myself for the past 7 years and there are few people with children who don't know the name Little Chickadee Home Daycare throughout Durham Region. Computers? Um, yeah, I might not be Bill Gates but I can get around a computer and what I don't know I google and figure out. The course teaches MS Word and Excel. Both I can do. Thanks.) And the joke of this is that this guy spent the last year telling me that these courses were meaningless, that all you need to supervise a daycare is an ECE and two years in the field. He didn't care about his grades, he would routinely say, "Ah, who the fuck cares?" But I'm going to be swallowing my words and my pride?

Oh my, that email fired me up. I didn't respond to it because I likely would have said something really nasty. My mom always taught me if I can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.

Now let's talk about last night. I went to a meeting with about half of the other ECE's for our school board. See, we are without a union, not a good place to be. So we met with the representatives with one of the larger unions in Canada. It's also the one that represents many of the ECE's in other school boards as well as the support staff in my school board. I'll be honest, in my research I'd already decided this was the union I wanted. I'm not interested in hearing what the other ones have to say. So, in order to get this job done we needed 26 people to sign their union cards so that they could bring about a vote with the labour board. There were about 35 people there. So the reps made their pitch. A lot of people asked questions they couldn't answer because we are not in their union yet and then everyone hummed and hawed about what to do. We've been invited to meet with another union next week (one that I don't want any part of)

I listened quietly to everyone and it became apparent that if something wasn't done they were not going to be able to wade through the pile of information to see what was plainly in front of them. So as one of the girls (the one who was organizing this fiasco) was talking to everyone about taking their union cards home and waiting until next weeks meeting to sign them I thought - NO - we can't do that. If we do that we'll lose the chance to make this right.

Now this is where I seemed to be channeling my Dad. My Dad was always the kind of person who would sit quietly, not say anything, just listen. And then he's speak up, say one of two things and everyone would change their minds.

So I stood up and pointed out to people that by signing their union cards, they weren't voting in this union, they were just saying they'd like to have the chance to vote in (or not) this union. And that they could sign their cards right then and there and still have a chance to meet with the other union before making a final decision because the other meeting is on Wednesday and our vote wouldn't be until Friday. So if it turned out that the other union was a better choice they could vote NO in our Friday vote and sign new cards for the new union for another vote.

Apparently it worked because all 35 people signed their cards. We'll vote next week. And I'm holding out hope that *if* this other meeting even happens that the bulk of the people will see that they are not the way to go. And come September we can start work with our asses covered.

I love the power of persuasion.

1 comment:

  1. Way to go!! My Dad was like that too. I'm not. Big understatement, lol. I'm way to big-mouthed, opinionated and hot-headed. maybe someday? Sounds like you did a great job!