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How I Unwind and why..

Wednesday, January 7, 2015


Its always an honor to serve the public and make your way in life by doing something worthy and rewarding. My career outside of raising children and growing a marriage was Special Education Assistant in several public schools over 16 years. My days of work were filled up with classrooms, children, teachers and parents. Offering assistance to a classroom teacher is rewarding all itself never mind helping children learn by giving one on one tutoring and instruction.


I even had the pleasure of teaching young children the fundamentals of hand stitching. We had permission and we ate lunch together and cleaned up quick, so hands could begin stitching. It was marvelous and inspiring.


At lunch time before this fun lunchtime activity, I'd sit in the staff room and stitch on the various parts of the Beach House Crazy Quilt.


I'd go home after working with children and release the day's stress through quilting. No doubt about it, quilting helped me last long months of classroom turmoil and attempting to reach unreasonable goals of school board funding. 

CUPE BC is mostly the union representing Education Assistants. From CUPE's web page details I read that Aboriginal Education Assistants are also voicing the same concerns around unpaid work.


Working with children is one of the most rewarding ways I've personally contributed to our greater public, one by one, helping children cope with difficult parents, helping them reconcile their own differences and celebrate individuality.


I would try to let go of the little ones at home, but its difficult when you know the child is going home to less than ideal home life. I turned to a child's natural love of art, painting, drawing and play. I worked with kids from kindergarten to high school. I battled administration over changes to the classification of special needs for BC children. Its convenient for administers to cut and cut without the benefit of actually seeing children struggle when teachers are stressed with too many children in a classroom. I commend B.C. Teacher's  for fighting and striking over class size and composition.
If you are interested in knowing the nuts and bolts of reasons for teachers to take to striking, read this.


Its not a black and white issue for sure. But funding must be restored to public schools otherwise I see a continued decline and an increase in private for pay schools. Where are parents and children to go? Not everyone can afford a private school. This issue is a hot one in BC as our very own Premier has her child in a private school. How can she have any idea of the reality of low incomes and the choices are taken when the class size is so large that a teacher cannot simply do any real teaching. Its more like herding cats. Just saying....

So this is why my quilting hobby really increased up as I continued my career in Special Education. My quilting has always been a way to unwind, take some time to reflect and leave the daily worries and concerns you have for the children I worked with, all with special needs.


Another way to unwind is go fishing. Really it is, it takes patience and dedication to actually catch something. Fish don't just jump into your boat like in the cartoons. It takes time. I seem to catch the first fish all the time, I can't explain that one, but its the truth. My hubby always says, "OK now I'm going to catch the next fish" and he does.


Another fine way to unwind is get dirty and unwind in the garden. 


Another way to unwind finally is to get away and do new things and see new places, like this duo of busker's on the James Bay waterfront of Victoria. This is a typical event on any day in summer day in Victoria.

Hoping this all finds you quilting away and  unwinding in your way too? As usual, I love reading comments and I welcome your thoughts on this testy issue of public education challenges.

Carli





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