Last night before the snow started, I re-shot the picture from my last post, where I was wearing my Spider-man jammies. I deeply regret the bed-head, but otherwise, these pics look okay. I much prefer the picture at the bottom of this post which shows less of my pasty-white flesh.
Here in the north, we very rarely get a snow day where the schools are fully shut down. If the public schools shut down completely, they would lose a great deal of their funding money!
On days like these, the school buses are cancelled and the city students who walk to school will normally skip out. But we teachers are expected to drive through hazardous, treacherous conditions and to teach the three students who show up. And if we don't show up, the bean counters at the Board Office would dock us a day's pay AND charge us the cost of a supply teacher; a double whammy!
As teacher living in a rural area, the only acceptable reason for me NOT to show up would be if the police shut down the highway due to unsafe conditions or if our city declared a state of emergency. If punative action was taken, however, I could appeal it to the Superintendent with my union's assistance but who needs that frickin' hassle? I'd rather drive into work.
Recently, the 850 teachers in my school division ("Boards" as we call them here) received a notice of a national workshop for male educators being held in a far-away city. The topics to be discussed include "sexism, homophobia, gender equality, healthy masculinity and positive role modelling." The goal is for educators to foster "healthy relationships with young men" to promote "a new vision of manhood."
This is right up my alley! In our vast region, one delegate was to be selected for the all-expenses-paid trip, selected by the professional development committee made up from teachers from all schools. I wrote a 100 word essay on why I should be selected to go. I said, in part:
Prior to this, I was out to many of the teachers at my school and (I assume) some at my wife's former school. But with this letter, I essentially outed myself to pretty much everyone in the school division, directly or indirectly.
I hesitated for an entire day and then chided myself for my cowardace before I clicked "send."
I thought of the sweet little gay kids in my classes who are quietly out, courageous warriors in their own right. I also thought of some former students over the past twenty years who had committed suicide and who we suspected (retroactively) did so upon figuring out that they were gay.
If my coming out as a strong, positive, happy and successful gay teacher saves one kid from suicide or even from living in fear or guilt over his sexual orientation, that may end up being the most important thing I do in my entire teaching career.
ps: I was picked as the delegate for the workshop!