Strike benefits

Fun, creativity, more time together and appreciation

The British Columbia teachers’ strike has caught the attention — and the aggravation — of parents and politicians. Plenty of blame has been tossed about in this politically-charged debacle that began long before June 2014, when the teachers first began their picket parade.

Back in the day when I attended school, for most of us, our favourite subject was something called “Summer Holidays.” Face it — for many of us, school was something to be endured rather than enjoyed. Which leads me — on behalf of thousands of the province’s children and young people — to enumerate some unrecognized benefits of this extended time off:

• Fun. Yes, fun. Does anybody remember the wonderful, care-free days of summer? Doesn’t it give you a vicarious thrill when you think of thousands of children enjoying the blissful freedom of an extended summer?

I remember one autumn morning, only a half-hour after class commenced, a loud “Boom!” startled us Grade 2 students. The exploding furnace gave us all the day off. Yay! For a seven-year-old, there’s nothing quite like an unexpected, extra holiday.

• Creativity. What better challenge can there be for thousands of young people and their parents than to be faced with the question, “What do we do with all this unexpected time off school?” It kinda inspires creative, initiative thinking, which children will need to tackle the real world when they are adults.

• More time together. OK, OK, I know that many parents have to work. But many will alter their work schedules or take some extra days off to spend the unexpected holiday with their children. Your sons or daughters will only be young once. When they get older, you will be glad you made extra time for them. And they will remember it for years.

• Appreciation. Yep. There’s nothing like this extra time spent, to inspire appreciation for the many hours that teachers spend with your son or daughter.

Which brings me to my final observation; what job in the whole world is almost as important as that of a mom or a dad? I would answer, “Teachers.” They have devoted their careers and much of their lives to guiding and instructing some of the most precious people in the world — our children.

Patrick Proudlock

Parksville