2014 School Trustee Platform

The campaign season has wrapped up and I did not make it in.  But I wanted to keep my platform here for people to see.

Brief Bio:

Noah Arney grew up and attended school in Abbotsford and returned to establish a family after receiving his Bachelor of Education from UBC. He has worked in education for six years at both the secondary and post-secondary levels; working primarily with Aboriginal learners.

During his post-secondary education Noah was active in student government and institutional committees at UFV and is now interested in pursuing a more active role in the community through service to the Board of Education.

Noah hopes to bring to the school board his expertise as an educator and his commitment to current best practices in education.

 

Platform:

The current Abbotsford School Board has done some very good things over the last three years, the strategic plan is a sound document and I would love to be part of the implementation of it, and the increase in the Aboriginal student graduation rate to being within 5% of the general graduation rate is an accomplishment that should be lauded and continued to be worked on. But there are some areas that I feel need to be revisited.

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My Students Don’t Live in Their Parents Basement

Stephen Poloz, of the Bank of Canada, had a rather tone deaf line the other day:

“If your parents are letting you live in the basement, you might as well go out and do something for free to put the experience on your CV.”

source

That’s great for people who can do that, but most of my students live on their own, often with kids, and have been doing so for years.

I understand where he’s coming from, and who he’s talking to, but it betrays a bias that he needs to get over. By saying things like this he’s ignoring the huge number of students who are barely getting by through their education, and are only going to school because they know it’s the route to a job that doesn’t pay minimum wage.

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Someone Was Wrong on the Internet

Today someone was wrong on the internet.  Yesterday someone else was. Actually a lot of people were wrong on the internet, and why does that bother us? I think we get bothered because we feel deep down that what we are doing/thinking/saying is right.  If we didn’t we wouldn’t be doing/thinking/saying that. Then we take that one step further and assume that because someone else does/thinks/says similar things to us on topic A that they will do the same for topic B.

The daily show had a great bit a few weeks ago where the corespondent expressed shock that it was left leaning people primarily in the “anti-vaccination” movement. The idea that someone who agrees with us can also disagree with us shouldn’t be a surprise, and yet it is. In any large religion there are as many viewpoints as there are believers.  And some of those viewpoints are opposite each other. And some of those opposite viewpoints are over key tenets of the religion. Yet both are considered part of the region.  Similarly two people can have very similar views on child rearing but completely opposing views on the environment, or labour laws, or the advantages of ketchup or ranch as a condiment.

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What I wish someone said to me in teachers college

Welcome to education. I’m not going to say that you are potential teachers, because many of you will not pursue that as your careers. You are however educators. I once thought that was a buzzword but it means something very specific. You are embarking on a career in education. That might be teaching at the elementary middle or secondary level. It might be working as support staff. It might be working in a post secondary school as faculty or staff. It might be working for an educational support organization or company. What I’m trying to get at is the lessons you learn here will prepare you for not only teaching in a specific grade and subject, but will prepare you for working in the education field. And it is broad.

According to statistics less than half of you will be teaching in five years. And that’s not a bad thing. This is not just job training, this is teaching you how to teach someone else. That skill is more than just “elementary, middle, secondary” and “math, English, science” it’s personal, it’s transformative, and it’s one of the most important things you will ever learn.

So remember, you are educators.  No matter what profession or job title you have you will always be an educator and what you learn here will help you in any future path.