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I Lost My Teaching Job Under Doug Ford. My Students Will Lose Something More

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07.05.2019

As told to Nicholas Mizera, Opinion/Blogs Editor, HuffPost Canada

I was away on a field trip to the Mohawk Institute Residential School the day I was told that I wouldn't have a permanent spot teaching in the Peel District School Board due to cuts under Ontario's Progressive Conservative government. I remember the principal calling me into his office. He was nice about it. I received a form letter telling me what the next steps would be.

Caiaimage/Sam Edwards via Getty Images

I met with some fellow teachers and department heads, whose responses were very kind. But what really mattered to me were the responses I received from students who'd heard the news — my own, those I've coached, and even ones I never taught. Like the 368 other educators in my school board whose jobs were also sacrificed on the proverbial altar, I wonder what's going to happen to my students when I'm not around next year.

When I think back to Doug Ford's promise that "no" frontline workers will lose their job, it's clear that isn't the case. These cuts don't seem to have taken into account the lives they will impact — not just the teachers', but their students' as well. Cuts across the province will result in lost sections and fewer courses, including many of the Indigenous studies courses I've dedicated my teaching career to. In the end, students will lose out greatly with every teacher and class lost.

Before I was an educator, I was a commodities broker. I worked in a big office and made good money. In 2008 when the housing crisis hit, however, our company closed. I considered a few career paths, but decided I'd become a teacher in part because of my background.

Like many Indigenous kids during the 1960s, '70s and '80s, I was adopted into a family that knew nothing of the culture I came from. I was extremely lucky to have been........

© HuffPost