If there has been one constant in my life, it has been that the best opportunities seem to find me at the most inconvenient times. I have recently seized the opportunity to pursue work assignments in a different department of OSSTF/FEESO. Because of this, I will no longer be the editor of Education Forum.
Yes, this saddens me but as I said this was my own choice. However, I hope you will indulge me as I share my favourite stories and accomplishments over the three short years that I helped produce this magazine.
I wanted to begin my tenure at Education Forum with a series on our members’ pensions. I began by engaging former OSSTF/FEESO president and general secretary Rod Albert to write a feature on the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTPP). In the next issue I had our own Jack Jones write a piece on the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System (OMERS). Both Rod and Jack went into detail about how both plans were created and how their structure provides stability for our members. We ended the series with former Ontario Teachers’ Federation president Terry Hamilton writing about the ethical challenges faced by pension funds when they decide how to invest.
As environmental issues seemed to preoccupy our members more and more, I struggled to know how best to provide an article that would both engage the topic and challenge our readers. When Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything was published, I knew I had my entry point. After many phone calls and emails, I managed to secure an interview with Ms. Klein. Both Nanci Henderson and I then had to quickly read the book before the interview (true confession: I listened to the audio version—it was over 20 hours!). Nanci’s amazing interview was published in our winter 2015 issue.
Head injuries and concussions have always been special concern for me. When I found that Dr. Liana Brown of Trent University was publishing work on students and concussions, I knew we had to share some of her data. Her article in the fall 2015 issue included a timeline to help students, parents and teachers plan how a young person can reintegrate into school life after receiving a concussion. I was especially proud that this front-cover issue landed on MPPs’ desks on the same day of the first reading of Rowan’s Law in the Ontario Legislature.
Hands down the most-read article of my time as editor was last issue’s feature on educational assistants who must wear protective equipment. Their stories, captured so sensitively by Vanessa Woodacre, struck a chord with many of our readers. The story spread like wildfire across the country and was even incorporated into one college’s curriculum.
Probably my most proud accomplishment, however, was the creation of Education-Forum.ca. As we moved toward a digital platform, I have seen a greater engagement between our readers and the magazine. If you haven’t yet visited us online, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
See ya folks! It was a pleasure and a privilege.