Opening Statement



Tuesday, 15 November 2011

My Blogspot Manifesto Revisited

Dear Readers;

This "Blog Manifesto" is my statement explaining why I have set up my blogspot, and where I am going with it. This blog was first posted in June. There has been a fair bit of controversy on executive about member use of social media including, but not limited to blogs. I am reposting my manifesto for your information and consideration should this controversy explode with some surprise announcements in the days ahead. I like informed debate. I don't support top down decisionmaking, especially when it is done in private. If you have any questions about my blogsite please don't hesitate to direct them to me personally.

Many, many of you follow my blogs. This site now has had well over 7000 reader visits, as the counter at top right shows. We truly live in a "Global Village" as Marshall Mcluhan once said. I appreciate those of you who have personally come up to me to say you like it. I am truly honoured. I look forward to continuing my teacher and union dialogue with you the members I serve through social  media. Of course there is also Facebook, Twitter, Text Messaging, email, skype, cellphones with cameras and voice recorders. The list goes on and on. Here is why I like blogs best.

 I will also be adding a "Readers Comments" box on the side column where you can reply or post your own views in the very near future. Freedom of speech only seems democratic to me.

Please stay tuned and see below:

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Welcome to the 21st Century! A Blogspot is very easy to set up and maintain. All it takes is the latest social media technology, which is everywhere nowadays. A little imagination and creativity also helps. It provides a direct ongoing dialogue. In my case that's with you, the TSU members who duly elected me to serve once again as your 3rd Vice President.

This will be my fifth term on your executive, and my twenty-fifth year teaching with our board. My resume is posted with my background qualifications and experience on the blogspot for you to see. I believe it's essential for me to be able to speak directly to you in an honest, forthright manner about our teacher issues and union business. It's not just a free speech issue. It's also about service and authenticity. Let me explain.

I was elected to serve you, so of course I will provide the information you need to know. I want to do so in a contemporary, understandable and even enjoyable manner. I owe it to you. Other elected officials including MPP's, MP's and even city councillors have their own newsletters. Mine is electronic. These allow us to communicate regularly and directly with our constituents long after the election is over. That is just good, plain, honest political representation.

My David Chiarelli TSU 3rd VP blogspot contains my teacher and union news and views as your elected representative. It focuses on our public issues, our public political figures, our unit procedures and our teaching profession. These are unfiltered. They come directly from me to you, as I see it, from my 3rd VP's point of view.

The postings aren't the official voice of the TSU executive or any other powers that be. I have never attempted to represent my blog as anything else but my news and views as your elected representative. Make no mistake, I have always clearly stated so even on the masthead of my blogspot.

You can read Highlights for the official TSU status quo position on union and teacher issues. Highlights has always done so through successive executives, including the two quite different ones I've sat on. I've written and appeared in Highlights for many years. Highlights serves its purpose, and can be very well intentioned and correct. I don't question that. Still, articles can be arbitrarily edited, deleted, or ranked in importance to  fit. Now with social media, there is an alternative medium to speak directly to you, the members who elected me. It is through my blogspot, David Chiarelli TSU 3rd Vp. This important freedom of speech issue will not be compromised.

My blogspot is not party-speak, rather it is direct speak, from me your TSU 3rd VP to you, the members who have voted me the privilege of representing you. It comes without all the old traditional filters and layers which can sometimes turn teacher union talk into some sort of stodgy if not Orwellian gobbledygook.

I entered TSU politics as an independent voice representing you. Let me reassert that in no uncertain terms. I am an elected independent member on your executive. I do not belong to any TSU party so to speak, nor am I here to represent any one particular interest or group. TSU is not a registered brand that any of us own, or can actually control, even if one wanted to. It doesn't really work that way in practice, try as you may. I don't. I represent our members as a fellow teacher. As an independent duly elected TSU 3rd VP I intend to be especially clear about that over the next year or two.

As always I will work with and support any other executive members whom share the common vision of making this unit work best to serve you. I oppose others when they don't act accordingly. Still, we don't live in a black and white world. There are many coloured hues. I'm not this team colour or that, except on an issue by issue basis, according to what I am here to do, which is to serve you.

I spell out my guiding principles in my election materials each year. Now I can even more specifically continue to do so here on my blog. We can discuss complex ideas and issues in a much more in depth way than has ever been possible before. And if you disagree, come next May you can vote me out.

Let me be quite frank. I can retire in two years. I don't want to rise further up the executive ladder. I like it here as 3rd VP. Come election time again next May I will decide whether it's worthwhile continuing my union work. My political decisions have never been tainted by my own personal ambitions on TSU executive. So far, I've been able to contribute quite effectively to see my vision of a better TSU being implemented with other like minded executive members. I continue to hold similar hopes for the year ahead. As long as that continues, I will consider running for office again.

If not, I won't run. It's as simple as that. I would equally quite enjoy just spending one final year in class with my students and colleagues at school minus the extra union duties. Then I could retire to pursue my other interests. If I could retire tomorrow and lived to be a hundred I swear I'd never be bored or at a loss for something to do.

Right now I have two passions; teaching plus working for, and serving you, on our teacher's union. Still, it would be great to enjoy more time with all the great colleagues I've met through TSU on a more personal level, rather than mostly just while attending to union matters. That happy alternative is possible if I decide not to run again too.

As your 3rd VP, I'm not off on office release time. I still enjoy teaching at it's most grassroots level with my autism class at James Cardinal McGuigan Catholic Secondary School. I can do that on or off executive. Despite being very, very busy most of the time wearing two hats, I'd like to remain on executive. I'm happy to teach and to serve you. But if I don't run or am defeated I can just as readily stay in school for one more final year. Either path is fine by me. I could even stay on a few more years if all goes well too!

So you see, the news and views on my blogspot are shared freely without an eye on whether I am re-elected or not. They are not just from a status quo perspective. I've been around too long for that. I will discuss our teacher and union issues in a challenging, perfectly straightforward, open and honest manner. And before I move on, I would like to share the important lessons I have learnt as your 3rd VP in hopes of helping you better understand what our union is really like and how it works. I plan to be positive and constructive but if need be I will not spare any punches.

Over the years I've accumulated quite a stack of personal archives, some of which would certainly make the eyeballs pop out of your head. Many of you all ready know about the "scab letters" I was sent. Would I post them? I don't think so. I'm never the first to start a fight, nor do I always react immediately, but then again I do know how to end one. This shouldn't be a forum for that. There are much more important matters to discuss. As a teacher I educate. Politically, I have been attacked and provoked many times, and discovered some pretty nasty truths. Politics can be a blood sport, and a fascinating one at that, despite what our better instincts as teachers might suggest. My blogspot will appeal first and foremost to those higher instincts. That is what I always seek to do first.

These then are my blogspot focus and goals.There are quite a few pertinent issues that arise from time to time which will need to be addressed. They can provide a case in point for a lot of what I might want to say. There are also a few large elephants in the TSU tent. These are huge issues, but it's like most everybody usually pretends they aren't there. These could include but are not limited too;

What rights and protections are available to you as a teacher from our provincial office, and your local unit? Realistically speaking, how far do they actually go? What are the limitations? What can you do?

Can we increase member involvement and more good, positive, pro-active and forward moving union executive renewal over the years ahead on our present course? If so how? If not, why not?

Can we actually provide teacher safety, safeguard teacher professionalism, and help set higher school standards with the tools we have as a union? Why or why not?

How can we protect our rights as teachers in the shifting political climate within our province especially during and after the fall election? Will Ontario become like a "Wisconsin North" with government attacks on our union, our profession, our students and our schools? Or are such claims just fear mongering? Either way, what do we do?

Are we experiencing the decline and fall of our publicly funded Ontario Catholic School system, on our watch as teachers? Why or why not? What can we do to as a Catholic teachers union to help make the situation better? In school? With the board? The church? In our government and public relations?

I hope you will continue to read and follow this blogspot. During the summer it will remain active but on reduced hours as I provide live blog reports from Mexico and Cuba. I'm going diving along the Mayan Riviera in Mexico. I will also work and teach at the Cuban schools in Santiago de Cuba.

In the fall I plan to provide ground coverage of the provincial election live from the campaign trail. Then there are the Blogspot Manifesto issues I've outlined above, and whatever else comes across my scanner here in cyber blog space. So please, do continue to drop in! I promise to be interesting, informative, and always first and foremost to serve you our members well!

Yours,

David Chiarelli
TSU 3rd VP


1 comment:

Julia Cates said...

Hi,
Informative Blog.
Thanks for share.
Sample Teacher Resume

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