It’s funny – I’ve received so many emails, comments, and pokes on social media praising my writing skills, yet now, when I need them most, words fail me.
Thank you to everyone who has taken time from their busy lives and families to send me an email. Your stories of similar circumstances are heart-wrenching and I’m grateful you felt you could share them with me. I hope you find a way to share them with others too – your voices should be heard along with mine.
Thank you to everyone who has visited my blog. I can barely imagine what a crowd of 120,000+ people looks like, never mind comprehend that many people taking time out of their lives to visit one tiny website. You’ve totally blown my mind with your interest in this topic. I hope you continue to read material from all sides in this issue.
Thank you to the close to one thousand people who have commented on my blog post. Not only have many of you taken the time to say positive things, but a number of you are asking some seriously tough questions in those threads. I applaud everyone for opening themselves up to public criticism – it’s not easy.
I want to particularly thank those people who continue to debate elements of the dispute in strong, yet respectful, ways. I am impressed with the amount of time, forethought, and diligence that is going into these discussions. You’ve expressed yourselves so eloquently–and in many cases, so openly–and I can’t help but applaud your efforts. I hope you will continue to engage in constructive debate, if not here then elsewhere, because it is the sharing of ideas (and the examining of others’ ideas) that leads to change. Thank you.
I owe the world of Facebook and the Twitterverse a huge debt of gratitude for spreading word of my letter far and wide. Sometimes it seems as though the Internet is so vast, and so many people are talking all the time, that there’s no way one message could possibly get through. Without you, my letter would never have received the attention it has. My goal was to have the letter read in the legislature so it could become part of the public record, but every tweet, share, like, and comment has ensured it will be far more than a simple addendum to the debate.
Thank you to the various media outlets who invited me to speak with them. I know the teachers’ dispute is a contentious issue, yet every single one of you treated me with decency and dealt with me honestly. I was (and still am) terrified of putting myself into the spotlight–albeit briefly–but everyone (producers, hosts, make-up artists, photographers, reporters, camera operators, and many more whose jobs I can’t name) has treated me as a fellow human being. For this, I am deeply grateful.
Thank you to my friends and family. Your support means so much to me. Knowing you’re cheering me on gives me the strength to face my fears and continue to speak out.
Thank you also to my colleagues. You’ve stood behind me from the moment my letter started to spread, and I know I can count on you for anything.
A special thank-you needs to go out to someone who is both a friend and a colleague: for holding my hand when the visits to my blog started to sky-rocket, for helping me find the courage to speak to the media, and for getting up before the crack of dawn and taking me all the way into Vancouver for an early morning television interview. You’re an amazing person and I count myself lucky to not only work with you, but to count you among my friends. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
Thank you also to my loyal blog readers – yes, all thirteen of you. This is first and foremost my personal blog. Many of you have been with me since my first tentative posts in 2010, and you’ve let me take this quiet little corner of the Internet and throw it into the public spotlight. It was not my intent to make a splash with my letter, but all actions have unintended consequences, and you’ve accepted the sudden shift in topic with aplomb.
I promise it won’t last forever.
I’m awed and humbled by the reaction to my letter, and I know this will disappoint a number of people who have asked/demanded answers, but I’m afraid I don’t have any. All I know with any certainty is what my experiences are and how they make me feel. I love that many people disagree and aren’t afraid to speak up. I love that many people are asking tough questions that those in positions of power should also be asking if the issue is to be resolved. I love that I have created an environment where there is no black and white, no right or wrong answer.
This is part of what I do in the classroom. I encourage question and debate. I freely admit I don’t have all the answers. I ask questions that don’t have easy answers. I encourage my students to examine issues from more than one angle. Hopefully one day my students will take these skills and participate in similar discussions about issues that matter to them. Hopefully they will use these skills to make a difference.
Please don’t think I am trying to end the discussion. I couldn’t if I tried, and I wouldn’t even if I could,
I’m not sure I have much else to say–nor am I sure I want to perpetuate the attention–but if I do, you can be sure I will find a way to say it. I wrote this post because I wanted to thank everyone who has had an impact on my life over the past several days before my “fifteen minutes of fame” are over and this blog and I return to obscurity.
Thank you. You’ve changed my life.
I can only hope my words will one day have a similar impact.