I began my year at OISE [Ontario Institute for Studies in Education - University of Toronto] with my mind open and ready to learn, with no previously conceived notions about the political atmosphere of teachers college; I had simply heard that, in general, it was often boring and easy. However, my experience at OISE was anything but boring. In fact, it left me feeling angry, deflated and, most of all, deeply saddened about the direction in which Canada is headed. Initially, I was entirely shocked by the blatantly obvious political agenda. On the first day I noticed that my classroom wall had a poster listing the main Canadian political parties. It then listed each party’s supposed track record with major Canadian issues, such as health care and education. Unbelievably, the poster went on to proclaim, that, as future teachers, we should be sure to “Vote NDP”.
...Needless to say, the year passed by at a dreadfully slow pace. I found myself sitting through classes on how to get hetero-normative language out of the schools, reading countless documents that had been reviewed for “equity”, and reading mandatory Marxist and feminist literature. I was urged to attend equity/diversity workshops, and asked to volunteer in Gender Construction workshops that were mandatory for gr. 10 students, where issues like “straight supremacy” would be discussed by curious 15 year olds.
At one point, a classmate asked the professor: “So, are we supposed to be activists, or teachers?” and the professor promptly replied, “Can the two really be separated?”
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