35 episodes

For people who support our public schools but want real talk about the issues they are facing. Everyone has an opinion, but few are in the classroom and without an agenda. Hosted by award winning teacher Greg Cawsey, Public #onted tackles today’s hot button issues so you can get a balanced view to inform your own. New episodes weekly.

Public #onted with Greg Cawsey Gregory Cawsey

    • Education

For people who support our public schools but want real talk about the issues they are facing. Everyone has an opinion, but few are in the classroom and without an agenda. Hosted by award winning teacher Greg Cawsey, Public #onted tackles today’s hot button issues so you can get a balanced view to inform your own. New episodes weekly.

    School Boards in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones

    School Boards in Glass Houses Shouldn’t Throw Stones

    This episode Greg applauds the decision for school boards to sue social media companies, but cautions that schools need to do more to get cell phones out of the classroom.
    Ted also asks Greg about Parent Teacher interviews and the Tech teacher shortage.
    Follow past episodes and articles at the Public # onted Newsletter at https://gregcawsey.substack.com/s/public-onted-with-greg-cawsey

    • 28 min
    Racist School System? Not Buying It.

    Racist School System? Not Buying It.

    The need to shock people to gain attention is nothing new. Advertisers have been doing it for years. Remember those cheesy ad headlines - SEX - now that I have your attention. Well now the protest movements have taken a page from Madison Avenue to do their own version. They describe anything they believe needs changing and describe it in alarmist terms.

    Canada is a racist country that commits genocide. Excuse me, what was that?

    Now that social justice warriors have your attention a stunned public can continue to be enlightened on how everything they thought they knew, is in fact, wrong. Dare to temper their extreme views with nuance and context - good luck. Your comeuppance will be to be labelled the very thing you question. Many learned it was best to just let them continue.

    Trouble with that, is that silence is often misinterpreted as acceptance. While often the exact opposite is true. The pressure to comply can lead to a bitter resentment and retrenchment. I have heard the grumblings from reasonable people. It certainly doesn’t lead to greater understanding if dissenting voices are silenced.

    It is why I can’t hold my tongue when I hear claims that the very public education system I so proudly serve and cherish is charged with being systemically racist. In a lifetime spent as a student and now teacher in very diverse school settings I have not seen hateful acts of discrimination against individuals based on their race. Prejudice, bias, sadly yes. But actively discriminating students based on their race - thankfully, no.

    Our system continues to produce countless talented grads of all races that contribute every day to this incredibly diverse province. Just last month I witnessed a student led provincial competition, DECA, where I was heartened to see so many kids of different backgrounds thriving once again. They are living proof of the equality of opportunity we provide to all our students.

    This is not saying that our school system, does not suffer from other less inflammatory, but still deeply concerning charges. Our system, like society does have racial bias and prejudice that we must continue to overcome. But calling everything racist does not serve that goal. First, by throwing around that word so loosely it diminishes its power. Much worse is that using such inflammatory language to make people feel uncomfortable isn’t working. It is sowing resentment and is counterproductive in creating the open dialogue necessary for honest discussions on how to address and extinguish the darker qualities all humans possess. This door in the face sales technique may work selling something to customers, but making extreme accusations puts people on the back foot and cause them to ignore the very issues that need addressing.

    That is a shame because we need to lean in to find common ground. We can’t put our heads in the sand to stark realities that need fixing. Achievement and student success results are too tilted to believe there is nothing wrong. Too many school faculties do not represent the ethnic backgrounds of the communities they serve. We can and must do better.

    If reading this you still believe in your world that racism in our society is systemic and those opposed are only wanting to protect the status quo, you are entitled to your opinion. As am I. But passing off incendiary remarks as facts - is wrong.

    Sadly, there are people who identify everyone by their race and see all of us as either being oppressed or an oppressor. Their ends justifies the means logic makes them think its fair game to use inflammatory rhetoric to accuse, abuse and intimidate others.

    There is a word for people who think like that. We can’t let them speak for us and take us backward.

    By Gregory Cawsey

    https://gregcawsey.substack.com/s/public-onted-with-greg-cawsey

    • 15 min
    Classroom Management Tips

    Classroom Management Tips

    Today Greg offers classroom management tips to foster a positive learning environment for students. Check out essays and comentary at: https://gregcawsey.substack.com/s/public-onted-with-greg-cawsey

    • 28 min
    Tips For Overcoming Test Anxiety

    Tips For Overcoming Test Anxiety

    Students face a number of stressors in their lives from many things out of their control. Today, Greg gives advice on how teachers and students can alleviate test anxiety by taking ownership of what they can control - preparation and letting go of what they can’t - the mark. 

    Greg also answers Ted questions on Alberta’s Parental Rights legislation and updates on teacher contracts. 

    Check out the past posts at Public #onted Newsletter:

    • 22 min
    Kindergarten Coding? Ministry Needs More Input From Classroom Teachers

    Kindergarten Coding? Ministry Needs More Input From Classroom Teachers

    Discuss the recent kindergarten curriculum revision announcement from the Ministry. While the update is welcome, it does continue a pattern of top down changes. While some call for more teacher union input in the curriculum process, Greg calls for more input from teachers that are actually still in the classroom.  
    Check out the Public #onted Newsletter at https://gregcawsey.substack.com/s/public-onted-with-greg-cawsey

    • 20 min
    If Schools Are About Community Then Police Need To Be In Them

    If Schools Are About Community Then Police Need To Be In Them

    I do appreciate the importance of always looking at something with a fresh set of eyes. We should always be looking at how we can do things better.  The desire to improve should also come with some reverence for how we got here.  Without that understanding we tend to tear down rather than build upon.

    Take for example the decision from some Ontario school boards to remove uniformed officers from visiting or working within schools.  The rationale is that the police uniform is a negative emotional trigger for people and communities who have faced police brutality and mistreatment. I do not doubt their fear and concern.  Children from war torn countries have also have legitimate feelings of fear and anxiety seeing people in anything that resembles a military uniform.

    So, one might make the simple call to remove the source of that fear from the safe space schools hope to create for all students.   Avoidance is not how problems are solved, however. Students need to see uniformed officers in non – threatening situations and interact with them personally, so negative associations can be undone, and trust established.  It is also important for officers to interact with all members of the community in these same environments to dismantle any of their own prejudice.

    Having liaison uniformed officers in schools is...

    https://www.justcaws.ca/2023/05/briing-back-uniformed-officers-to.html

    • 19 min

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