October 2012: Campaign School 101

I had such ambitions for blogging during the campaign. I look at the partially prepared drafts, the topics on which I wanted to write, and realize how different campaigning is from what I thought it would be. There turns out to be very little time for reflection, for sitting quietly and carefully organizing my thoughts in writing. The emphasis has been on outreach, on being out in the district whether it’s me in lawn sign form or me in flyer form, me in survey form (ie. responding to surveys) or me at meetings. But very little of me in written form even though it’s my preferred medium. If successful, maybe there will be more time for this after the campaign when I’ll get down to the business of making a network of the school communities in the district.

But while I haven’t written much I’ve certainly heard and talked a lot. That’s what campaigning is really all about: making use of the finite collection of moments and opportunities leading up to election day to meet people. Having conversations, discussing ideas, getting on the spot feedback, hearing suggestions, and getting informed. I’ve talked with people about the lack of a “B” teams league, class sizes, the French Intensive programme, out-of-area schooling, the use of surplus capacity in  peninsular schools, how much of a teacher’s day is spent not teaching, the state of teaching now compared to in the past, whether Grade 9 should be part of high school, whether or not there’s a need for a school board, the salaries of school board staff, school board effectiveness, and the question I get most often, whether or not I know what I’m getting myself into. I hear that question over and over again. The conversations have almost always added to my understanding and appreciation of what the district’s all about.
Campaigning is different from what I expected and relentless, it has been important to take breaks in order to recharge, and I’m glad it comes to an end in two weeks. I believe I’ve made the best possible use of it, I’m very grateful for all the support I’ve received, and I’m ready for what comes next. And I hope, of course, that what comes next is representing District 4.

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