Check-In, Tuesday, January 21

Good Morning, County! Happy Tuesday!

I want to start off this morning with a special note about substitutes.

Any teacher who has ever taken a sick day knows the value of a good substitute teacher. They make our lives so much easier, and quite simply provide us with peace of mind. When you find a substitute who is a good fit, you know your class is in good hands, which allows you to focus on you, regardless of why you happen to be out of the building. 

We do tend to build relationships over time with these people, and many subs start to feel like regular members of the staff. There are others, however, who come in as “one offs”; strangers in a strange land. Unfamiliar with the school, or the kids, or the routines, these individuals go through the day, sometimes with very little support. As the rest of us struggle to find our own way in the modern mayhem that is education today, we may not even register that a sub is in the building.

Over the next few weeks, I will be asking you to help me change that 🙂

As we move ever closer to staffing season, new teachers will have tons of questions. Am I eligible for a contract? Should I take a term position? If I take a long term sub position, am I a term or a sub? Do I get to go to job fair? These questions and many more will be bouncing around in their brains. 

In an effort to be preemptive, I am looking for your help. If you have a sub in your building, try to make contact with them over the next few weeks. Check in on them and see if they have any questions. As well, let them know that if they do have any questions they can contact ANY of the local presidents. We are all fairly accessible, and we would love to hear from them. 

Finally, please make them, (and any new member of your staff) aware of our New Member Conference that is taking place at the Delta Hotels by Marriott, Dartmouth. This conference will take place on February 21st and 22nd, and will feature information sessions specifically chosen to serve new members. Accommodations are provided, and best of all, it is free, so  make sure you sign up early!

All members should have received information about his year’s Education Week awards. Please consider nominating someone from your educational circle for recognition. As well, we have just selected our next Inspire Award recipient from Halifax County. If you think someone in your building deserves a respectful nod for exemplary work, simply send me their name, school, and a brief write up of what makes them awesome!

Finally, I hope that you will join me in congratulating our new VP of Professional Development, Shelley Luddington who was elected last Wednesday evening. Also, a very special thank you to Erica Ans for putting her name forward for consideration. 

That’s it for this week, County. Have a good one!

Check-In, Monday, January 13th

We open on a very solemn note today, with a brief moment of remembrance for all those innocent lives that were lost when Ukraine Airlines Flight 752 was shot down last week.

It has been very difficult to not be impacted by this senseless tragedy. The images of those individuals who were killed were those of everyday, average people. I know that many of you will be called upon to navigate this situation with your students, as is so often the case. As you attempt to help young people make sense of the events of the past week, don’t forget to allow yourself a few moments of personal introspection. For those of you in the classroom, do not hesitate to ask for help. The same goes for those of you in guidance. Lean on each other and you will be in a much better personal place to help the kids.

Now, onto other items.

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Check-In, Monday, January 6th

Good morning, County! Welcome to 2020! I hope today finds you rested and recharged after a well deserved holiday break.

As many of you may know, this marks my last year in the local President’s chair. That means that this seat will be coming up for competition in a few short months time. It is a full time release position, which does provide a nice break from the classroom, however, it also means a fair amount of after school time. If teachers need to reach out, that usually happens after the 3:00 bell. If any of you are considering a run for this position, I invite you to contact me for a bit of a “insiders view” of what the job entails. Read more

Check-In, Monday, December 2nd

Hey there County!

Happy December. I hope today sees all of you feeling at least a small pressure relief now that report cards and Parent/ Teacher meetings are behind you.

For those of you who may not have caught it, the NSTU has just won a major arbitration ruling on the government’s unilateral decision of a little over a year ago to pull certain classifications out of our union. These classifications including speech language pathologists, social workers and psychologists, will now have their NSTU membership fully restored. This is good news for our organization and for worker’s rights in general, and hopefully is a sign of things to come.

In other good news, I would like to congratulate our latest Inspire Award winner, Ash Lee Jefferson’s Lorraine Amirault. Ms. Amirault was quite surprised last week by my arrival at a sudden stand up staff meeting! Thanks to all the staff who helped keep the secret. If you have someone on your staff you believe deserves some recognition, drop me a line at (Click on the pic for a better look!)

Just a few more quick informational items before I wrap up. First, the social committee has cancelled the scheduled wine glass painting event, but will be looking to reschedule a bit later on this winter.

As well, the HRRC is sponsoring the first of two pre-retirement sessions on Tuesday, January 14th at 4:30 pm at the office here at 202 Brownlow. This year, the economic welfare committee is doing things a bit differently in that there will be a number of sessions provided, designed more as a series of courses as opposed to simply a one off. If you are interested in finding out more, or you wish to register, e-mail Tara Arsenau @

Finally, if you wish to put your name forward for the position of VP professional development for our local, the deadline for advance nominations is December 5th. Simply click on the link on our home page for more details.

That’s it for this week, all. Drive safe this week!

Check-In, Monday, November 18th

Good morning County, Happy Monday.

Another relatively quick one today. To start with, the nominations for the local executive position of 1st Vice President, Professional Development are now open. This person is responsible for looking after our professional development fund, sits on our local executive, and is part of the regional Article 60 Committee. For those of you interested in perhaps taking on a leadership role within your union, this is a key role in our local. If you wish to find out more, contact Jason Jennings at or you can download the nomination form here. Read more