10 signatures reached
To: Kathleen Garner, Superintendent; Marlene Harroun, Principal; and Jean-Aimé Lalonde
The purpose of this letter is to have our colleague, Jean-Aimé Lalonde remain on staff with us at John Fisher Public School.
Why is this important?
Toronto District School Board
5050 Yonge Street
Toronto, Ontario M2N 5N8
Dear Kathleen Garner:
We understand that John Fisher PS teacher Jean-Aimé Lalonde has made the decision to change schools due to a misunderstanding between a few members of the community and him.
We feel that his decision was made in haste, especially since all concerned authorities dismissed this misunderstanding and ruled Jean-Aimé is fit to continue teaching at our school. In an effort to avoid further conflict between the parent community and teaching staff at John Fisher, Jean-Aimé has decided to leave the school, in spite of his dedication and love for our community.
We, the teaching staff at John Fisher, have not been consulted, and we understand that there is no obligation to consult us on this matter. Nonetheless, we would like to make our views known.
• We appreciate our colleague Jean-Aimé for the immensely valuable contributions to the school he has made and continues to make every year and how strongly the students benefit from his programs
• Few gym teachers possess his extraordinary background and profound pedagogical understanding in sports and movement
• He is a native French speaker, which is rare and so valuable in the French Immersion environment
• He is consistently building team spirit, both for teachers and students
• He is always ready and willing to help his colleagues in any way he can (e.g., sharing his work space to accommodate varied initiatives)
• He has dedicated his endless passion and given up his personal time for the school community by organising events as Jump Rope for Heart, Track and Field or Cross Country
• He takes the lead with the aforementioned established school events but also introduces new and upcoming sports such as Kinball, founded in Canada and played internationally, or takes a supportive role in huge events like The Terry Fox Run
• He incorporated seamless classroom management techniques which many of us frequently took back and incorporated readily and successfully into our own teaching
We could continue listing all he has accomplished for the school for many, many more pages. IN a nutshell, it would be difficult to find someone who takes on these huge tasks with as much joy and attention to all the fine details as Jean-Aimé does. Many of us sat in wonder in the gym whenever we had the opportunity to watch our students in Jean-Aimé's program. The children's joy at their successes was palpable, but it was also clear to us that the children were also having fun. From a pedagogical standpoint, they were systematically and effectively building their strength and developing their skills.
He is a gifted, intuitive teacher, who is also armed with an extraordinary wealth of background experience in sports, dance, pedagogy and the arts, which informs the way he sets parameters, challenges and behavioural expectations in his programs.
We know that it has been a difficult time for our colleague and we feel that it would be best if he were able to heal from the hurt amongst friends and colleagues.
We are concerned when we see that a highly valued member of our school should be made to feel that the best choice is to leave when he was perfectly content at John Fisher PS. And we are also concerned that if this is allowed to happen, we are all vulnerable to the whim of a few that, through persistence and threats, obtain an unjust result to their unfair demands.
John Fisher PS is a school built on understanding and collaboration between parents, students, administration and teachers. We strongly feel that the unfair pressure from a very limited group of parents will result in a great loss for our teaching staff and for all the students at our school. Investigations have been conducted, Jean-Aimé is cleared to continue his phenomenal work and yet, this limited group of parents is set to impose their views on a matter that will affect us all. This is NOT how we build our school. Losing Jean-Aimé for the sake of avoiding a potential public relations fight is not how we operate. On the contrary, when one of us is under stress or subjected to injustice, we all come together and work for the best result for all, not for a few, no matter how loud those few may become.
We are aware that Jean-Aimé has expressed his intention to change schools for the next school year. We would appreciate it if you could help us keep him as part of the teaching staff at John Fisher Public School. Our school needs teachers like him.
Thank you for your consideration,
The Staff at John Fisher.
Cc: Marlene Harroun, Principal JFPS
Jessica Feldberg, Vice-Principal JFPS
Jean-Aimé Lalonde, Teacher JFPS
Helen Victoros, ETT Executive Officer