SPRINGHILL - Want to learn from the young people in your riding? Go to school with them.
That is what Cumberland South MLA Jamie Baillie did on March 2. The province's Progressive Conservative Party leader spent the morning with students at Springhill High School, doing everything from serving breakfast in the hallway, to watching a film on African heritage with Grade 12 English students.
"I think, if you want to be premier and you want to be in charge of the education system, you should actually understand what's going on in the classroom," said Baillie. "So, when the invitation went out, I instantly accepted."
Baillie pointed out that all members of his Progressive Conservative caucus took were taking part in the Take Your MLA to School Day, an initiative by the Nova Scotia Teachers Union, aimed at highlighting the successes and the challenges facing the public school system. During his time at the school he job shadowed teacher Shannon Black.
He commended Black for her management of the classroom, and the students for their responsible behaviour, which he said members of the legislature could learn from. Most of all, he said it was a learning experience to see what goes on in the classroom every day.
"I believe this is part of building an alternative to the current policy of cuts in the classrooms, etc., that we can implement when we get in," said Baillie. "It's important people know, when we're setting education policy, that we have some practical experience to guide us. Today is just an example of that."