Podcasting is old hat for five seventh graders from Hamilton's Dalewood Middle School who are upset about the labour dispute between teachers and the province.
They're part of the Dalewood Catalysts — a "self-contained gifted class" that's trying to improve both the school and their community. They took to the mic Friday morning to voice their concerns over the labour dispute that's raging between teachers and the government in Ontario schools.
You can listen to their podcast here:
The class makes some interesting observations during the 10-minute podcast.
Student Ethan James likens the student position in this dispute to Poland's during the Second World War — not a direct player, but indirectly affected nonetheless. "We are the Poland of the twentieth century," he says.
Jimmy Cushnie has a bleak view of school life for students in the coming days. "I see a morbid future ahead of us," he said.
Caius Roncone mediated the chat — and he told CBC Hamilton he thinks teachers should have gone on strike anyway, even in the face of a proposed $2,000 per person fine.
"You have to show things are worth fighting for," Roncone said. "If you see someone doing things even at the risk of fine, you see they really want to do it, even with the risks."
That said, the 12-year-old calls the entire process "kind of dumb."
"But it's not so much the teacher's fault," he said. "It's the teacher's union."
"The majority of teachers in this school want this over. This is the union's thing."
The Dalewood class is taught largely through "project-based learning," said instructor Zoe Branigan-Pipe. They often use online tools and do lots of podcasting.
Branigan-Pipe largely stayed out of her student's way Friday morning to let them do their own thing and not influence the outcome. "They need to know their voice is heard," she said.
"These kids are amazing. They are just an incredible class."