Ms.Sugarcoat. Here’s the thing- in the show Ms.Sugarcoat teachers the History of Canada. She avoids teaching about Residential Schools, because NO ONE learned about that shameful piece of Canadian history. So Pat, Ms.Sugarcoat’s beaver puppet blurts out the truth about the Residential Schools and she locks him up in the class’s puppet trunk. I wrote the show in 2012. This year, guess what? They are teaching about Residential Schools, starting this fall! It’s part of the curriculum! It’s about damn time! Or to quote Pat, “It’s a miracle!”
I debated taking out the whole scene. Then thought, “what if she’s a teacher who has to address this new curriculum?” Teachers are probably terrified on how to approach teaching this subject. Mainly because every word they say is being monitored. IF they don’t approach it the right way, parents will be on them. Administration will be on them.
And this reminds me why I do Ms.Sugarcoat. Teacher burn out is 5 years. Why? Because they are not just teachers. Nope. They spend most of their days parenting. They are lucky if they get through all the curriculum they have to in the year. And if they aren’t raising children to the parent’s expectations, they are in hot water.
In the end, I didn’t change the scene. Thanks to a good friend (Mary Lou) who said “it’s a period piece”. And she’s right. So many of us were not taught the dark side of our history. And why did it take so long for it to be addressed in schools?
Other updates- Transgender washrooms and GBLTQ in puberty…. of course Ms.Sugarcoat has no idea how to address these issues either. And how much of this is her job? And if she doesn’t do it in the “right” way, well, here come the parent emails….