Home
Site Search  
RSS feed

Teacher newsmagazine

TeachBC
BCTF Online Museum
FacebookTwitterYouTube
BCTF Advantage
Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 16, Number 2, November/December 2003

Teachers speak up for public education

Sophie Aerts, Vancouver

I am proud to be a teacher because…
of the spark of learning that I bring to my students’ eyes, the pride that I’m able to help them develop in their abilities and achievements, the respect that is nurtured between teachers, students, administrators, and parents as well as the knowledge that I have one of the most important and terrific jobs in the world!

Changes my students have experienced in the last two years…

  • larger class sizes
  • less ESL, LAC counselling, and behavioural assistance support
  • less funding for resources (thus more time is spent copying material off the board, money and paper wasted on photocopies, and time spent scrounging age- and level-appropriate units for themes to fit the curricula).

I would really like to tell Education Minister Christy Clark…
1. to scrap Bill 51—the whole idea is going to cause havoc within our school systems and communities.
2. to reinstate our collective agreement. (How about trying to teach a class of 32 students with a few kids with special needs thrown in, all by yourself, for five minutes? I strongly encourage you, Ms Clark, to drop in on a variety of public schools and try that! You might have a greater appreciation and understanding of what we do day to day!)

 

John Ashbridge, Fernie

I am proud to be a teacher because…
…I love introducing children to the world of music. It is rewarding to have a child who can’t play an instrument or read music learn how to do so.

Changes my students have experienced in the last two years…
…having teachers become more and more frustrated with their jobs. Also, having teachers becoming more depressed about their jobs and losing the excitement they had when they had more job security.

I would really like to tell Education Minister Christy Clark…
We had (we can have again) the best education system in the world. What you and the Liberal government have done has turned the clock back 30 years. Why are you scared of us? Are we the enemy?

 

Lorraine Baron, Central Okanagan

I am proud to be a teacher because…
I work very hard to improve opportunities for young adults. Because I authentically care and work hard for my students, they, in turn, respond by enthusiastically participating in their own learning. I am honoured to teach them.

Changes my students have experienced in the last two years…
Class sizes are larger, and there is less time for me to help individual students. Young people have been discouraged about the lack of respect/support the public and government has shown for teachers, so they are not entering the profession. There are not enough math specialists to provide the best support for students.

I would really like to tell Education Minister Christy Clark…
…to please forget about the few bad experiences you may have had as a student. I welcome you to spend a week with me and see just what professionals most of us are. Please respect us; we know what we are talking about. We have been in schools all our lives. We choose to teach.

 

Almas Godfrey, Vancouver

I am proud to be a teacher because…
I believe my skills help students learn about a subject I am passionate about. I have genuine, caring relationships with kids from all different backgrounds.

Changes my students have experienced in the last two years…

  • cuts to everything
  • great books out there but no money to buy them
  • demoralization of all concerned.

I would really like to tell Education Minister Christy Clark…
• Get real!
• Education is the biggest equalizer of human beings—it is a right under the Canadian constitution.

 

Sandy Goldman, Richmond

I am proud to be a teacher because…
As a teacher-librarian, I get to open students’ hearts and minds to the joys of reading and the excitement of discovering how to find answers to their ever-present questions.

Changes my students have experienced in the last two years…
They don’t see me or get to use the library under my guidance nearly as often. We went from 21 blocks of teacher-librarian time to 12 last year. We are up to 14 blocks this year. That really means a paltry two days out of five to serve every student and staff member in the school.

I would really like to tell Education Minister Christy Clark…

  • Look to the Alberta Report on education and its call for restored funding.
  • Look to the recent Ontario election results. Voters were fed up with the battlefield public education had become under eight years of "common sense" divide-and-conquer techniques.
  • End the politics of division you have brought to our system. Treat teachers, students, parents, and boards of trustees with respect. These children are our future. They deserve a fully funded, full-service system, not cutbacks and closures.

 

Rachel Liddell, Victoria

I am proud to be a teacher because…
I can make a positive difference to my students lives and their learning. Through guidance and encouragement my students gain confidence and skills that enhance their lives.

Changes my students have experienced in the last two years…
Feeling proud and confident that with their best effort they can accomplish any reasonable goal they set their mind to.

I would really like to tell Education Minister Christy Clark…
I wish I had more time to spend with every student. The large class sizes make it very difficult to work with, assist, and really get to know each student’s needs and skills. Please give your head a shake and try to see that low student/teacher ratios are well worth fighting for!

 

Ruth Margison, Surrey

I am proud to be a teacher because…
I feel I can make a positive difference in students’ lives.

Changes my students have experienced in the last two years…
In spite of the fact that we are an inner-city school, we are seeing larger classes and cuts in special education (SEA and learning support time).

I would really like to tell Education Minister Christy Clark…
We need more library and SEA time desperately! Teachers are becoming ill because of workload, kids are not getting the time they deserve, and behaviour problems are surfacing as a result of student frustrations. Our literacy program is suffering because of cuts in library time; we are unable to schedule kids into guided reading groups in the efficient manner we previously used. Since the focus of the ministry and our school is to improve literacy and have students feeling positive about themselves, it seems to me that it would be in our best interests to address some of these problems. We need more teachers!

 

Kelly McKinney, Peace River

I am proud to be a teacher because…
What I do is important. I am helping kids grow into adults. I am preparing them for the future. I am shaping children’s lives.

Changes my students have experienced in the last two years…
Larger class sizes, less extra-curricular, and more students with special needs in each room. I am expecting there to be ramifications at school once people have their financial assistance reduced in April.

I would really like to tell Education Minister Christy Clark…
Support your teachers! I have never felt so alone in my entire career. Work with teachers and not against them. I feel this is a witch hunt and the government is out to get to me; it’s like you are just waiting for me to make a mistake so you can get rid of me.

 

Joanne Nokleby, Chilliwack

I am proud to be a teacher because…
I have had the privilege of being one of the first teachers in the public education of a child, as I am a primary teacher. I have always tried to make each child’s experience in my class a positive one. It makes me proud when children I have taught are excited and happy to see me.

Changes my students have experienced in the last two years…
Lack of support from learning assistance, district counsellors, speech pathologists. These people are always/often in meetings or doing ministry paper work, and this takes away from direct help to the students.

I would really like to tell Education Minister Christy Clark…
I have taught for 25 years and recently I was harassed verbally by a parent I had never met. He has now been barred from coming near me. I felt unsafe at work and had to take time off. I worry that you are encouraging parents to "bully" teachers and then rationalize this behaviour by saying "We are doing it for our kids."

 

Cassandra Smith, Nanaimo/Ladysmith

I am proud to be a teacher because…
I am able to make a difference in young people’s lives. I feel I am a great leader and role model. Just being a part of a school community makes me proud. Sadly, as a TOC, I am not working in a school this year. I feel very disconnected from the system

Changes my students have experienced in the last two years…
• larger class sizes
• lack of funding

I would really like to tell Education Minister Christy Clark…
I challenge you to be a teacher for one month. I hope that would allow you to see what it is like in a school where there are large class sizes, and the change in our youth today. It is not as easy as you think! There is a lot of planning and adapting for students’ needs.

 

You can speak up for public education by going to www.bctf.ca/SpeakUp.html



  • FacebookTwitterYouTube
  • TeachBC
  • BCTF Online Museum
  • BCTF Advantage