Time for a Rant

1 03 2012

Today the teacher’s union in BC voted to escalate job action.  We have been without a contract since September.  When asked, a clear majority of teachers said that the biggest issue they wanted resolved was class size and composition.  Unfortunately the government took that out of our contract (illegally- per a supreme court decision) and it can’t be negotiated.

I am new to teaching, having had other careers including database management, banking and Export Management. I decided to become a teacher late in life because it was what I had always wanted to do, but was told that I was “too smart to be a teacher” or “would never make any money as a teacher.” I am fortunate to have a spouse with a good paying job, so I can pursue this passion.

I’m ok with my salary, I’m ok with Net zero, I’m ok with professional development being changed, I’m ok with the idea of having evaluations of teachers, and I’m more than ok with the idea that we should trust our administration to know who is the best candidate for the job rather than the person with the most years. (most of them find creative ways to do this anyway.)

I am NOT ok with removing restraints on class size and composition.  I have 27 kids in my grade 4/5 class, let me give you a little breakdown.

# of kids who can’t read at grade level = 3 (one who can’t read at all…)

# of kids who have to be given a personal invitation to begin each task, EVERY TIME = 3

# of kids who have a ministry designated learning disability = 5 (only one overlap with above)

# of kids who don’t have a designation because they are still on the “list” = 2

# of kids who have severe medical conditions which limit their ability to learn = 3

# of kids who are ESL = 2

Didn’t even get to the ones who have parents who are divorcing, are moving, don’t get breakfast etc. That is just “normal” these days.

Who is losing out here? The kids.  All of them.

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