I am writing this letter in support of teachers in the public sector.
They are highly motivated professionals committed to teaching B.C.s most valuable resource, our children.
As a volunteer, I have observed master teachers in the classroom and have high regard for their skills in teaching, student assessment, classroom management and gentle guidance.
I have heard their concern that testing a child after he/she is held back two grades is too long to wait. They are concerned that there are not enough learning assistant/support teachers, and that their time is consumed by testing students, collating results and
preparing learning plans. Teachers are concerned about the ratio of students with specials needs per classroom increasing every year.
They also are concerned that the ceiling for class size is in danger.
Teachers are exhausted and burning out because special needs students are underfunded and the classroom teacher must supervise and find meaningful activities for the remaining time, in addition to regular classroom duties. I share their concern over the inability to negotiate a collective agreement through the government initiated bargaining process.
I can understand their mistrust of a government who stripped class size restrictions and composition from the contract in 2002. This action was ruled illegal by the B.C. Supreme Court.
Is it possible for this B.C. Government to appoint an impartial mediator? Would not binding arbitration be more equitable?
Lastly, I ask if prevention is not better than rehabilitation. We know that our prisons are full of inmates who have learning needs that were not sufficiently met in their youth.
Instead of building prisons, lets build individuals with the means that allows them to be productive members of society.
If you value public sector education, and believe that it needs to be protected, please write a letter to your MLA Hon. Shirley Bond or Hon. Pat Bell; the Premier, Christy Clark and the Minister of Education, Hon. George Abbott.
See www.leg.bc.ca/mla/3-1-1.htm for contact information.
Unfortunately these letters
cannot be sent postage free.