I have just watched the Premier’s latest video ad about all he and his government are doing for education. Really? Allow me to speak to some of the points made about all they are doing for teachers, and indirectly to your children’s parents.
Classes have ‘soft’ caps. Which really mean they have no caps. Seems to me I had 30 students in my grade 4 class. Parents do you remember that?
This year I have done more ‘government-required assessments’ than ever before in my 23- year teaching career. These ‘assessments’ are all in the interest of government data collection. Parents, I can certainly tell you what your child is unable to do. However, I do not have the resources or sufficient time to ‘teach’ them how to do it.
Premier, you mentioned the reinstatement of the Reading Recovery program. This is only offered to less than 25% of schools in our whole board. We do have a part-time early literacy teacher. This one specialist is split between 2 schools and has so many students who need help she couldn’t possibly get to all of them. She is only focused on grade 1. There are students in my grade 4 class who are reading way, way below grade level that I need to read everything, and I do mean everything to. They are not even considered for Reading Recovery. They’re too old at the age of 9.
I LOVE to teach. I have 5 degrees relating to education, two of which are master’s degrees. I chose to upgrade my license, at my own expense, in order to be the best teacher I can be. I work many, many hours after your children leave my classroom.
I buy many, many things to help motivate and help your children learn at my own expenses. 99% of the teachers I know do the exact same thing. If I were to take everything I purchased with my own money out of my classroom IT WOULD BE BARE. Parents would be shocked to see what is actually provided to teachers to do their jobs. Do nurses buy their own bandaids? No, but I do. Does the teller at the bank buy their own pens, elastics and calculators etc? No, but I do.
I am told how to write a comment on a report card by the government. “Johnny is thoroughly meeting the expectations of his outcomes in math”. What?? Give me some credit please Mr. Premier. I’m a smart woman. Will you please allow me to write a comment that actually tells the parents of my students how their child is doing at school? No, I’m not allowed!
Parents you will now see on the next set of report cards that your child will be receiving a ‘mark’ of WD, D, etc. in science, social studies, health, physical education and music. What does WD stand for? Well developed, developing etc. I cannot give them a mark anymore. Nor, can I give an A, B, C etc. That would simply say too much.
I could go on and on and on. I voted YES to strike. Do I want to go on strike? No. However, this government has left me no choice.
Parents, I am fighting for your child’s education! My working conditions are your child’s learning conditions, and your child deserves better!