To the editor:
I am writing in response to Steve Randell’s letter, headlined B.C. teachers should reconsider their latest tactic, on page A9 of the April 25 Free Press, about teachers not doing extracurricular/volunteer activities.
His argument about equating what teachers do for students to what volunteer firefighters do or hospice volunteers do is ridiculous.
Nothing that teachers volunteer for is essential to the well-being of the student or is going to save their lives. Teachers volunteer to give students opportunities to enhance their educational experience.
Most of what teachers volunteer for could be done by parents and members of the community, but has been downloaded to the school and teachers and is now seen as part of our “job.” Programs can continue as long as parents and member of the community want to organize them.
Teachers do not take this decision lightly. Many of us volunteer our time because it is fulfilling to us and helps us to build relationships with students outside of the classroom. But, people need to realize the impact that Bill 22 will have on students with larger classes, less teachers, and less support for students.
As a secondary math teacher, I already see where parents have to hire private tutors to get their kids through math because we don’t have enough support for students within the classroom setting.
This will only get worse. Some students take more time to learn concepts, but there is no funding to accommodate this.
We have been backed into a corner by a government that refuses to negotiate with us and insists on stripping our contract.
Instead of bashing us for what we are not doing, maybe the public should appreciate what we do and rally against a government that insists on legislation rather than negotiation, has drastically underfunded our educational system and social services for years, pays their teachers among the lowest wages in the country and is responsible for the highest rate of poverty in the country.
I am proud to be a teacher.
100 Mile House