Teachers and students deserve better

Parent of two girls in the public school system and married to a teacher who has been working 22 years educating and motivating our youth.

I am a parent of two girls in the public school system and married to a teacher who has been working 22 years educating and motivating our youth. In response to some negative misinformed comments in letters to the editor I would like to point out a few misconceptions that some people have about teachers.

Their workday does not start at 9 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. Most teachers are at school early, leaving well past the last bell and still take marking and projects home with them. Teachers spend their own time preparing and writing report cards three times per year.

For the months of July and August teachers are on unpaid vacation. Their salary is based on the 10-month school year.

I would estimate that our personal household budget has spent well over $200 dollars per year for books and teaching supplies that are not reimbursed.  Over 22 years that is a considerable sum of money.

Our education system is not a babysitting service. Parents and teachers should be working together. Healthy, well-nourished and rested children are the most successful learners. If a child is sick it is the parent’s responsibility to organize care for them at home.

Teachers require a university degree plus a further year of education to work in B.C.  As a group they are highly professional, motivated and tasked with educating our children who will shape our future. B.C. teachers’ salaries are among the lowest in Canada.

For our government to start trying to increase class sizes and reduce in-class support for special needs children is unbelievably short sighted and stupid.  Over crowded classrooms, portables, which are substandard, and integration of physically, mentally and behaviorally challenged students without adequate assistance, makes teaching even more difficult.

I ask you to please support our teachers by contacting your MLA and expressing support for the teachers in your area.

Our teachers and especially our children deserve better.

Neil Hughes

Surrey