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letter to BC Premier, and Minister of Education

September 5, 2014

As I rode my bike to work this morning, I stopped at the bottom of a steep hill, which happens to be in front of the local high school. I wanted to stop and tell the teachers picketing there how much I appreciate them, and how sorry I am that they are standing on the sidewalk instead of in their classrooms. I joked with them that I was daunted by the hill and had decided to walk my bike up, and they unanimously chorused, “Oh, you can do it! Just take it slow and steady.” When I told them the real reason I had stopped, they said, “Well, we’ll give you a hand, then. Let us give you a push to get started again.” We shared a laugh, but the moment struck me as the epitome of why I appreciate teachers so much. Instead of seeing the obstacle, they saw my potential to overcome it, with a little help, and they were there to be positive and encourage me to try.
My kids would normally be riding their bikes to school, too. These days, however, we are up early so I can drop them off at day camp, where they play board games and run around the playground – great for their social skills but not their brains. I arrive late for work, and leave early to pick them up in time, and then try to squeeze in some math and language arts work before they go to bed. I’ve looked up the curriculum online and have a renewed appreciation for how teachers meet all the expectations we put on them.
The cost of day camps for two weeks for two kids at the end of June, $800 that I hadn’t budgeted for on top of the summer camps they were registered for, was a blow to our family finances. But the bigger pain is the fact that the government doesn’t seem to support teachers. Teachers put in countless unpaid hours, and do a very demanding job under incredibly stressful conditions. I strongly believe that each government negotiator should spend a day trying to bring the best out of 30 kids in a classroom, each of whom deserves a special kind of attention for his or her needs, to better appreciate their position.
I was registered to complete a post-baccalaureate in Education this fall, but was offered a dream job close to home which caused me to postpone my education. I feel so lucky now that I may have found a job that still allows me to teach children every day, but through a local government outreach and education program instead of as a classroom teacher. I have talked to countless teachers this summer who have decided to leave the profession out of frustration. These lucky people who have other opportunities leave the system poorer, as do children who have the opportunity to be homeschooled or attend private school. I am so frustrated at the erosion of an institution that should be serving the needs of our whole community. Please consider my words and think about those teachers that helped me today, and all the teachers that helped you as a young person, and all the young people in our province who deserve a great education.

One Comment leave one →
  1. September 12, 2014 8:33 pm

    well said my dear friend!

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