Musings from a high school Teacher
I don't often take to the Web to vent. I try to be thoughtful in what I post. Often, knee jerk reactions tend to be regrets. I have done nothing but think about the state of affairs in public education these days. It has become very apparent to me that the majority of people I talk to think that public education, like health care, are worth fighting for. I have no doubts that the vast majority of BC residents want nothing more than the best in education for our upcoming generations.
It stands to reason that an educated society is a benefit for all. I am, therefore, at a loss. The proverbial "we" spends a lot of time liking and forwarding memes and blog posts on Facebook and similar mediums in order to spread the word of our discontent. It reaches many and quickly. I have worn many hats across my teaching career thus far. As class sizes balloon and enrolment numbers allegedly shrink, I have been shuffled from position to position and been forced to adapted like a chameleon.
I am currently a technology teacher, so I get the social media thing. I am, however, shocked that this seems to be where it ends. We pass around these blog posts and memes to spread the word but that never goes anywhere. It becomes some funny picture of Christy Clark talking about education while enrolling her son in private school. I understand the intention but as British Columbians, and as Canadians, where is our follow-through?
Why is it that we are content to let teachers and other unions stand out in front and fight for the rights of everyone? Why are there not more people out there doing something about this? Teachers take a pay cut, while attempting to keep all students caught up and ready for year end. They have worked all year planning for things like track meets and year end field trips. When these privileges are in jeopardy, teachers are to blame for their selfish want of better working conditions.
Let us just look at what those selfish conditions are. Teachers are losing pay and, more importantly, sleep to ensure the youth of this province are treated like people that matter. They are fighting for smaller class sizes, and it's not because they are lazy or unable to do anything but teach (that misnomer might be my favourite one); rather, they want to give students a better chance to learn at their own pace and have the support they need to do so. I, for one, know the quiet students that just does what they are supposed to and truck along. They get lost in the day-to-day demands of the classroom. It is simple: less students per class equals more teacher one-on-one time.
I heard it best from a colleague the other day: "Invest now, or pay later." I think we have been a "pay later" society for too long. I know it's cliche, but "be the change you wish to see in the world." If you truly believe public education is a priority, then stand up to the government that is attempting to make a two-tiered education system: one where if you have money you get a stellar education, and if you don't, too bad for you!
Instead of just passing along the blog posts and the memes, join the teachers on the picket line, write letters to the Ministry of Education demanding they stop this nonsense, and let me and the 45,000 other teachers in this province get back to doing what we are trained to do, and that is teach.
I have thought long and hard about this. I put this out there as a plea to the public to stand up and be counted.
Striving to explore flip: explain in order to engage!