Letters to the Editor

Why I support the teachers

Re: Year-end strike is unethical (Our View, June 18)

The year end strike is not unethical.

The teachers, parents and students wouldn’t be in this predicament if years ago the government had provided the teachers the support they have always asked for and need.

I am a parent of a child with learning disabilities. If you have never spent time volunteering in a classroom then you really have no idea the struggles teachers have to teach the curriculum and trying to meet each child’ s learning needs.

When our child was in elementary the biggest problem was the large class size and the number of children with disruptive behaviours that continually interrupted the learning for all children in the class.

These distractions took away time for individual attention each child needs to meet their education rights. The teachers need assistants to help in class and provide the help to that struggling child or they will fall through the cracks.

Many children go undiagnosed as ours was until Grade 5.  We placed him in middle school early and had him diagnosed to find out his strengths and weakness. It is through this testing that an individual education plan was made.

My point is that each class has five to six students with IEPs. My question is who does the teacher teach: the student with the learning disability, the middle students or those students who are extremely gifted scholastically? If they don’t have the support then all the students lose out one way or the other.

Teachers do the best they can with what they have but they are taxed emotionally, physically and psychologically.

At the beginning of each school year, teachers are given a number of files of IEP’s. Teachers work hard to meet the needs of these challenged students and I am sure there are a few teachers who are overwhelmed by the numbers and don’t know where to begin because there isn’t the support they need.

Our son was  fortunate to have had a few incredible teachers while at Vic High who understood his struggles and took him under their wings.

Our son graduated with honours from Vic High due the dedication of the hard working teachers that touched his life.

You stated that the student is the biggest loser as the province and the teacher’s union continues spitting at each other. You are absolutely right.

If the government provided extra classroom support, reduced the class size and paid them for all the extra curricular activities and support they provide our students,  we wouldn’t be in this situation in the first place.

But don’t forget that when Christy Clark got in for a second term she was going to give her caucus a raise. Shouldn’t the teachers get the raise first as they have worked for the government longer?

If anything thing is unethical, how ethical is it for the government in 2002 to slash millions from the public school budget? Is it ethical to deny special needs students the support they need? How ethical is it to ignore court rulings? How ethical is it to force the teachers to strike as they did in the last rounds of negiotations?

Integrity starts at the top. I feel let down by the lack of mentorship our government has provided for our students and our teachers. My final grade for the government is an F!

Carrie Hryciuk, Esquimalt

 

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