Back-to-school has been on the minds of a lot of people in British Columbia.
Getting ready for the fall has meant more than just new backpacks, school supplies and first-day-of-school outfits – there are teaching reinforcements coming across B.C.
The former B.C. Liberal government’s drawn-out court conflict with teachers over class sizes and composition left schools, we think, under-staffed and under-resourced for too many years. That’s being corrected, now, as the previous government lost in court, thanked the Supreme Court for its guidance and announced $330 million to fund 2,600 teaching positions.
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It remains to be seen whether more teachers can be transformative for our education system, but it’s easy to see the benefits for our schools. Kids learn in so many different ways and at so many different paces, and theoretically, each of them now receive incrementally more individual attention. There’s a greater chance, now, that they’ll cross paths with the sort of teacher who can leave a positive, lasting influence and maybe make them interested in books and learning. Most of us probably remember having those sorts of teachers when we were young and every kid should be so fortunate.
This additional education funding also provides more opportunities, we hope, for teachers just entering the profession, this year and over the years to come. They’ll bring up-to-date training and new methods, because the world has changed a little bit and other knowledge is prized beyond reading, writing and arithmetic. If we want to not only maintain our education system but become leaders, it will take progression and we need new teachers bringing new ideas into as many schools as possible.
It’s easy to see barriers to sustainable education funding as changing demographics present moving targets. We hope a new government will bring ideas about exceeding baselines and bare minimums that have existed in our schools.
Back to school is an opportunity to begin anew, get those grades up, and enable our bright kids to go be brilliant.