Education trumps extra-curriculars

Re: Teachers vote to withdraw from extra-curriculars, April 21.

To the Editor,

Re: Teachers vote to withdraw from extra-curriculars, April 21.

Why would teachers decide to withdraw from extra-curricular? Why now?

First, the government has left us with few legal options.

More importantly, however, the public needs to know the loss of teachers providing extra-curricular is a reality that has already been slowly occurring over the last 10 years.

It is also the possible future of public education.

The pressures in the classroom faced by many teachers in terms of growing class sizes and larger numbers of high-needs students has already left some with no option but to stop volunteering for these activities outside of the school day.

Teachers have to do this so they can continue providing students with the world-class education we have worked hard to create in B.C.

As class sizes and other demands continue to grow, teachers will not be able to continue to do it all; something has to give.

Unfortunately it may have to come from the volunteer time that we put in to coach or sponsor student activities.

We hope that parents see the crisis facing our public education system with the implementation of Bill 22.

Parents, please ask questions.

Please contact your children’s teachers and ask how many students they have in their classrooms.

Ask them how many students in the classroom require individual support, but are not receiving it. Ask how Bill 22 is going to affect their classrooms in September.

Then ask the government why under Bill 22 large classes will be acceptable as long as teachers will get a stipend for every additional student over already high limits.

Ask how this will create a better education for the students in the English, social studies, math, or science classroom of 33, 35, or more.

Ask your MLA if this is truly educationally sound and if they would willingly put their own children into a classroom of this size.

Ask the Minister of Education if he volunteers his time three to five days a week to coach kids on top of his workload.

Ask him, if it is really about the kids, why is he making it increasingly difficult for teachers to do so.

Kate Brooker