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pending teachers strike, BCTF and the gov't

May 26, 2014, 7:14 a.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

What indications do you have that these do not already exist?

Teachers performance should not be reviewed by the academic performance of their students. They should be reviewed based upon their dedication, work-ethic and the quality of their lessons and methodology. Especially when they have to deal with a class composition that makes accomplishing their lesson aims virtually impossible and makes them spend the whole day putting out fires.

There are many reasons for children to do poorly academically. Very rarely is it because they have a lousy teacher. They are the easiest to blame though.

Unfortunately I would guess half the problems as I have discovered aren't the teacher. It is the Principal and Vice Principal especially if they are more the number cruncher and such types. My daughters Grade one teacher has given the impression that the the schools principal tends to be unsupportive of the teachers who want to help the students do better.

One of those type who no one ever sees around the school.

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

May 26, 2014, 7:48 a.m.
Posts: 3368
Joined: Dec. 10, 2002

If that's true, then I think I would have an excellent clue of what's going on as I have a kid that just finished going K-12 in our public school system and was taught by dozens of teachers.

I'll forget all the misinformation about working hours, salaries, class sizes, special needs, etc. as both the government and the BCTF fudge numbers. Instead I'll talk about teachers.

What I've had issues with are two things. The first is the off-loading of work onto the parents of the students.

I've noticed that too. The amount of homework we've had in Gr 1 and 2 is a bit disturbing. I believe they can't accomplish as much in the alotted class time as they are dealing with the composition and class size issues.

The second issue I have is what a teacher is teaching. When a system allows for a teacher to teach a course that they do not fully understand because of "seniority", then that is a big problem. When a teacher cannot explain a subject to a student and tells them "just read what's in the book", that's a problem. If there is a teacher who's much better qualified to teach the subject matter then seniority should not be part of the equation.

I believe that comes down to poor admin decisions. If admin can't use their resources correctly you need to have a sit down with them because you're right. That is a problem.

"May a commune of gay, Marxist Muslim illegal immigrants use your tax dollars to open a drive-thru abortion clinic in your church."

May 26, 2014, 7:50 a.m.
Posts: 3368
Joined: Dec. 10, 2002

If this is the type of open discussion and debate that is encouraged these days in our education system, then you're making my arguments for me.

I have no clue where you're going with this. I haven't been to Public School for 25+ years…

"May a commune of gay, Marxist Muslim illegal immigrants use your tax dollars to open a drive-thru abortion clinic in your church."

May 26, 2014, 10:02 a.m.
Posts: 11497
Joined: June 29, 2006

A raise of hands of all those that don't want to be paid more?

May 26, 2014, 10:43 a.m.
Posts: 8604
Joined: Nov. 15, 2002

I have a question for those who suggest teachers should be paid less because there is demand for the job.

How about firefighters? They got lots of time off, can literally sleep on the job if they have a quiet night shift and are paid quite well. There is huge competition for every position here in B.C. Literally thousands of applications. Should they be paid less? Many firefighters have second jobs because they have so much time off. Are they paid too much. How about cops?

I was a teacher for over 10 years so I am biased but I can tell you it is one hell of a challenging job. Very stressful, tiring and busy and the work that happens in the classroom is a only a portion of the workload.

My wife is also a teacher and right now she has had to leave the school grounds because the Gov't is locking them out of the classroom during recess and lunch. They also have to leave at lunch and by 3:30 in the afternoon and they can't arrive before 8:30.

For their trouble the Gov't has cut their pay by 10%. They are still expected to perform all of their duties including reports, but they are forbidden BY THE GOVERNMENT from doing any extra curricular activities or being in the school during recess and lunch.

Yep. Get rid of unions. When the employer treats workers so well why would you need a union?

On top of that my wife has a maxed out class. It is a 1-2 split so that number is 24 kids. Of those, 13 are identified as special needs. Everything from severe autism to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. She should have two full time aides in her class assigned to the two students with the highest needs (note - nothing for the other 11) but the admin decided to take one away to deal with issues in the rest of the school. The school actually receives funding for both because of the level of disability each has.

The one aide in the class works only with one student. That leaves 12 students with special needs and 12 who fall in the normal range to juggle.

Teachers have it easy!

May 26, 2014, 10:49 a.m.
Posts: 136
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

I have a question for those who suggest teachers should be paid less because there is demand for the job.

How about firefighters? They got lots of time off, can literally sleep on the job if they have a quiet night shift and are paid quite well. There is huge competition for every position here in B.C. Literally thousands of applications. Should they be paid less? Many firefighters have second jobs because they have so much time off. Are they paid too much. How about cops?

I was a teacher for over 10 years so I am biased but I can tell you it is one hell of a challenging job. Very stressful, tiring and busy and the work that happens in the classroom is a only a portion of the workload.

My wife is also a teacher and right now she has had to leave the school grounds because the Gov't is locking them out of the classroom during recess and lunch. They also have to leave at lunch and by 3:30 in the afternoon and they can't arrive before 8:30.

For their trouble the Gov't has cut their pay by 10%. They are still expected to perform all of their duties including reports, but they are forbidden BY THE GOVERNMENT from doing any extra curricular activities or being in the school during recess and lunch.

Yep. Get rid of unions. When the employer treats workers so well why would you need a union?

On top of that my wife has a maxed out class. It is a 1-2 split so that number is 24 kids. Of those, 13 are identified as special needs. Everything from severe autism to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. She should have two full time aides in her class assigned to the two students with the highest needs (note - nothing for the other 11) but the admin decided to take one away to deal with issues in the rest of the school. The school actually receives funding for both because of the level of disability each has.

The one aide in the class works only with one student. That leaves 12 students with special needs and 12 who fall in the normal range to juggle.

Teachers have it easy!

this is more and more the norm too, teachers bust their asses, and most I know work really hard and really care about their students. You couldn't pay me enough to deal with that many kids with that many issues on a daily basis, and at the end of the school day, you go home and do more marking and grading and research for lessons, and then some more on weekends. at least at the end of my work day I can turn my brain off and go for a ride. keep fighting the good fight, teachers, most under appreciated and important job in society and they get nothing but shit on by government and people who don't have a clue.

May 26, 2014, 11:01 a.m.
Posts: 8604
Joined: Nov. 15, 2002

Another fun fact!

In B.C. private schools receive 50% of the per student funding of public school students.

BC's PSF is a little lower than the national avg at 11,800. So let's call it $6000 for easy math.

St. George's School in Vancouver has around 1100 students. For the most part they are pulled from the wealthiest families in the Lower Mainland. That means the school receives $6.6 million from the provincial gov't EVERY YEAR.

But public school teachers are paid too much. And there is no money to decrease class sizes nor to pay the teachers more.

May 26, 2014, 11:04 a.m.
Posts: 14377
Joined: Feb. 19, 2003

I have a question for those who suggest teachers should be paid less because there is demand for the job.

I believe only Farmer has actually said that salarys should be lowered.

I have brought up the supply/demand part to say that I think the BCTF demand of 15+%/5 years is unreasonable given the supply/demand numbers. Somehow my other comments where I agree that they should take the offered pay raise that have been accepted by other public sector workers are translated as "OMG you hate children!!!".

Standard NBR I suppose.

May 26, 2014, 11:26 a.m.
Posts: 11497
Joined: June 29, 2006

I have a question for those who suggest teachers should be paid less because there is demand for the job.

How about firefighters? They got lots of time off, can literally sleep on the job if they have a quiet night shift and are paid quite well. There is huge competition for every position here in B.C. Literally thousands of applications. Should they be paid less? Many firefighters have second jobs because they have so much time off. Are they paid too much. How about cops?

But Cam, those are cool tough dudes doing cool tough hero dude stuff.

On top of that my wife has a maxed out class. It is a 1-2 split so that number is 24 kids. Of those, 13 are identified as special needs. Everything from severe autism to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. She should have two full time aides in her class assigned to the two students with the highest needs (note - nothing for the other 11) but the admin decided to take one away to deal with issues in the rest of the school. The school actually receives funding for both because of the level of disability each has.

This is a much bigger issue than most people realize. My wife taught kindergarten and has a special ed background so they loaded all the challenging cases in her room (3 kindergarten classes in the school). At that age they have not usually been diagnosed so there are not enough assistants right from the start. She had 2 kids that still shat themselves to deal with. How much pay is that worth?

May 26, 2014, 12:16 p.m.
Posts: 33648
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Some additional info on demands from both sides.
http://m.thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/2014/04/25/Employers-Association-updates-teacher-compensation-proposal/

It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.
- Josiah Stamp

Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.
- H.G. Wells

May 26, 2014, 12:29 p.m.
Posts: 1616
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

I have brought up the supply/demand part to say that I think the BCTF demand of 15+%/5 years is unreasonable given the supply/demand numbers. Somehow my other comments where I agree that they should take the offered pay raise that have been accepted by other public sector workers are translated as "OMG you hate children!!!".

Standard NBR I suppose.

in 1998/9 the bctf negotiated to have classroom size and composition as part of the bargaining process. that was stripped away from them by the liberals and the courts decided that was unconstitutional. the liberals re-wrote the legislation to say the same thing and this was again struck down by the courts. the liberals are continuing to appeal. teacher want the right to bargain on class size and composition as a way to ensure that children get the quality education they deserve.

in the past, teachers have given up wage concessions in order to make gains in class size and composition. they are willing to do so again but the gov't has stripped that right away from them.

the last contract (which was legislated btw) had no pay increase at all.

classroom conditions continue to get worse, and they are far worse than 20-30 years ago when we were all in elementary school. the stress load on teachers is increaseing b/c of this and the quality of the education in our public school system is decreasing because of this. as well, family lifestyles are not the same now as they were in the past. talk to long term teachers, there are more behavioural issues to deal with in the class room now than in the past. in short, the job has become more difficult while the resources and support have shrunk.

the $44-88K salary number gets dropped a lot but not all teachers even make the minimum. many teachers work a number of years on call before they get a full time position and make even less than the stated minimum. but even in light of supply and demand, do you think treating teaching as simply a lowest bid gets the job is the way to go about it? does it not make more sense to establish teaching as a well paid profession in order to attract and keep the best teachers on the job? there are good teachers leaving and taking early retirement because the job has become too stressful.

oh and you've also asked about performance reviews - there is a system in place. it does need to be tweaked, but teachers do get reviewed. one of the things the gov't wants to bring in is the ability to dismiss teachers who have even just one poor peformance review - i think that sets up potential problems.

for those of you who really don't understand the issues but think you do or who get the majority of your info from the media (which is typically gov't spin), take the time to talk to some teachers. ask them the questions that you have in a non-aggressive or intimidating manner and listen to what they have to say. the picture the liberals are painting is far different from the reality that teachers today are facing in the classroom.

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity ~ Seneca

May 26, 2014, 12:37 p.m.
Posts: 433
Joined: Feb. 9, 2011

Finally some reason coming back into this thread.

Couch Surfer: The biggest flaw in your argument is you keep relating teaching to the private or the rest of public sector. It doesn't work, teaching has far different and has too many variables involved. It needs it's own unique system. It can't just run work on standard private sector boiler plate. You're presenting your arguments well for the most part, I just don't think you really understand the situation. Some people are just less nice about saying that.

Switch: A lot of this offloading had to do with the Liberal Government education standards. Teachers are basically forced to teach a certain way, and get through a certain amount of material in the year, homework standards are are laid out in the grades curriculum. My Mom was teaching elementary school when this was happening. Her and many other teacher in her school were not happy with it, with many changes at the time (guess who the MOE was). She was disgusted by the amount of work she had to give her forth graders and the conditions she has to teach in. Combined with the fact that they were short textbooks, and the ones they had were falling part, and large classes with special needs kids, there's only so much they can do within the days hours.

There's also another argument that part of the "unloading problem" is just a perception by the modern parent who expects the system to take care of everything for them, but that's definitely not everyone, so I'm not going to (further) go there…

May 26, 2014, 12:56 p.m.
Posts: 815
Joined: March 13, 2004

Imagine for a moment you are tasked with determining the wage of 2 people. You are provided with 2 lump sums you need to give to each person based on their contribution for their past years work.

In one bucket is 100K and in the other $1 million.

Now image one person is a teacher and the other is a hockey player. Who would get the larger pay amount.

Seems to me we're in a pretty messed up society that wants to pay someone more for pushing a plastic piece of rubber around on a slab of ice that has no consequences on anything the moment the game is over than those that are tasked with educating our kids.

In most cases I believe in free market forces determining someone's income, but it seems to fail far too often.

May 26, 2014, 1:09 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Nov. 20, 2002

The hockey player brings wins, which brings fans, which brings money into the local economy, which in turn, makes more taxes to the government. It is very immediate payback, compared to the teacher who will take 20 years to mold a student into a productive and tax paying member of society. Politicians in 4 or 8 year terms can't wait that long. And if you don't take the hockey player, those damn Shelbyvillians will. That is our world.

Also, if you paid a teacher 1 million dollars, think of all the fights that will happen at the art museums thanks to over zealous teacher-dad's.

"Ripping Styles, Holmes!"
- Tommy Guererro, Search for Animal Chin

May 26, 2014, 1:13 p.m.
Posts: 1616
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

The hockey player brings wins, which brings fans, which brings money into the local economy, which in turn, makes more taxes to the government. It is very immediate payback, compared to the teacher who will take 20 years to mold a student into a productive and tax paying member of society. Politicians in 4 or 8 year terms can't wait that long. And if you don't take the hockey player, those damn Shelbyvillians will. That is our world.

Also, if you paid a teacher 1 million dollars, think of all the fights that will happen at the art museums thanks to over zealous teacher-dad's.

wow - that's your argument?

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity ~ Seneca

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