Letters

Letter: class size, composition matter

To the editor;

We entrust to teachers our most precious resource, our children. They develop their academic, social and emotional cognition. Is this easy? Teaching is the second most stressful job in the world yet it is disrespected by the Liberals and certain bought out media. Parents must stand up for teachers! Our children no longer sit in quiet rows taking in information and regurgitating. Teaching is hard work, often with less family time and failed health!

Stand in a classroom; you will realize how draining and complicated the profession has become! Worry about the brain drain to easier and better remunerated careers. Teachers teach self development, critical thinking, cooperation, citizenship yet they are valued by the public for daycare and on the first whiff of job action, criticism begins. We forget that in a classroom there are individual learning styles and differences, multiple intelligences, differentiated instruction. Size and composition matter! ADHD, new language learners, hearts from broken homes and poverty, special needs with autism, Asperger's, pervasive developmental disorders, apraxia, aphasia, written output disorder. Still think composition does not matter?

A severely learning disabled child can learn with one to one daily teaching. Or he/she becomes a child with a learning problem affecting all learners. Visual /auditory perception, visual/auditory discrimination, visual/auditory memory, visual/auditory processing all affect learning. Specialist ratios are a must!

A gifted child can be tomorrow's leader or a drop out from boredom and lack of special programs. Again, specialist teacher ratios are a must and throwing a bit of money through the Learning Improvement Fund is insufficient and unfair.

When the average case load of a specialist teacher hits more than 30 it becomes unworkable. Exceptional kids have been neglected for 12 years. Yet there is no talk of ratios on the government side. Bureaucrats and politicians are entrusted with making important decisions about our children focusing on the almighty dollar. Our premier does not understand why teachers are different from other professionals nor does she seem to respect public education as she threatens with tax increases. Lock out, roll back, legislate.

Punishing those who give of their time freely because they care is mean and unproductive to both teachers and children. Please bring justice for kids and teachers as the court has twice ordered. Bargain in good faith for classroom size and composition, specialist teacher ratios and bring up B.C. teacher wages with the rest of Canada. Simple and sane, if media present the facts and parents stand up and demand it.

Niovi Patsicakis

Surrey

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