Back in the classroom but …

Teacher provides his thoughts on the current state of the classroom

I have been back in the classroom for over two months now. It is great to be with my students, exchanging ideas, creating, learning together and sharing perceptions.

This is why I became a teacher; to make a difference, to help young people become inspired citizens.

When I step out of the classroom, the atmosphere changes.

I feel an indifference to school spirit, a general attitude of resignation…..a funk has set in.

Clearly, the Liberals won. Teachers are broken. We love and care for our students but we no longer care about the system.

Back in my classroom, I look out over 30 Grade 10 social studies students. Five students have severe behavior difficulties and consume a great deal of class time.

The majority of the class is trying to remain engaged and enjoy the lesson. I do my best to keep order and maintain a positive learning environment.

After a bitter strike I have gained nothing. Classroom conditions are worse than ever.

Outside the classroom, very few teachers are volunteering. Not because they don’t care. Teachers no longer feel valued. We care less about school functions  because morale is at an all time low. Don’t expect this malaise to evaporate.

Teachers were fighting hard for students and classroom conditions. We were trying to return educational funding to something above a national disgrace.

For our efforts, educators feel hated by our elected Liberal representatives, shunned by our school boards and abandoned by our school districts and their administrators.

All the while, our anemic union botched any hope of a decent contract. No real wage increase, no class composition and no hope.

In the 17 years I have been a proud teacher, I have never seen our education system so poorly run and our teachers so poorly treated.

Congratulations to Premier Christy Clark and Education Minister Peter Fassbender on five years of labour peace.

Brent Applegath

Vernon