Schools need extra resources

Educator calls for improvements in the classroom to benefit students

Three months ago, I started tutoring a Grade 1 student in math and reading. He struggled with letter-sound correlation and putting sounds together. I took him back to the basics of reading and broke it down in a way that made sense to him.

In three short months, he is now reading at the mid-Grade 1 level.

He loves to read and is willing to take risks. His parents are proud of his success and the confidence he exudes. It warms my heart to continue to work with him and yet it’s also sad because he shouldn’t need a tutor. His classroom teacher would be able to do the same thing if he or she had a smaller class and more support from a specialist teacher.

However, the government continues to believe there is nothing wrong with the current education system.

In fact, they believe our system is so robust they can cut even more time from specialist teachers and put more students in the already burgeoning classrooms.

They seem to think teachers are these amazing, miracle workers and we could teach a pig to fly if we wanted. Well, I’m sorry to let the cat out of the bag, but we aren’t miracle workers. And we certainly aren’t treated as miracle workers.

We are human beings and we have our limitations.

We would love to challenge, support and encourage all of our students and see them reach their potential. However, most of our students are lucky if they receive five minutes of undivided attention per day. And with a government that wants to cut even more, that personal time goes down.  Is that what you want or envision for your kids, grandkids or for B.C.’s future?

What would have happened to my student if his family couldn’t afford tutoring?  There are thousands of kids just like him who only need some extra support in order to move forward.

However, the government thinks our kids are fine floundering on their own.  Or maybe they believe everybody learns the same way and at the same speed so supports aren’t needed. Newsflash — in my split Grade 5/6 class, I have Grade 1 readers all the way up to Grade 8.  Students do learn differently and at different speeds.  Some students need lots of reviewing and some understand it the first time.

Schools need the extra resources and supports to make sure every student has the opportunity to succeed. It breaks our hearts knowing that we can’t give our/your kids what they need every day. The classroom you envision your child to be in is not the same classroom the government is trying to force upon our children.

Stand with us and let your voices be heard. I urge you to write letters to your MLA and Christy Clark. Enough is enough. Our kids deserve better.


Sarah Rowat