The B.C. Retired Teachers’ Association, which represents 15,000 retired teachers in B.C., stands firmly with the active teachers in our province who seek to maintain quality education for their students. The current issues about class size and composition are the same issues that we fought for and thought were resolved in the past. Once again, as in 1993 and 1998, it seems that the government’s only answer is legislation.
Everyone who has gone to school feels qualified to judge the education system, but just as the public does not fully comprehend the workload of doctors, nurses, firefighters and the police, so too do they not understand the time commitment in education. The work does not stop when the students are dismissed at the end of the instructional day, it just changes location. I can attest as a secondary school teacher, that marking alone added 28 hours a week to the visible working day. And in the classroom, if one special needs student demands 50 per cent of a teacher’s time what do the other 29 students get?
Just as doctors and nurses are in the best position to guide us in the preservation of the health care system, so too are teachers in the best place to help us maintain quality education for our students. Supporting education today is building the future.