Editor, The Record:
I found it encouraging to see Mission young people organizing a protest against teacher layoffs.
Even if I have a different view point from those students on some of the issues that they are objecting to, I think just the act of protesting is something to be encouraged.
Reality and life experiences will change their attitudes, for better or worse, but for the moment they reminded me of when I was at SFU and we were protesting anything and everything. The young people at Heritage Park discovered that they do have a voice.
By all means, do your best to change the world, but my caveat is to do it before you’re 30, as priorities change and your focus will narrow as mortgages, jobs, and families overtake even the most socially conscious of us.
In many ways, the changes coming in the education system in Mission are unfair, but nobody every said that the world is fair. Uncertainty is a fact of life in the real world which these students will soon enter themselves.
Being a teacher is not a guarantee for lifelong employment.
You’re very unlikely to ever hear me saying a good word about the BCTF.
It isn’t the teachers themselves that I have a quarrel with. It’s the system that is in place that is far too concerned with what’s best for the BCTF over producing a well-educated person.
The article talked about students developing a critical mind, but how is that possible when the students are being undereducated?
The future of education shouldn’t necessarily include the BCTF. Union seniority is too often a get-out-of-jail-free card when it comes to job performance. Bad teachers must be told ‘there’s the door.’ The harm done by just one bad teacher has too many repercussions to simply let them stay in place. Five years in the teaching profession or 30, if you can’t perform your job then find something else.
The direction of education must change, so that this idea that no kid can fail before Grade 8 is abandoned. If he or she can’t do the work that would merit moving on to a higher grade then they shouldn‘t, as simple as that.
It is absolutely insane that we allow kids to just be pushed through the system with an unrealistic sense of entitlement along with self-esteem concerns far out pacing actual achievements.
I applaud those students for protesting. But I hope in time, when reality bites, that they will come to realize that the layoff of teachers based on seniority is only the tip of the iceberg of problems with education in BC today.
Compared to the private sector, teachers have enjoyed a privileged position with little accountability in job performance to us, the taxpayers.
Robert T. Rock