In our neck of the woods the teachers are all on strike. Well not really, apparently it’s more of a protest and they’re not teaching at the moment and they aren’t allowed to wear signs around their necks but are allowed to hold them on a stick as they lounge around outside our public schools. They call it a protest, you might call it a strike.
It’s always a hot topic whenever you talk about someone’s wages. It seems these days no one thinks they get paid enough and think they are worth more. Especially when the general public is being inconvenienced by disrupted service and picket lines. We who have non union jobs think union people get paid a ton of money and are resentful because our non-union jobs only pay a fraction of the cost. Not always entirely true but there it is none the less.
While I don’t know whether or not the teachers should get more money or not, I do know that this is an age old issue. Government says they have no more money, teachers say they need more. On the one hand in this economy you can’t squeeze money from a rock on the other hand, I am sure money is being wasted by the Government as we speak on useless projects.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against paying teachers more money or smaller class sizes. What I do object to is the fact that the entire system is falling apart and no one knows how to fix it. That this can go on and on for five months without any resolution. Good teachers or bad teachers, there are too many kids and not enough money to go around. When I hear reports of how the kids are suffering right now and have been since last September when this whole job action started, I can only be thankful that we put our own kids in private school. A very hard financial sacrifice it has been but I have to say worth it.
Where would E have been this past year? Not only was she significantly behind her peers, she was getting assisted learning and was on some “watch” list for the pysch assessment of which we had no knowledge. Within two days at the private school not only did we have a meeting with the teachers, but had our eyes opened to what sorts of problems E had been having. It’s been a rough school year but it would have been rougher had we not been pointed in direction of getting help.
It makes me angry to think that there are more kids like E out there in the public system that don’t fit into the normal curriculum and aren’t getting the time or help needed. Where are all these kids in the last year? Suffering and getting further and further behind because of the job action.
I don’t know how to fix the system. It almost seems like we are always our own worst enemies because as long as someone benefits from how things currently stand, there is no motivation to make the effort of change. After all, unions often end up protecting the lazy and incompetent even though that wasn’t why they were formed in the first place. Flame me if you will, but both my parents have worked for unions throughout the years and I have heard more than one horror story of how difficult it can be to rid yourself of bad employee because of union protection.
Else why is the teacher that was demeaning to my child still employed? Not a teacher in that building can stand to work with her for very long so every year she’s being shifted about the school into different grade levels and job sharing with different teachers. Why does she get to stay? Because she has a contract. Parents have no real power. We can complain to the principal but then we’re labeled as “difficult” and ignored from then on.
Would that happen in a private school? Not on your life.
Perhaps the Government should be taking a look at the private schools as to why they are so successful. Smaller class sizes might help for a start. In both our daughter’s class there are only 15 children. The first day of school E commented on how quiet her class was and how she could actually eat her lunch in peace. She said it with a big sigh like it was such a relief to her. Maybe kids wouldn’t be so hyper if there wasn’t always so much chaos going on around them.
Apparently sensory overload is a real and valid thing that affects our children more than we realize.
I’d like to go on strike too but I don’t think anybody would pay any attention except maybe my family when they ran out of clean socks or got hungry.