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BCTF School Staff Alert


May 28, 2009

Believe it or not


Imagine what you could do in your classrooms, for your students, if you were supported.

Imagine what teachers could do for all of our students if “student achievement” was more than a trendy buzzword.

Imagine what you could do for your kids if less time and fewer resources were spent trying to claim conditions are just fine and the government finally got on with funding their own class-size and class-composition legislation.

Here is a sampling of the reasons the employer has given, in class-size hearings, to justify stating that a classroom is “educationally sound” or “appropriate for student learning:”

  • If the student learned something, the class was appropriate. The “good” students did fine.
  • As long as teachers cover the outcomes, it doesn’t matter how they got there.
  • Split classes are not necessarily more complicated or more work. Teachers often ask for them.
  • Teachers may disagree but they didn’t ask for more staff or more assistance.
  • Teachers didn’t tell us they disagreed. We would have changed things if we had known.
  • If a student was absent or pulled out for assistance, the class was smaller.
  • Grey-area students are not part of the legislation. ESL students are not designated. They create no significant work.
  • There are learning assistance and ESL classes available for these students.
  • The class is a big room so there is room for more students.
  • The kids got used to the interruptions caused by that student acting out.
  • Our teachers are very capable—so whatever situation we give them, they make it appropriate for student learning.

As organizing for next year’s classes gets underway, teachers need to request increased resources and be mindful of the implications of agreeing to anything other than what is prescribed in legislation governing class size and composition.