Opinion » Editorial


Back to school matters



Back to school time is always hectic.

There's stress over which classes kids are in, who their teachers are, how their social interactions go and, of course, making that daily lunch!

This year there is the added stress of teacher action. For weeks leading up to school starting most parents weren't sure if classes would begin. Yes, there was a press release posted on the school district's website explaining that the only expected impact would be teachers withdrawing services not related to actually teaching.

But until the kids were sitting at their desks most parents weren't convinced that school would start.

I accept that a teacher's role is to teach, but my long, informative, and passionate involvement with our schools here has proven to me beyond a reasonable doubt that teachers do much more than teach and all of it invites the education of our children.

And they care, they really do.

What messages do our kids get when teachers are there to joke with them and serve up cake at the back-to-school barbecues; when they spend their afternoons and evenings helping to coach cross country, or basketball; when they lead after school programs to improve academic learning?

To me the message is clear: teachers are part of our community and the majority is committed to what they do. It is not just about what happens in the classrooms.

Many are raising or have raised their own kids in the corridor.

So then they must have been shaking their heads when they heard the edict from their union, the B.C. Teachers' Federation, that they were not to help fundraise for the local school-based annual Terry Fox Run.

Really? That is a public relation nightmare of a directive. Here we are celebrating the 30 th anniversary of one of Canada's greatest heroes and the message from the BCTF is teachers can't help, as they always do, collect the fundraising that kids do to help fight cancer through the run.

Along with this comes a notice home to Whistler high school parents that the back-to-school barbecue at that school was cancelled due to the job action.

Parent-teacher meetings are already on the shelf and parents face not getting report cards in November if job action continues, so to learn that the barbecue was off was really disappointing.

I'm left wondering if the statements made by BCTF representatives that education won't be affected by the job action will remain true. If parents can't find out how their kids are doing how can they deal with kids who are struggling.

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