To our real educational leaders- where are you?

Although I respect the positive attitude of SD23 Human Resources during this LRB exam schedule, their cheeriness doesn’t match the teachers reality – we are on the sidewalk instead of inside the schools with our students.

I understand intimately of HR’s concern for the students who have adaptations and whether our site admin could provide an appropriate level of support. They were concerned about students doing their best on their exams. Really ? Isn’t that the very point teachers have been advocating all year! With funding AND policy, the system isn’t supported appropriately. HR shouldn’t be fretting about this. HR should be screaming back to the Superintendent and the Board of Education Chairperson- we need more money to make a fair deal and get our teachers back inside!

I underscore the truth- our highly paid, experienced, education leadership team should have the assets to cope. If not, then they should cry out loud and clear- enough -Mr. Fassbender , “we need a compromise now! ”

I am not cynical, I am just espousing the regular doctrine we routinely receive about educational and curriculum leadership. ‘Father knows best’ Ministry of Education on down to School Boards, directives and policies funnel down, aimed ultimately at the teacher who needs to accommodate just one more item. Teachers are being told at an alarming rate to add one more into his/her crowded practice. “Just do a little more with less. ‘ Working smarter not harder, is poor advice to a system trying to be caring while under duress.

Now there are exams this week and new concerns? Now districts are worried about ‘some’ students getting a fair shake?

Sorry but it’s time to say, put up or shut up- do you REALLY WANT TO HELP those of special needs and support the professionals who live it every day or NOT! Trustees and Admin at all levels need to stand as educators- real professionals- and speak up for what they KNOW is right! Valid sound, experiential evidence needs to be shared not just politicking . It’s a complex task I’m 2014 teaching and ASSESSING EVERY child. In fact, ‘personalized ‘ learning and opportunities are the mantra. It’s not that personal for a student who struggles and receive no targeted support. It’s not personal when a student has to take an online distance learning course and receive no help. It’s not that personal when we try to overload cases on a CEA or decline support to a teacher whose class composition just got severely compromised.

Let’s just use common sense and provide the support and respect the system and professional practitioners deserve. Consultation and cooperation could find a solution. I see admin, teachers , parents, solving complex issues daily. We have the know- how. We have the skilled teachers ready to work. The BC Government needs to get out the way. BC school trustees, admin and teachers could solve things if the chronic union bashing was cleared away – it’s just a Collective Agreement. It’s not like teaching a challenged youngster who is mad at the world!

This old pro will protest, picket and argue a lot longer because I care about my young colleagues and all the future kids who will be under served if we don’t solve it! WAKE UP PEOPLE! Our ‘leaders’ need some guts not politics! I am an experienced educator with no political axe to grind but this recent nonsense is absurd and we all know it. Three smart people in a closed office over lunch could make a deal. . I wish our trustees and administrators would courageously speak up. We are all served poorly too by the BC Liberals oppressive political interference with public education. This is not progressive management we are seeing from Victoria. This was not their electoral mandate. The silence from our Trustees and Superintendents is not progressive leadership. Teachers should not be the only citizens pushing back! Even our locally elected school boards will be the next to go. Surely we aren’t so weak and unaware not to see the old ploy at work here. Surely all the critical mass of educators can speak up and steer the Government in the sensible direction.

I respect the effort of management to stay cool and positive while our high school admin teams are worked silly but I think it’s time to take the gloves off! As management has reported concern with specific targeted needs during exams next week, perhaps it’s time they targeted some complaining toward the government who disregards their local expertise? Make our politicians accountable now. Let the experts in the field run a great BC public education field. Let the teachers get a fair deal.

From Al Smith – @literateowl


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