School, but not school

As you may know, our oldest daughter started school on Tuesday, but they have not yet been told who their teacher will be or what classroom they will be in. I know this is not the fault of the teachers or the school, but is apparently a direct result of a provincial funding system that means many teachers are laid off at the end of the school year and are not re-hired until the district has tallied up the numbers of students who register in September. Schools are staffed so closely to the maximum number of students each teacher is allowed. In the meantime, our children are playing around and not actually sitting down in a classroom for academic instruction. On top of that, some teachers still do not know if they will have a job, let alone what grade they will be teaching. I am not for a moment suggesting that the teachers are happy with the situation. I am sure they would be happier to know where they stand and to get on with the job they love. However, as a parent, my primary concern is for the well-being of my child and for her education. A field trip in the first week of the semester is a joke and a waste of precious resources.

It is definitely time to start educating myself about the system and the politics behind it. I do not believe that nothing can be done. Apathy is a curse! Someone must be accountable and change is always possible, but not if everyone grumbles, then sits back and takes no action. We all have a voice and should make ourselves heard when we have something to say.

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~ by Pip 'n' Milly Creations on September 11, 2010.

2 Responses to “School, but not school”

  1. Welcome to the world of the public education system! I have been dreading the time when Ella started public school. I have heard all sorts of things since my sister’s kids started school about 5 years ago.

    Apparently the school is blaming Bill 33, which sets out class size limits. They have to make sure that not only their particular school meets the class size limits but all others in the district before they can assign students to their classrooms. At least at our school they had the kids in groups which rotated through six learning activities; so I do feel that there was some learning going on. At our school, the Grade 1-3’s didn’t have a fieldtrip last week, however, Grades 4-7 did, which I found quite odd! Where was Pip’s fieldtrip?

    I suppose the first thing you could do is join in on the PAC meetings and get your voice heard.

    • Hi Ann

      I will definitely be joining the PAC this year and learning as much as I can about the system. The thing that bothered me the most yesterday was the attitude from several people that, although they weren’t happy with the system, there was nothing we could do to change it. I simply do not believe that! We have a voice for a reason and if we don’t use it to communicate how we feel, what is the point? Our children’s education is at stake, as well as the future well-being of the country. Are we to be content to sit back and set an example of apathy? Is that truly what we want for our children? If someone can explain to be honestly why the children and teachers have had to pass the time this week while the administrators figured things out, then I might understand it. If there is a rational explanation for why the administrators could not have been in place last week, taking registrations and sending the numbers to the district, then I will happily listen. They can dress it up however they want, but the reality is that for almost 4 days this week, the children have been shuffled around, doing socialization activities. I’m sure there have been some critically important lessons involved somewhere, but for me, the priority is academic instruction. Pip’s field trip was to the beach! Two months of summer holidays and we go to the beach in the first week back! Five teachers, plus some EA’s, several parent volunteers, 2 buses and dozens of plastic buckets. Wise use of precious resources? You be the judge.

      Rant over! I’m off to read up on Bill 33 now.

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