Schools of thought

Editor:

Re: Blank report cards fail to make grade, Dec. 1.

Editor:

Re: Blank report cards fail to make grade, Dec. 1.

It is ridiculous for teachers to force the government to waste thousands of dollars mailing out near-blank report cards.

I realize teachers are on strike now, but this report card issue just seems petty. The teachers are just putting more work onto the principal to hand out the report cards.

People are not going to want to deal with the teachers if they are doing things like this; it is just hurting their own cause.

I understand teachers feel justified in their actions, but this waste of resources just really bugs me.

Brett Orton, Surrey

• • •

We, proud teachers of Semiahmoo Secondary, are concerned about the perceived image of our job action.

Our school has a history of excellence in academics, languages, athletics, music, life-skill programs and many extra-curricular activities. The awards, scholarships and success stories are far too numerous to print here. These achievements are the result of the dedication and hard work of our entire school. In order to achieve this, teachers work many more hours than are required.

We are with your children for a minimum of six hours on a regular day, and often through our lunch break. The end-of-day bell signals the beginning of the next part of the school day for hundreds of students – the ones who receive the benefit of our expertise, with instruction, coaching, counselling and clubs.

The school is still abuzz with activity hours after the regular day.

As most people realize, school is not just about the books and marks. It is a community of caring parents, students and teachers – all working together to give meaning, confidence and a sense of accomplishment to students on their 12-year journey.

Students’ success is found in their transcripts, the opportunities they have and the citizens they become.

It would be an easy job if teachers simply headed home at the end of the school day, but teachers believe in fostering and developing students. These other aspects of the child’s development are enhanced by teachers who give personal time.

Some of the extra activities provided by teachers are: athletics (volleyball, cross country, tennis, swimming, basketball, rugby, track, water polo, frisbee, badminton and weightlifting); clubs (Globalizers, Earthworks, Hats for the Homeless, chess, math, student council, cancer club, toastmasters, debate, United Nations, tennis, Girl’s Gab and tech team); program extensions (tutorials, drama productions, music concerts, yearbook, Geo 12 field study, Law 12 court visits, arts shows, science fairs, physics and math contests, language/art field trips and counselling visits with families); and other activities (grad barbecue, senior dance, grad fashion show, grad dinner/dance, commencement, Skills Canada, Santa Claus breakfast, community dinner, scholarship applications, reference letters, athletic celebration evening, person counselling, Grade 8 welcome and school-spirit events).

The academic program is crucial. The next generation of adults depends on a solid academic foundation. Thus the issues of class size and the diversity of students in the classroom are critical to the teacher’s ability to deal with many aspects and challenges of learning.

We ask you to respect the values we bring to your children every day, and to give us support for a fair contract that values what we do.

Glenda Bowman, on behalf of 82 teachers, Semiahmoo Secondary

 

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