Busy Time for Teachers
Prince George, B.C. – Teachers in the Prince George School District have been busier than usual this week preparing for the start of the school year.
Richard Giroday, president of the Prince George and District Teachers’ Association, says it’s because teachers have just one week to get ready, unlike previous years.
“Normally we’ve always had two weeks to prepare classrooms and get things ready and this year the teachers have not been able to get back in.”
He blames that on the district’s decision to help save money due to budgetary pressures emanating out of Victoria.
“They’ve kept the schools closed over the summer. The custodians have only gone back this last week just before school,” says Giroday. “They didn’t want the teachers in if the custodians were not in and cleaning the schools. So it’s a very short start-up – I think it’s going to be very difficult for most teachers.”
After all he says, a lot goes in to getting classrooms ready.
“You need to get organized, you need to lay things out. You need to go through old resources and whittle those out.”
Not to mention the preparation required for this year’s new curriculum (K-9 students).
“This is a major undertaking. It’s not like a light switch just goes click and all of a sudden all of the new curriculum has been done. They (Ministry of Education) understand it’s going to be a process and it’s going to take some significant amount of time for teachers to begin to implement it.”
Giroday knows from experience that preparing curriculum can be time consuming.
“I remember spending a whole summer one year just preparing through July and August, all the lessons for a Science 8 and Science 9 class so that I would have everything ready and be on top of what I needed to teach the students,” he says.
“It’s a very stressful time as you prepare, you want to make sure that you have everything ready.”
The first day of classes this year will begin next Wednesday when students will be at school for just ninety minutes. Thursday is the first full day of classes. Tuesday is a professional development day.