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October 27, 2017 3:38 pm

Teachers Optimistic About School Year

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 @ 6:03 AM

Prince George, B.C. – As  schools  throughout the School District 57  prepare to open their doors for the school year, teachers are  optimistic this year will be better than it has been  for  more than a decade.

Joanne Hapke is the  President of the Prince George District Teachers Association “We are  optimistic.  We have  restored language that we won from the Supreme Court ruling in November,  our District has been  very supportive of this language.”

The language meant  the teachers union  has the right to negotiate things like class size, and  that has meant a revamping of  classrooms  throughout British Columbia.  In Prince George,  it lead to the  re-opening of  Springwood Elementary , which had been closed  about 7 years ago.

“That’s a huge positive” says Hapke  “I believe we are the only district in this province which  is  reopening  a school.”

Smaller class sizes meant  hiring  plenty of  teachers.  The Province has  dedicated $376 million dollars to hire new teachers across B.C.  for the new school year but there are still some openings within School District 57  says Hapke “There are a few jobs that  have to be filled still, but not a whole lot,  and we have an incredible HR team that’s working  on getting teachers into our district.  So we’re optimistic.”.

She says the PGDTA will be  working hard to ensure class sizes  are kept below the maximum and that  students who need supports will be receiving everything  they need to be successful.

The Province’s  education operating budget for  this school year is $5.9 billion.


Is this what was discussed yesterday during the first holiday of the school year?

You can shoot cannon balls through every school in this province until the first day of classes and you’ll never hit a teacher. 10 weeks off in the summer and a full year’s salary to boot. Then the ‘pro-d’ days start. Then it’s banked sick days. The ‘hardest working’ and most hard done by employees on the taxpayers’ teat.

I walked by our local elementary school last week, there were 9 vehicles there. I walked by the other 2 neighbourhood schools, also saw 8-10 vehicles at those schools. That must have been the janitorial staff getting the school spruced up, no way they were teachers preparing for the school year. They certainly do not get paid over the summer break, which is in fact 8 weeks long, not the exaggerated 10 that you stated. Teachers can opt in to a program where they have pay deferred until the summer, this is only done by the unable to budget teachers.

Banked sick days? I’m sure there are those teachers who abuse this system, but I have yet to come across any line of work where sick days aren’t used inappropriately. Quit acting like teachers are the only ones who have that problem.

I find that those who bitch and moan about how good teachers have it forget that it takes 6 years of University, 6 years of bills to pay before you can even consider becoming a teacher. You then spend multiple years on the on call list where you have no clue how many hours you will work. Don’t forget that most who think teachers have it so good, couldn’t spend 1 day dealing with 20-30 kids for 6 hours.

I know mgomez, you probably work way harder than those pampered teachers. We should pay them half as much, work them twice as hard because I bet that will make our students succeed. Can you take a few sick days from your job to help get this all sorted out?

    This past summer was 9 weeks so you’re both wrong. :)

    Where did you get this “6 years of University” from? If it takes you 6 years to complete a 4 year program maybe teaching isn’t for you?

      I bet this person did grade six twice to get grade 12

      5 years uni and 1 year pdp to become an accredited teacher. Compare this to what you blathering idiots do

      You need a 4 year degree just to enter the teaching program. The teaching program at most universities is 2 years.

      “You need a 4 year degree just to enter the teaching program. The teaching program at most universities is 2 years.”

      The Bachelor is Education Degree is a 4 year program. Those people who take a 4 year BA in Whatever is Easiest have no one but themselves to blame for student loan debts.

    Totally agree. mgomez is talking out his ass. people who think teachers are lazy and overpaid have no clue. Married to one for 30+ years and her and her colleagues are the hardest working people I know. As for banked sick days, when my wife retires in the next few years, she will have had 35+ years of service to the district. Work anywhere for that long, you are getting some serious holidays. Banked sick days simply disappear into the atmosphere. No money, no cash value, no nothing. Over 400 sick days just vanish never to be used yet people like gomez think they all screw the system and take advantage of the situation. To be a teacher, there is a 4 year program to get your undergraduate degree. Then it’s a 2 year program in order to get your B.ed. DO the math. It’s 6 years. BC teachers are some of the lowest paid teachers in the country. get a 6 year degree in any other field, you make more money, take less crap for the general public idiots who think just because they have a kid in the system they have a dog in the fight and you walk away from your job at the end of the day and go home and relax. Not the life of the vast majority of teachers.

      If it’s so bad, why did your wife stick with it for 35 years?

      Sick days were to ensure that workers didn’t suffer financial loss due to an illness. I don’t believe for a second that any employer instituted paid sick days for any other reason, and yet we now have people who feel “entitled” to be paid out for sick days that they didn’t use! Those people by and large are union members!

      Imagine owning and running a business and having an employee retire with 400 sick days that you will now have to pay them for, all the while paying someone else to take over and do the job from the retiring person!

      “To be a teacher, there is a 4 year program to get your undergraduate degree. Then it’s a 2 year program in order to get your B.ed. DO the math.”

      You might want to look that up before you spout it off as “fact”.

      “Banked sick days simply disappear into the atmosphere. No money, no cash value, no nothing. Over 400 sick days just vanish never to be used…”

      Maybe they should be thankful for their good health instead of expecting some sort of monetary reward for it.

Interesting comments from Hapke:

“Smaller class sizes meant hiring plenty of teachers.”

Followed by her comment where she says the PGDTA will be working hard to ensure class sizes are kept BELOW the maximum.

So, is the PGDTA not happy with their negotiated maximum class size? It would seem not, as they will now be working hard to ensure that class sizes are kept not at the maximum, but below it!

Hmmmm, how much below the maximum class size that they have already negotiated do they now wish to work hard to achieve? 18 kids per class? 16? 14? 12? 10? Less than 10?

It would seem that the BCTF is never happy!

The only reason they are bitching about teachers is because the Liberals are not running the province anymore.

    nobodies running it now … just gonna live off the cookie jar and lay low and hope they make it to a pension …


    Where Where? :)

      It is actually hear, hear!

Well, I for one hope this investment pays off. I don’t see it as particularly productive slagging teachers. The die is cast, the deed is done. They won the court case, I think the best plan is to be supportive as we can, and hopefully they’ll turn out some millennials that can read rite and do rithmatic. Because frankly, those little darlings are the future pension plan, and I need them to be smart, healthy, and have a work ethic. So go teachers go – I’m counting on you.

    Its been many years since I left school and all our kids are on their own. I like your comment Ski51 but some poster just have to use this site to vent their political frustration which is completely unproductive.

    I still pay my school tax each year and am pleased and hopeful that our children have the best in schooling. Its so obvious that todays kids need all the help they con get and the parents also give them a hand and not leave it all to our education system.

      My school taxes that I pay are paying for the education that I received when I was a kid.

My daughter is in her final year of the teaching program (her 6th year of university) and will become a teacher regardless of what her mother the teacher had told her from the day she was born. Why get into a profession where no one respects you. Where you work evenings and weekends. Where you pay out of pocket for expenses. You don’t get a lunch, you don’t get a break. You deal with screwed up home life and screwed up kids. Teachers are more like social workers now than teachers. No help from parents for the most part.

    A few decades ago, the social workers and the teachers both began to insist that we allow our children more freedom, more freedom to make their own choices, more freedom to make their own decisions, more freedom to do what they want, when they want! Unfortunately, these social advocates forgot to instill a sense of responsibility in the choices and decisions made.

    Teachers and social workers complain about a situation that they had a very big hand in creating! Guess it’s true, you reap what you sow!

Operating budget is $5.9 BILLION for this year.
I sure hope they spend some of that money to teach the students to learn how to say “Please” and “Thankyou” and some other manners.
I know it starts in the home but I think the teachers have that responsibility also to carry on where the parents have failed.

Hart Guy:
A few decades ago, the social workers and the teachers both began to insist that we allow our children more freedom, more freedom to make their own choices, more freedom to make their own decisions, more freedom to do what they want, when they want!

Where do you dream up this crap?

And, “these social advocates forgot to instill a sense of responsibility in the choices and decisions made.”
Isn’t that really what parents should be doing?

Anytime there is an article about teachers you and axman et al post your usual vitriolic crap.
Maybe you just wanted to be teachers, but just didn’t have want it takes.

    karrman, I don’t dream up anything, crap or otherwise! I base my opinions and my posts on my life experiences and my gleaning of information from a wide variety of both right wing and left wing news and information sources because as I’ve stated before, the truth is usually neither right nor left but is instead somewhere in the middle!

    For example, in the early 80’s, a very good friend and co-worker was telling me and other co-works during our coffee break, about his recent parent/teacher meeting with his son’s elementary school teacher. He asked how his son was doing in Math and the teacher informed him that his son doesn’t do much Math because he doesn’t really enjoy Math that much.

    My friend then asked the teacher how his son was doing in English. He was informed that his son doesn’t really enjoy reading and writing, so he doesn’t do much of that either!

    My friend continued to question the teacher about his son’s other subjects and was pretty much told the same things, that his son doesn’t really enjoy those subjects either, so he doesn’t do much of them.

    My friend then asked the teacher what his son does do, since he attends school for 6 hours a day!

    The teacher proudly proclaimed that my friend’s son likes to draw, so he spends a lot of time doing Art!

    My friend was not amused and he responded to the teacher that when his son graduates high school, he won’t be able to read, he won’t be able to write, he won’t be able to add, subtract, multiply or divide, but because he likes Art, he won’t be able to get a job, but at least he’ll be able to DRAW welfare, haha!

    That was quite the laugh that we had during that coffee break!

      karrman, as to your comment about me wanting to be a teacher, but not having what it takes, I actually during my high school years, gave a lot of consideration to becoming a high school biology teacher. However, as you are abundantly aware, I never followed that path.

      I did have several of my high school teachers tell me later in life that they always thought that I would be a great teacher and that I would become one.

      After giving a number of presentations in college, one of my professor’s suggested that I become either a preacher or a teacher!

      During my teenage years, I spent many years in the Cadet movement and during the summer of my last 3 years, I attended on of Canada’s largest Cadet Summer Camps as a paid instructor. The young cadets that I instructed consistently ranks amongst the best in camp.

      Contrary to your uninformed opinion, I very likely had or perhaps still have what it takes to be a teacher!

      So, do you have what it takes to be self-employed, with no guaranteed salary, no benefits and no pension plan? Do you have what it takes to get out of bed every morning wondering if you will generate enough income each day to cover the bills that arise each day? Perhaps you do, perhaps not! I don’t know you, so I can’t answer that!

      A few years ago we had almost the same experience. Our daughter was having trouble in math, we talked with the teacher at a PT conference and he stated some kids just don’t get it and referred us to Sylvan or maybe a tutor.

      We were around the table and another parent got almost the exact same advise, then another… we approached the other parents and then the kids themselves (it was a school get together and PT interview in the auditorium/gymnasium with all teachers and most students present) and the kids stated when they approached the teacher for help he would ask if they were stupid or something and they better listen better in class. The principal got involved as we were becoming quite a large group at this point and he stated he would talk to the teacher and monitor the situation. Months go by no change, we spend more time reteaching math to our daughter. Long story short she homeschooled for the remaining two years and graduated with honours among her peers. We now spend a lot of time making sure teachers are doing what they are supposed to for the younger two, we are no longer wait and see parents – now it is right to the office and fix it. My wife is real good at it having spent quite a few years on the PAC knowing most of them as “friends”. And by supposed to I mean making sure the student understands what is being taught, just moving on to the next stage of the subject before they understand the previous one is a recipe for disaster and unfortunately some teachers are just there to write on the board and collect a paycheck. Same in every profession but detrimental in this one.

The BCTF is well known for their never ending complaints about under-funding in our public education system. But an Opinion piece in today’s Vancouver Province Newspaper shares some stats and figures that suggest otherwise.

From the Opinion piece:

“On the whole, B.C. saw spending on public schools increase by 12.6 per cent between 2005-06 and 201415 (the last year of available data).

However, looking at nominal spending increases only tells part of the story. To really understand what’s happening with education spending, changes in student enrolment must be considered. If total spending remained completely flat while enrolment shrunk, we’d see an increase in per-student spending.

The overall trend across Canada is of declining public school enrolment (only Alberta and Saskatchewan saw an increase of public-school students.) B.C. saw its public school enrolment fall 9.1 per cent between 2005-06 and 2014-15.

Similarly, we must also account for price levels (inflation) changing over time. To get the most accurate picture, per-student spending is both adjusted for price changes and changes in enrolment. Using this per-student measure, spending on B.C.’s public schools went from $10,392 in 2005-06 to $11,216 in 2014-15 (using 2015 dollars) — an increase of 14 per cent.

In short, even after adjusting for inflation, B.C. is spending substantially more money per student today than a decade ago. This flies in the face of the narrative that education funding has been slashed or that our schools are starved for resources.

Just as back-to-school can consume a large portion of a family’s budget, spending on public schools consumes a large portion of provincial budgets.
When considering what’s spent on public schools, it’s important to measure what’s being spent, and not simply take overheated claims that our schools are under-resourced at face value.”

Interesting, would you not agree?

    Karrman, interesting, would you not agree?

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