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BC Teachers Getting Screwed...Again

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Because I do, or other wise why would I waste my time here????

Well, your opinion seems to be based on some ill-raised and unprofessional people in your social circles. I would tend to that first. How exactly can I debate a point like that ? I could say that I know a great many teachers and their professionalism is on a par with any other professionals I know.

Did that change your mind ?

I see with my own eyes.

Well, guess what ? You're wrong, probably due to bad information sources. Let's see if you get the irony here.

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The teaching profession, like all professions, has members who are dedicated, hard workers and earn less than they deserve. There are a few who are not and should not be in that profession.

My personal experience is that I have seen and dealt with fewer incompetent teachers than incompetent policemen, lawyers, doctors or members of parliament.

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I know alot of older teachers that will agree with me, the young ones come in ready to fight the government especailly conservatives ones. Or having teacher meetings and it has nothing to do with the kids but all political and then start handing out liberal lawn signs. Sorry but people like that should not be teachers. I know these are stories and I agree there still is alot of good teachers,and IMO we are getting less and less good teachers. The thing is michael when will the non stop asking for more going to quit. ONT teachers IMO are over paid and under worked, and alot of that can be blamed on governments that have bent over backwards for these people and now they are up there with auto workers and posties . Constant complainers.

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I know alot of older teachers that will agree with me, the young ones come in ready to fight the government especailly conservatives ones. Or having teacher meetings and it has nothing to do with the kids but all political and then start handing out liberal lawn signs. Sorry but people like that should not be teachers.

What kind of meetings ? What are you talking about specifically ?

Your thought patterns are all scattershot - I can't follow what you mean a lot of the time.

I know these are stories and I agree there still is alot of good teachers,and IMO we are getting less and less good teachers. The thing is michael when will the non stop asking for more going to quit. ONT teachers IMO are over paid and under worked, and alot of that can be blamed on governments that have bent over backwards for these people and now they are up there with auto workers and posties . Constant complainers.

Yes, well you seem to make your decisions from your gut, I must say. If you can focus for a bit and talk about specific complaints rather than just general gripes about teachers, then some of us can perhaps go with that and talk to you.

How about this, PIK, every generation complains about the generation that comes after them, right ? The current generation that is retiring were the long-haired hippies of days gone past.

I ask you this: is there any way to know for sure if one generation is better or worse than another ? Honest question.

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The assertion that teachers are oppressed and downtrodden is as ridiculous as the one that says they are teachers because they have failed elsewhere, they only work from the beginning of their first class of the day to the end of their last, they don't spend any time doing preparation, marking, grading, extra curricular activities or upgrading their skills and qualifications.

One thing that is also not considered is that teachers do not work for business, they work for bureaucrats which makes for a different dynamic. The business can't fail so neither has their job on the line.

This is always a great opportunity for people to grind their ideological axes but in the end it is really about the kids, so it is up to the adults to grow up and act like adults.

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IBjCX5r4CQAAUMlB.jpgI e

I get tired of all the teacher Union bashing and teacher bashing. You wanted better benefits, fight for them. Don't cry because teachers have fought and worked hard for decent benefits.

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I get tired of all the teacher Union bashing and teacher bashing. You wanted better benefits, fight for them. Don't cry because teachers have fought and worked hard for decent benefits.

You would have a point if teachers worked for private for profit companies. The trouble is they don't. Their employer can't go bankrupt and every penny spent on benefits comes from the pockets of taxpayers working in the private sector (public sector workers must pay less tax than they receive in wages in benefits because they have take home pay - the difference between what public sector works pay in taxes and what it costs to employ them must come from the private sector).

IOW - the people who are being asked to pay for those benefits has every right to complain about them.

Edited by TimG

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The assertion that teachers are oppressed and downtrodden is as ridiculous as the one that says they are teachers because they have failed elsewhere, they only work from the beginning of their first class of the day to the end of their last, they don't spend any time doing preparation, marking, grading, extra curricular activities or upgrading their skills and qualifications.

One thing that is also not considered is that teachers do not work for business, they work for bureaucrats which makes for a different dynamic. The business can't fail so neither has their job on the line.

This is always a great opportunity for people to grind their ideological axes but in the end it is really about the kids, so it is up to the adults to grow up and act like adults.

Thanks, Wilbur. I appreciate reading the odd post that injects a little non-partisan reality into the discussion.

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What kind of meetings ? What are you talking about specifically ?

Your thought patterns are all scattershot - I can't follow what you mean a lot of the time.

Yes, well you seem to make your decisions from your gut, I must say. If you can focus for a bit and talk about specific complaints rather than just general gripes about teachers, then some of us can perhaps go with that and talk to you.

How about this, PIK, every generation complains about the generation that comes after them, right ? The current generation that is retiring were the long-haired hippies of days gone past.

I ask you this: is there any way to know for sure if one generation is better or worse than another ? Honest question.

What meetings do teachers have michael?? And the new generation of people are worse, they are becoming fat and lazy. I deal with many different people from all walks of life. and I pay attention to what is going on around me, and these opinions of mine is what I feel is right. I could be wrong but they are my opinions not someone else's.

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What meetings do teachers have michael??

I don't know - YOU brought it up.

And the new generation of people are worse, they are becoming fat and lazy.

It's like you didn't read my post (irony alert) which is so typical of the old generation.

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Much has been made of the "issue" of class size and composition. While I do believe there is validity in the concern over class composition (back in my school days, there was segregation for special needs kids and ESL was not a prevalent issue), I do not think that class size has ever been shown to have a correlation to student outcome, or at least there are enough contradicting studies to muddy that water. Most of my elementary school photos show about 35 of us and who knows how many were not in attendance on picture day. I happen to feel that I go a fine education under these circumstances, as did my classmates. Reductions in class size would appear to only make the workday easier for the individual teachers and fatten up membership in the collective of teachers known as the BCTF.

The third, seldom discussed variable on the quality of education in our classrooms is the actual quality of the educator. To my mind, this has a much greater effect on the educational outcomes of students than class size. Yet, it is rarely addressed. Those of you who have kids in the school system, quickly name one teacher who has been dismissed for poor performance. I can only cite instances where crappy teachers were shuffled off to the next school, none that were dismissed.

Now, what you may ask is the answer to this problem? Well, before answering that question, one must ask what is the core of the problem to start with. Basically, in order for an incompetent teacher to be fired, the school administration has to jump through a bunch of hoops, which is OK. But who are the school administrators? They are teachers. Therein lays the problem.

So back to the solution. I think that each school should have a principle who has an educational background just like there is now. However, the second in command (currently vice-principle in larger schools) should be totally removed from the teaching vocation. He or she should be hired to run the business side of the school, including making all hiring and firing decisions. Suddenly you will have someone in the school who is not afraid to take the hatchet to incompetency and who will not accept rejects from other schools. Let's say they fire the worst 20% of teachers in each school and are given a free hand to hire the best candidates for replacements. Wow, now you have the potential for better student outcomes that is staggering.

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I do not think that class size has ever been shown to have a correlation to student outcome...

You are incorrect.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Class-size_reduction

Project Prime Time

In 1986 the state of Indiana initiated Project Prime Time.[18]

(1) Students in smaller class sizes scored higher on standardized tests

(2) Smaller classes had fewer behavioral issues

(3) Teachers of smaller class sizes reported themselves as more productive and efficient

Another study:

Results from the study demonstrated increased teacher satisfaction with job, increased communication with parents, and (as with Project STAR) long term increases in student graduation rates and admission into college. Although no significant differences were observed in the gains of both male and female students, improved outcomes were again larger amongst minority and disadvantaged students.

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Squid: Wikipedia? Really?

Regardless, you missed my point about studies regarding class size. Yes, you bring up two "studies" (well, one actually as you only give some mysterious quote with no citations for the second) that kind of, sort of show positive results from reduced class size. Now, you have to know I could match your two and raise you two studies in a heartbeat. My point is that class size is probably one of the most studied aspects of public education and results are all over the board. Simply stated, it is inconclusive.

It is also interesting that the mystery study that you quote from actually substantiates my original argument. To quote: "Although no significant differences were observed in the gains of both male and female students, improved outcomes were again larger amongst minority and disadvantaged students". I had said that class composition should be addressed, which incorporates the argument that minority (assumed ESL) and disadvantaged (assumed challenged) should be getting more TA or EA help. But, I would argue that the BCTF does not want this to happen because TA's and EA's are not members of the BCTF. But the core of the statement is that reduced class size resulted in no gains for the "average" students.

But I really got a chuckle out of the result of the "study" which stated that teachers increased satisfaction with their job. Let's see, less work for teachers due to less students equals greater job satisfaction. Now that is ground-breaking.

I hope that you can see that you have shown why class size as it correlates to student outcomes is a most slippery subject to quantify as you yourself cited both sides of the argument while trying to use studies that substantiate your preconceived notion.

If you want a good read on this subject and can open up your mind about it, read Malcolm Gladwell's most recent book David and Goliath. He is spot on in his analysis (IMHO) and obviously cites many studies that contradict your Wikipedia "research" (it is interesting that even that bastion of unverified information Wikipedia only gave the quality of the article that you cited a "C", which is the lowest grade allowed by the site). The studies that Gladwell cited showed that there is no change in student outcome when you are reducing class size from 24 to 22 which is the case that the BCTF is fighting for.

There is an interesting potential for a study to be done right here in BC. Class size was reduced for exactly 3 years from 1999 to 2002 by Glen Clark with concurrence from Kit Krueger and the BCTF. Interesting aside is that it cost Krueger his job as the membership of BCTF wanted smaller classes and a raise, but I digress. So, if class size is so vastly important, why has the outcome of those three years of reduced classes not been studied to death? Why does our dear beloved BCTF not toddle out statistics about how much better student outcomes were during those glorious three years? Hmm, maybe because it really made no difference to the students, only to the teachers and the taxpayers.

Edited by Pct2017

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Wikipedia has links to the actual studies. Read them.

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Squid, I'll see your two studies (well, one and a half, but I'll give you a mulligan because I suspect you are really young and need a few breaks) and raise you two.

Look, small class size was all the rage back in the 90's and then it died when little or no definitive empirical data could support the massive incremental costs of it. BC is the only jurisdiction that I am aware of in the country or the continent that was stupid enough to embed it into the collective agreement with the teachers union. Everyone else was smart enough to legislate it so when it turned out to be a bad idea, it could be remedied.

Good reading my friend, but read with an open mind. My personal favourite is Hanushek's study, but they all have merit.

By the way, are you a teacher? Just curious.

http://www.ascd.org/ASCD/pdf/journals/ed_lead/el_199004_robinson.pdf

http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2011/05/11-class-size-whitehurst-chingos

http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/2011/04/pdf/class_size.pdf

http://hanushek.stanford.edu/publications/evidence-class-size

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Much has been made of the "issue" of class size and composition. While I do believe there is validity in the concern over class composition (back in my school days, there was segregation for special needs kids and ESL was not a prevalent issue), I do not think that class size has ever been shown to have a correlation to student outcome, or at least there are enough contradicting studies to muddy that water. Most of my elementary school photos show about 35 of us and who knows how many were not in attendance on picture day. I happen to feel that I go a fine education under these circumstances, as did my classmates. Reductions in class size would appear to only make the workday easier for the individual teachers and fatten up membership in the collective of teachers known as the BCTF.

The third, seldom discussed variable on the quality of education in our classrooms is the actual quality of the educator. To my mind, this has a much greater effect on the educational outcomes of students than class size. Yet, it is rarely addressed. Those of you who have kids in the school system, quickly name one teacher who has been dismissed for poor performance. I can only cite instances where crappy teachers were shuffled off to the next school, none that were dismissed.

Now, what you may ask is the answer to this problem? Well, before answering that question, one must ask what is the core of the problem to start with. Basically, in order for an incompetent teacher to be fired, the school administration has to jump through a bunch of hoops, which is OK. But who are the school administrators? They are teachers. Therein lays the problem.

So back to the solution. I think that each school should have a principle who has an educational background just like there is now. However, the second in command (currently vice-principle in larger schools) should be totally removed from the teaching vocation. He or she should be hired to run the business side of the school, including making all hiring and firing decisions. Suddenly you will have someone in the school who is not afraid to take the hatchet to incompetency and who will not accept rejects from other schools. Let's say they fire the worst 20% of teachers in each school and are given a free hand to hire the best candidates for replacements. Wow, now you have the potential for better student outcomes that is staggering.

I read your post a couple times and realize you are still stuck in the past when it comes to education. Smaller class sizes are greatly needed these days with so many struggling learners who struggle in school because their parents didn't do enough with them to prepare them. This is why we need full day kindergarten and full day Junior Kindergarten taught by trained professional education.

Educators are no longer bearers of knowledge. Teachers of past decades were basically the "sage on the stage. In the 21st century educators are guides on the side facilitating discovery learning and inquiry. I guess I understand how those of you who went o school in the 70s and did nothing but drill and kill, and rote memorization of useless facts have a hard time understanding 21 century learning and the promotion of 21st century skills. the 21st century skills being focused on are: Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking, and Creativity. Students no longer sit in rows by them selves; they sit in table groups where they can constantly collaborate and challenge each other.

Those of you educated in the past archaic system have a hard time understanding this. You need to trust that high level education experts with extensive research have determined the 4 Cs to be crucial inn today's education.

It bothers me that many of you have no idea how much better the system is now. we need smaller classes and more teachers so that the 4 Cs can be properly learned.

http://www.p21.org/storage/documents/4csposter.pdf

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Socialist: Your poster pretty much sums up what it is about teachers that most of us dislike. No, you are not my childs Mom or Dad, much as you like to believe that you are better than those of us who are parents. No, you definitely do not put your student's needs ahead of yourself. If you had been in BC in 2012, you would have witnessed first hand just how ridiculous that statement is.. Maybe you do spend more on school supplies than your wardrobe, but that is because you are too cheap to buy a nice wardrobe. Lord knows you can afford it more than most. Rule follower? Hmm, an illegal two week strike in 2005 would seem to contradict that particular statement. I am assuming that the pearl about waking up early yadda yadda refers to your feeling that you put in ungodly hours at work. Well, we'll just let that one speak for itself.

As to your assertion that teaching is much more complex today than it was back in the day, well good. But where I would argue with you is my first hand experience with having two kids in the school system. They watch way more TV in class than they do at home (would someone please explain to me what Dances With Wolves has to do with Canadian history or why the all important Canada Latvia quarter final hockey game warrants time out of class). My daughters curriculum for grade 10 English was exactly identical to her grade 11 English right down to the assignments. Same teacher who was too lazy to develop a different curriculum. I am sure that the four C's look great on a Power Point presentation but you need motivated individuals to deliver and I just don't see that in my kids schools.

Look, there is no doubt that teachers do have a role to fill in society. What is missed by teachers like yourself (or at least the persona you present on this forum) and your union here is BC is that you really should learn just to shut up. The nurses union out here used to fight every political fight going and run lots of ads lamenting their plight (and let's face it, they have a lot more to complain about than teachers do), but about 5 years ago Deb McPherson et al figured out that if they just shut up, they can co-exist with whatever political party is elected to be their bosses. Now, they get contracts and raises and don't have to make fools of themselves to do it. If they can figure that out, why can't the BCTF?

At the end of the day I say good on you for being proud to be a teacher. I truly hope you are good at it. But just shut up and do your job. And send that message to your union too please.

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Socialist: Your poster pretty much sums up what it is about teachers that most of us dislike. No, you are not my childs Mom or Dad, much as you like to believe that you are better than those of us who are parents. No, you definitely do not put your student's needs ahead of yourself. If you had been in BC in 2012, you would have witnessed first hand just how ridiculous that statement is.. Maybe you do spend more on school supplies than your wardrobe, but that is because you are too cheap to buy a nice wardrobe. Lord knows you can afford it more than most. Rule follower? Hmm, an illegal two week strike in 2005 would seem to contradict that particular statement. I am assuming that the pearl about waking up early yadda yadda refers to your feeling that you put in ungodly hours at work. Well, we'll just let that one speak for itself.

As to your assertion that teaching is much more complex today than it was back in the day, well good. But where I would argue with you is my first hand experience with having two kids in the school system. They watch way more TV in class than they do at home (would someone please explain to me what Dances With Wolves has to do with Canadian history or why the all important Canada Latvia quarter final hockey game warrants time out of class). My daughters curriculum for grade 10 English was exactly identical to her grade 11 English right down to the assignments. Same teacher who was too lazy to develop a different curriculum. I am sure that the four C's look great on a Power Point presentation but you need motivated individuals to deliver and I just don't see that in my kids schools.

Look, there is no doubt that teachers do have a role to fill in society. What is missed by teachers like yourself (or at least the persona you present on this forum) and your union here is BC is that you really should learn just to shut up. The nurses union out here used to fight every political fight going and run lots of ads lamenting their plight (and let's face it, they have a lot more to complain about than teachers do), but about 5 years ago Deb McPherson et al figured out that if they just shut up, they can co-exist with whatever political party is elected to be their bosses. Now, they get contracts and raises and don't have to make fools of themselves to do it. If they can figure that out, why can't the BCTF?

At the end of the day I say good on you for being proud to be a teacher. I truly hope you are good at it. But just shut up and do your job. And send that message to your union too please.

You have a negative view of educators. You don't understand 21st Century Learning. Teacher Federations/Associations need to stay tough to let the public know we are being cheated, especially in BC by a neo-liberal government with a dangerous neo-liberal agenda. Educators are fighting for the middle class and that is why we have a majority of support from the public. I'm sorry you lack real world understanding.

Bi2IkdsIgAAsJZL.jpg

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You have a negative view of educators. You don't understand 21st Century Learning. Teacher Federations/Associations need to stay tough to let the public know we are being cheated, especially in BC by a neo-liberal government with a dangerous neo-liberal agenda. Educators are fighting for the middle class and that is why we have a majority of support from the public. I'm sorry you lack real world understanding.

What I should have is no view on teachers. Nor should most of the public. But you and the BCTF will not allow that to happen.

Look, the public is smart. We proved that last May 14. But we do have short memories. So why do teachers insist on reminding us constantly about how whiny and pathetic you are . Just Shut Up and Teach should be your mantra.

Interesting last sentence about real world understanding. You have only worked as a civil servant. You spend your very short day surrounded by children and fellow teachers. You are probably married to a teacher. Your boss is a teacher. Your interaction with the non-teaching world consists of parent teacher interviews and saying hi to the kid at Macs when you buy a coffee. But you really have your finger on the pulse of the real world.

Edited by Pct2017

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Bi2IkdsIgAAsJZL.jpg

And what is our heroic teacher in this apartment saying? Let's listen:

"Yipee, it's summer. I can stay up all night if I want"

Or

"Jeez, living in an apartment block full of people who have real jobs sucks. Nobody can stay up and play."

Or

"Yipee, it's Christmas break. I can stay up all night if I want."

Or

"Hey, I don't have to be at work until 8:30. Think I'll catch Jimmy Fallon."

Or

"Yipee, it's Spring Break. I can stay up all night if I want."

Or

"Man, I have to prep for my Socials class tomorrow. I have taught the same class for five years, but maybe Sir John A is no longer our first Prime Minister. I'd best check"

Or

"Yipee, it's Exam Week. I can stay up all night if I want."

Or

"Jim Iker, I am not getting off the phone until you demand that I get two weeks bereavement time when my cousin's hamster dies."

Or

"Yippee, it's a Pro-D day tomorrow. I can stay up all night if I want."

Or

"Now, if I go out and get my Masters when I am 49, that will maximize my pension. Man, I am going to be up all night trying to figure out how to fleece the public purse to the max."

Or

"Yippee, it's a snow day. I can stay up all night if I want."

Or

Well, you get the idea. Sleep tight you selfless teacher, sleep tight.

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A system where teachers are evaluated yearly and the results used to reward top performers and fire chronic under performers would result in improved teaching quality and greatly benefit kids. How can anyone be against that?

In theory, this would be a great idea. However, it is very hard to adequately test performance and fairly weigh all the factors that contribute. High stakes testing leads to poorer overall results. Educators inevitably teach to the test, meaning curriculum becomes a mile wide and inch thick. This leads to a lower focus on above average students and a massive increases in bogus learning disorder diagnoses for below average students.

The way to improve teacher performance is through more continuing education and professional development, plus an increase in collaboration and team teaching. It would also be nice to see unions and certification bodies get involved in improving the quality of their membership. They should simultaneously stop protecting bad teachers and spend more of the collected dues to improve the uptake of best practices.

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I don't really understand all this animosity toward teachers, they are arguably the second most important people in a kids life next to their parents, sometimes the most important. While I don't always agree with their union's position, the fact they are teachers doesn't disqualify them from having the right to advocate for themselves and what they think is best for the children in their care.

While the really bad teachers will be easy to pick out, how do you evaluate the average teachers performance? How do you compare the performance of a teacher working at a school in a reasonably affluent area with motivated families, to one working in an inner city school with kids from poor and dysfunctional families, often with serious substance abuse problems? A good number of kids who don't even get enough to eat and what they do get isn't very good for them anyway. You can't expect the same results, so how do you evaluate their teachers?

Sure there are some bad teachers but there are a lot more good ones and trying to brand them all as bad because you have some personal axe to grind is just nonconstructive bullshit.

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It would also be nice to see unions and certification bodies get involved in improving the quality of their membership. They should simultaneously stop protecting bad teachers and spend more of the collected dues to improve the uptake of best practices.

If management and labour were able to disarm, politically, and have some real dialogue then I'm sure they could collaborate on some great ideas to improve quality and reduce costs.

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Sure there are some bad teachers but there are a lot more good ones and trying to brand them ...

Trying to tag people as 'good'/'bad' is such a low-intellect exercise. There are some that should be fired, and some great ones, but most are in the middle and as such they need to be managed without de-motivating them. Public dialogue, though, usually doesn't involve a "public" but mass media audiences who are not assumed to have the tools to deal with complex issues.

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