Don't bash teachers

Re: the letter "Teachers Want, Teachers Get" by Ash Depres

I am sorry to hear you feel so undervalued and underpaid in your current role in government. Every employee deserves to be compensated fairly and respected in their workplace.

What I do not understand is where you are getting your information from and why you feel the need to lash out at teachers for issues unrelated to education. The teachers' contract has little to nothing to do with sectors outside the walls of a classroom or school. The points about teaching are worth discussing, but concerns about other occupations are borderline irrelevant.

With respect to your information and talking points, the teachers I know work as much or more than people in other jobs with comparable salaries when school is in session and during parts of each break. Yes, there are great benefits and vacations that are part of the school system, but do not forget that these breaks are designed for kids, families and the way our society is run currently.

How might parents respond to summers without a lengthy break? Should we penalize teachers for benefiting from the system? As well, how do you suppose we pay for longer school years? An increase in time spent in the classroom will result in the need for a much larger provincial budget to pay for all staff, including clerical, janitorial, transportation employees and, yes, teachers. 

Additionally, and most importantly, I feel your letter does not touch on the issues central to any teachers contract: class size and composition.

The reality is that B.C. teachers had language taken by government nearly two decades ago. These regulations are the learning conditions for our students and the working conditions for teachers. When was the last time people who are so anti-teacher were in a classroom or school? Do we really think these educators are the bad guys? 

Stand with your teachers. If you get to know the issues being discussed, you will see that no teacher is getting rich, and that our kids need support to be the best they can be in our changing world.

Jonathan Thompson, Kelowna

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