Teachers happy to talk class size on picket line

To all citizens concerned with the current teachers dispute: This morning on the picket line I was approached by an older gentleman who pointed out that when he went to school there were 40 students in his class.

It’s a comment that I’ve heard before, from adults of a certain age. In fact it’s my own experience too – there were larger class sizes when I attended elementary school, too. When I went to school though, there was a different culture and more support in the public schools. Trouble at school meant double trouble at home, students with special needs were educated separately, non-enrolling teachers were fully funded, including learning assistance teachers, reading recovery teachers, teacher-librarians, behaviour specialists, fine arts, French and PE specialists.

This is a different world than it used to be. The cuts that have been made even since I started teaching in the Cowichan school district have been brutal and devastating. We are bleeding.

As your frustration with the teachers grows, please remember that if it really were all about our wages we would have settled back in June rather than continuing to give up our salaries to improve learning conditions for the students.

Any teacher on the line will be happy to answer questions – please stop by and talk with us!

Phaedra Fairwell

Shawnigan Lake

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