Province to blame for making class conditions worse

Brookswood Grade 12 student has seen overcrowded classes firsthand.

Editor: It’s the pre-Spring Break, Spring Break. What about it? It is completely stupid. Why is it stupid? Because it is impacting students like myself.

It is impacting us more than the teachers’ job action, which has been ongoing since September. Sure the job action affected us, but not by much. We still got scores and got our marks.

But this strike is really going to affect the students of B.C. — especially grads like myself. Now, what is the reason for this pre-Spring Break Spring Break? The reason is that the government doesn’t want what is best for the kids of B.C.

Today’s youth who will be tomorrow’s adults. I am completely behind the teachers on this issue of their contracts and Bill 22.  The government took away so many things back in 2002.  Now they want to take away more and say that it is better than it was before. Well, I beg to differ.

Class sizes are way too big and the composition isn’t what it should be. I remember a couple years ago having a class of 48.  This was in a class meant for 30, or maybe 35 maximum.

A teacher gave up one of her study blocks to teach 12 of us so that we could actually learn properly.  I have teachers who do so much for the school and for the students. And to see that the government is taking more away from them, it just doesn’t make sense.

B.C. nurses, some of the highest-paid nurses in the country, got a raise last year.  And the same government can’t afford to give B.C. teachers better, more manageable class sizes and composition. There is something seriously wrong with that.

The teachers would like more pay, but most of the teachers I know would rather have more manageable class sizes than a wage increase. Why? Because they care about the students, and put the students first before themselves.

Yes, people say that teachers have quite the comfy job and they don’t work that hard and they get so much time off.  They do, but they work outside school hours at home. I know a few of my teachers who have had to work until 2 a.m., because of marking.

I don’t know many parents who have jobs where they work for eight hours a day at work, and then eight hours more at home.  I believe that B.C. teachers are underpaid.  What they teach us, the students, is priceless.

This is why it kills me to see what is happening to them; after all they do for us.  Why can’t the government just look at what it did 10 years ago, and compare it to now.  Why can’t they see that Bill 22 makes things worse?

The teachers are not the bad guys here.  They are the good people who are fighting a super-villain, which happens to be the B.C. government. I believe what they want is the best for us, the students. Why can’t this government see that?

The government is just too concerned about winning the next election and saving money. But it is doing so at the expense of the future. Kids now don’t get the attention they need in class, and they are suffering.

I have watched my friends fail and/or drop out of classes because the classes were just too big and they weren’t getting the attention they needed.  The teachers are trying their best but unfortunately, it isn’t enough. That is why I am against Bill 22.

Teachers need better conditions, better class sizes and better class composition. Why should the students have to suffer because of the governments’ negligence? What it did years ago was declared illegal, and the government is just making it worse.

I ask people to show support for the teachers. They do a lot and do a fine job at it.  They are there for our future and are fighting for it.  They need help.  We need to create more awareness about this.  It is a huge issue.

For any teacher who may read this, thank you for what you do. You are truly amazing. I know I speak for many other students.

Steven Lofgren, Grade 12,

Brookswood Secondary School