In his letter “School board should tell gov’t to increase funding” Stuart Smith seems to indicate throwing money at the school system will improve education.Our present government was elected even though they promised a balanced budget in tough economic times.
I am approaching this from the viewpoint of one “octogenarian” I know that educational requirements are different today from the 1930s/40s.The education of that day did equip us to get ready for the start of our working years.The employer would train a new employee for the tasks required within any given industry.(I left school after grade 10).Are we trying to overtrain our students?
The class size in our one room school averaged about 40 students,grade 1 to 8, I took grade 9 by correspondence.We had no electricity (the length of the school day was dictated by hours of daylight), or running water. Our heat (Alberta winter) was supplied by a gasoline drum converted to a wood burning stove. To have a warm classroom the teacher built a fire about 2 hours before the start of the school day. In very cold weather it was noon before our ink wells thawed out.
Class composition; I will use my grade 3 year. In addition to teaching basic lessons (sometimes “smarter” older students were assigned to help the younger grades), the teacher (no teachers aid) had to deal with non-English speaking students. There were Ukranian (7), German (1), Swedish (2) in addition to English speaking. There were also “special needs students, at least 3, and many students who did not like school. The strike situation we are faced with today should never happen. There is only so much the taxpayer can pay. When the economy was booming teachers did very well. With a slower economy, belts will have to be tightened, and hope for more prosperous economy.
The fact remains, when you have a student who wants to learn and a teacher who wants to, and loves teaching, the results will be successful.Teachers, please tell your Union that you want to be back to work, your students need you. Management maybe you can give teachers some of their money back.
Eric Myrholm, Abbotsford.