I am a greedy teacher…
I want more than I currently have, a lot more. I don’t think that I should have to apologize for that. You see I have a son that will need help in school. He will need one-on-one attention, and a speech pathologist. I am so greedy that I am willing to walk out on strike and potentially lose over $4000 because he isn’t the only one.
I am a greedy teacher. I work in an alternate school and teach students with behavioural and mental health issues, high anxiety, ESL, Learning Disabilities, and drug problems. I have seen all of the teachers I work with struggle to make decisions as to who should get testing and who shouldn’t, since access is limited. I am so greedy that I am willing to sacrifice my strike pay to make sure that they get what they deserve when it comes to service.
I am a greedy teacher. So greedy that I believe a raise that is in line with cost-of-living is something everyone is entitled to. I am so greedy that I believe this even after being legislated back and taking 0% for almost 3 years (and potentially a 4th) for fighting to protect the rights of students learning conditions, that are illegally being stripped away by a Neo-Liberal government. I am so greedy that as I watch my profession get trashed in the media, and assaulted by many of the parents who have entrusted me to protect their children, I still keep fighting for their rights. I am so greedy I sacrifice my ability to bargain for a fair wage because the government wants a lower wage offer in order to start to negotiate class size and composition and when we give them one they still refuse to negotiate on “key issues.”
I am a greedy teacher. I want the government to tell the truth. Peter Fassbender goes on Global and states that the government has been at the table ready to negotiate 24/7 since last June. Then maybe he can explain why, after threatening our benefits the government wanted to take from April 30th – May 26th away from the table and the BCTF had to use precious negotiating time to try to convince them to come back for May 6th, 7th and 8th. I am so greedy that I think that the fact the government agreed to come back by the 12th, and waste 2 weeks, is ridiculous.
I am a greedy teacher. So greedy that I would rather believe Dr. David Zyngier who did a comprehensive review of 112 research papers, written between 1979-2014 discussing the effect of class size. I would rather believe the 109 research papers that argue smaller class sizes are better for students than the 3 that argue it’s not. I am so guilty that I would rather believe UBC education professors Dr. E. Wayne Ross and Dr. Charles Ungerleider who study curriculum, pedagogy, class size and composition, sociology in education and policy research, and state the government is wrong about class size, rather than Peter Fassbender who read a few research papers and the one OECD report he quotes the most, he misrepresents.
I am a greedy teacher. So greedy that I don’t think that “below average” funding is good enough for the children of British Columbia. I am so greedy that despite “below average” funding I have still managed to give my students one of the best educations in the world. I am so greedy that I managed to do this by buying supplies with money out of my own pocket. I am so greedy that I am constantly searching for new technology and software that I can use to engage my students and efficiently facilitate learning, for different learning styles, and then realize it will have to wait because the money isn’t in the budget.
I am a greedy teacher. So greedy that when the government locked me out of my own school and docked me 10% pay for fulfilling my contractual obligation I stopped doing extracurricular activity. I am so greedy that instead of coaching, running plays, facilitating environmental clubs, etc… I took my VOLUNTEER time and went home and played with my kids instead.
I am a greedy teacher. So greedy that I think that the government should increase the corporate tax rate that they have been cutting since they got into power. I am so greedy that I don’t believe I should have to pay more tax than a multi-billion dollar corporation that has not created the jobs that the Liberals corporate tax cuts promised. I am so greedy that I believe all corporate tax cuts should be incentive based and not handed out until the jobs are created, not before. In legislature, when discussing BC’s weakened finances and loss of revenue Christy Clark admitted, “It just doesn’t add up.” I am so greedy that I think we should have a government that will admit it when they get things wrong and fix it.
I am a greedy teacher. So greedy that I think the government should prioritize public education and healthcare above a new roof on BC place, or LNG projects. I am so greedy that I think that the government spending money on students is a better investment than a retractable roof that rarely opens. I am so greedy that I believe the government should not make promises, about BC’s economy, based on a gamble with LNG and a lot of “coulds” and “maybes.”
I am a greedy teacher. I want for all students what Christy Clark obviously wants for her own son. I am so greedy that I want Christy Clark to come on TV and tell the people of British Columbia that she chose private school for her son because she wanted him to have smaller classes and more one-on-one time. I am so greedy that I want her to explain why she finds it necessary to spend over $18,000 a year of the money tax payers pay her to put her son in a school that promises classes no bigger than 26 and senior electives no bigger than 16, when over 30 students in a class with 4 or more special needs students is just fine for everyone else.
I am a greedy teacher because I want more, and I want better. I want more for my own children, I want more for the students of British Columbia, I want more of my taxes to be reinvested into the province not into private corporations’ pockets, and I want a better government that cares more about the people of the province on all socio-economic levels.
If being greedy means not being complacent, I am proud to be greedy. In fact I teach my students to be greedy, to not settle. In the words of Maureen Dowd, a columnist for the New York Times, “The minute you settle for less than you deserve, you get even less than you settled for.”
Appreciation to my colleague and fellow BC teacher, Andrew Turner, for allowing me to share his spectacular post. You can find Andrew on twitter @turnerwoodart and I encourage you to check out his very cool and creative fb page Turner Wood Art.
Originally posted by Andrew Turner: http://twitdoc.com/30FM
Updated September 9, 2014:
Catch Jon McComb’s interview of Andrew Turner here: https://soundcloud.com/cknwnewstalk980/the-jon-mccomb-show-7
Please sign and share this petition:
Solve the present crisis in #BCED and let our schools open by agreeing to arbitration. http://www.change.org/p/premier-christy-clark-and-government-of-british-columbia-we-the-people-of-british-columbia-urge-and-expect-that-you-solve-the-present-crisis-and-let-our-schools-open-by-agreeing-to-arbitration?recruiter=5114145&utm_campaign=twitter_link_action_box&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition
30 Days of Autism is a project designed to fight stigma, promote civil rights, and increase understanding and acceptance for those who process and experience the world differently.
© Leah Kelley, Thirty Days of Autism (2014)