Where is the accountability for teachers?

Where is the accountability for teachers?

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Editor:

In light of the controversial debate over spring break, I think now is a good time to bring up another issue affecting the education of our children.

It’s the big grey elephant in the middle of the room that people don’t want to talk about: The lack of accountability for poor performance from some of our teachers.

We all know the ones. However our current system has no way of plucking the ‘bad apples’ from the basket and our children’s education suffers because of it.

Perhaps if the teachers were graded as the students are, we would be left with the ones who truly want to be there to educate our children, not the ones who kick back, throw on a movie and ask students to do a lunch run for them.

Hearing the stories out of my kids mouths about how little they actually learn from certain problematic educators infuriates me.

Not only do I now have to teach my kids what they are supposed to learn from their actual teachers (which I am not qualified to do), but my kids have no respect for these persons they should look up too.

So many times we hear of our youth having a lack of respect.

Well, respect is earned and it’s about time some of our educators learned this. I highly respect the teachers that go that extra mile and care about the education of these kids, but it’s about time the teachers who don’t care and are just there for the three months off a year, a great wage and nice pension are given consequences for their poor performance, which essentially impacts the future of our kids.

I see this solely resting on the shoulders of the minister of education and the BCTF. Fix it.

Gary Hicks

Kamloops

15 COMMENTS

  1. I would think that the union, and the protections they provide, would be the main culprit for allowing those with poor work ethic to continue working in the system. And we know what happens if any political party attempts to alter the ideology of unions in this province.

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  2. If you have concerns that your kids are not being taught properly, you should set up a meeting with the Principal, Vice Principal or counselor at their school. You,as a parent, are the best advocate for your children, you know how they learn best, you are aware of any little quirks they have, any extras they need in order to make them successful in school. As a parent you have the right to question how your kids are being taught, often a teaching style that is not conducive to all students can leave some students a little confused. For example, a teacher who walks around the class room, dictating notes as they go. versus the teacher who uses an overhead and has the kids copy from that. The first example presents problems for those who are not too fast at taking down notes, it is hard for them to keep up. There are so many variables at play in any class room, it would be wise to set up a meeting, and try and sort something out. I do agree that there are some teachers who are past their sell by date, they are burnt out, tired and really do not put 100% into their work anymore. They coast along, they teach to the kids who appear to be “getting it,” and the rest get left behind. However, there is help, just visit the school and let them know what the problem is. If you don’t get any help there, go the Board Office up on ninth avenue and talk to whoever is in charge of education in our schools these days, there are so many people in that building, someone will be able to help you.

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  3. As in any job there are those that excel and those that don’t. Before the union bashing goes much farther many of you in the private sector with extenuating circumstances in your lives that cost you a job, that wouldn’t happen in a union as there are protections to help you. No the union is not there to save your job no matter what, they are there to make sure the employer treats you fairly and follows the rules for discipline and termination if it gets that far.

    Sometimes there’s a situation at home that affects your performance. Instead of being fired for poor performance the union can help both parties, the employee by getting help through programs and the employer by getting a worker back to being productive, saving training costs for a new employee.

    As for the work teachers do and the “amazing” pay they get, you try it. Little or no resources, over crowded classrooms with no support staff, and poor pay based on the total hours they work. Considering how important it is to be teaching our children you’d think we would want them paid accordingly.

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    • Well said, Mike! There are good and bad employees in every workplace, schools are no different. Unfortunately, a school and its staff are under almost constant criticism. Students who do not like their teacher, go home and complain, parents who take that complaint at face value and immediately jump to a conclusion, often the wrong one! Students who constantly avoid working in class, avoid doing assignments etc. When parents find out that failure looms, it is always the teacher’s fault somehow. I have known some parents who will not accept calls from their kid’s teachers, they do not want to know if there are problems. They leave everything to the school, then complain when the kid fails the year! I have worked with some amazing teachers, I have worked with some who should really consider another job. However, until anyone has stepped into a classroom, dealt with the daily chaos that often ensues, they are not in a position to criticize.

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      • I think that’s the point. This isn’t about the good teachers but about the ones “who should consider another job”. Why are they there???? Why are they allowed to just continue getting paid for a job they are not doing and have no interest in??????
        TEACHERS have CHOSEN their profession so they are aware of what it entails , no one held a gun to their head and made them become one. So yes I as a taxpayer am in a position to criticize the ones who are not doing their job and how my money is spent!

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        • Then do something about it! Let the appropriate school know you are not happy with one or more of the teachers, if you have kids there! Talk to the Superintendent of Schools up on ninth avenue! If you have legitimate concerns, they HAVE to listen to you and look into it. If you are so concerned, do something!

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          • You are missing the point, I don’t have kids in all schools in BC! There should be checks and balances in the whole system. This isn’t about MY kids or MY school, this is about accountability for a profession that lacks in that aspect!

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    • Really Mike? Have you looked at the BCTF Salary Grid? If not it is available on their website. According to the salaries posted the average teacher earns $70,000 per year plus a very nice benefit package and pension. There are 187 instructional days that they work. Teachers work 6 hours a day, 1122 hours total. This equates to $62.38 per hour. So yes we SHOULD have high expectations!!! Even at 8 hours a day for those who do, their wage still works out to $46.79. Not bad money including having all the holidays and entire summer off.
      I don’t think this letter was about picking on teachers in general but more about ensuring we as taxpayers are getting what we pay for. Just like any job!! There are good and bad in many occupations and there are consequences for poor performance. A grading system would ensure that the teachers are performing to a required level.

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  4. (…a few popular misconceptions ) (1) CBC, after the last election: “Justin Troo-Doh, a breath of fresh air & a new way of doing politics”. (2) The newest talking heads against Ajax: “our air quality sucks, man….just look at our skewed data ! ” (….and WE know more than the M of E does ) (3) Anyone against any development is a “forward thinker”. (4) The BCTF: “It’s ALL about the kids !” ( shakes head / walks away )

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      • Really, really hard to do when there are so many shallow, gullible, easily led, naive ( did I miss anyone ? ) people in this city / province / country. I’d like to thank the erudite Hurricane for those stats….very revealing and as I’ve said before….some people are overpaid. AND, if i hear “Dave” telling us , one more time…that it’s ALL about the kids….I’ll LOSE it…SNAP!!! ( like the Champ did ) Teachers have nothing to bitch about….but their leadership does it constantly.

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  5. In almost every job I can think of there is a consequence if you are a bad employee. I have never heard of a teacher being fired or let go for not doing there job. A grading system for our Educators would be a fantastic way to ensure our kids are getting the education that we pay for. By no means do I think that all teachers are in need of this but if you have a class with a high failure rate who’s responsibility is that? Just because a person has a teaching degree doesn’t mean they are a good teacher and its ludicrous to hire them and not have a grading system to ensure their job capability.

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    • I agree with you! I was merely trying, obviously unsuccessfully to point out some ways of complaining to the the School District here, in Kamloops, if a parent has a problem! All employees, if necessary, should be terminated if they are not doing their job correctly, not doing their job well. I also have never heard of a teacher being fired from their job, I have heard of some teachers being advised to leave a school etc. A teaching degree does not automatically mean you are capable of not only teaching but of encouraging and nurturing children.

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  6. There is accountability. It’s called the Teacher Regulation Branch, and it’s run by the Ministry of Education. Anyone can complain about a teacher’s performance and they will do an investigation. I agree that there is a lot of protection for bad teachers, but if you have genuine concerns, speak to the principal, have meetings with the teachers, ask to see their assessment, and speak to the superintendent if necessary. If you’re still not satisfied, lodge a complaint with the TRB. There are avenues for dealing with this, you just don’t want to go to the effort.

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