Far-left advocacy group Public Interest Alberta (their slogan: "helping unions make Alberta as pleasant a place as Detroit or Venezuela") has unleashed a report on "increasingly unacceptable classroom conditions and lack of support staff" in the province.
Specifically, this push survey asked a bunch of teachers and parents how much money they'd spend if there was no limit to what the province had stolen from taxpayers this year.
If you want to guess what nonsense was being discussed, and you guessed "class sizes" (the catchall complaint that ensures more far-left unionized teachers are hired), congrats! You win a prize! (that prize being a $90,000 contract to teach children your flawed worldview, minus the union dues that get funneled to Public Interest Alberta, of course)
The sheer number of students in the class makes it impossible to spend enough time with each child to support them in reaching their full potential.Well if you have people clueless enough to think that "reaching their full potential" is what a friggin' Grade 5 teacher is there for, you're already in trouble. At that grade level, a teacher is a multi-dimensional role (specialization into courses doesn't happen in Alberta until Grade 7), and your job is to teach the Grade 5 curriculum that covers electricity and magnetism, stories about Canada, division of three digit numbers, and why an 11 year old girl already has a moustache. If you aren't able to impart this information to a huge proportion of these kids unless you have to followup and do it one-on-one half the time, there's a failure of the teacher, not the system.
This is a good time to mention that there are a glut of teachers available: in Ontario alone Faculties of Education spit out 9,000 people while only 4,600 existing teachers retired. In other words, if you can't do the job, sister, move over and make room for someone who can.
Anyways, let's move onto the next canar...no, wait, sorry. This teacher -- who apparently has a whopping class size between 24-26 kids -- has another issue.
Anxiety and social/emotional challenges make up the greatest area of special needs this year. However I also have a few students who are below grade level in literacy and numeracy skills, which hampers their success in all academic areas... I have no support staff.Whoo boy...first off, with all the stuff being tossed around about FFAs and such nonsense, who isn't surprised by social and emotional challenges? We're raising a generation of "gender confused" pussies, and we didn't think this would come with any difficulties? Considering the complicity of Public Interest Alberta in this disgusting trend, I don't think they have any moral authority on which to stand saying that "class sizes" are responsible.
As for the below grade level in literacy and numeracy skills, there are two main factors to blame here: ineffective and incompetent unionized teachers at lower grade levels, and the disastrous social experiment called "social promotion" by which stupid kids get the same advancement up the "ranks" as non-stupid kids do.
Okay, onto our next respondent: a Calgary parent
As integration of students with complex needs becomes more and more common, the teachers are expected to provide an education to all of these different types of learners with little support.I have a crazy idea.
It's totally bonkers.
It's loony tunes.
It's so absolutely balls-in-another-man's face retarded that if it was a student it would be in a little class by the boiler room waiting for the short bus.
How about we stop "integrating students with complex needs" and instead go put them back in a little class by the boiler room waiting for the short bus? The reason we did that is because most of these retarded kids cannot learn anything. At best, we can try to get these mongloid little hormone factories in good enough shape that when they get to the age where they want to screw everything that moved they understood what the words "don't do that" was when we told them to not do that.†
Instead, we end up in the ridiculous situation where 85% of classrooms have "special needs" kids in them. That's completely unacceptable, and is by design encouraged to require "handlers" for each kid in each class. I've seen a class with no less than three retard babysitters required to watch each individual retard.
† This is, by the way, one of the primary reasons that we needed (and still need) to sterilize mentally incompetent people who are wards of the state. What happens is they tend to screw and make more wards of the state. Years back, the Mitchener Centre in Red Deer learned this the hard way: their retarded clientele couldn't tie their shoes or spell their name or say hello without slobbering over their chins. They couldn't figure out forks, radio knobs, or zippers. Yet when their adult hormones kicked into gear, these horny mongloids had no trouble figuring out doors, keys, light switches, and fences: staff routinely found them screwing in the bushes. 9 months later, the Province of Alberta was greeted with a new ward of the state. Yes yes on occasion the baby produced would be perfectly normal, and eventually would go onto be a functioning member of society. But the genetics don't fib.
Because the class is large (31), much of my time is spent managing behaviour and doing paperwork.These comments, from a Grade 7/8 teacher in Fort Mac, speak to how minimal these "large class sizes" talks are. Even in Fort Mac, where you can imagine class sizes are the worst, we're still talking 3 kids more than the class sizes most people would expect. After the usual blather about special needs students (including ESL students, who should really be required to attend a special school paid for by their immigrant parents), we see the favourite line of the teacher trying to justify their pay raises: "extra work" done outside the classroom.
I currently work an extra 2 hours after school plus about 6 hours each weekend. Still, with all of this extra work, I do not feel confident that I am meeting the needs of all my students. I don’t have enough time to plan for all of the needs my students have nor can I contact all of the parents I would like to. As a teacher with 9 years of experience, I feel that in the last few years my job is getting harder, not easier.
Teaching is a salaried position. Guess what happens in salaried positions? Sometimes you have to work less (or more) than the standard hours. Quite often it's more, but often less. This is true in all sorts of jobs ("working extra hours for no pay just to keep afloat" just described every junior executive you'll ever meet), so it's really the height of arrogance when teachers try claiming "woe is me" over a reality of the conditions of their employment that was known to them long before they took Education 202. Of course, they really don't like it when you demand their salary be adjusted to compensate for all the extra time off.
Is "structure" important in schools? A parent of a Grade 1'er seems to think so:
In the smaller classes there is minimal structure and children with behavioural issues are very distracting to the others. In the larger classes it seems the structure is excessive because of the need to control the possible chaos of 32+ students, and there is personal interaction/evaluation.Structure this, structure that, here a structure there a structure everywhere a structure structure. You get the sense that parents in this survey would like the chance to tailor their children's education experience to suit their needs best. You may even think that this is, on balance of probabilities, a good idea [and you're probably right...heh heh -ed]. Unfortunately, you're dealing with a government-run publicly-owned education system. By it's very nature, appearing in this survey by a far-left organization dedicated to keeping the public education system public, you're part of the problem. If you want a private-education level of service, if a Public Interest Alberta representative shows up at your door you should punch him in the mouth and tell him to go do something productive with his life. Like, say, refine those expert "anti-bullying" policies that the "educators" are always so proud of?
My daughter in grade 1 has been told to ignore the Kindergarten boy who repeatedly punches other students whenever he is upset. She came home and said “It was my turn to get punched today Mommy”
3 children in the school that need diapering, have no speech, one who usually rolls around on the floor and moans. Staff regularly bruised and bitten. Recently teacher was bitten so badly blood was spurting out of her arm. These three are so labour intensive that other children in other grades with special needs get no service. No proper services for the three children. No proper supports for the staff team being pulled in to keep finger in the dike. Staff have been issued protective arm sleeves. Give me a break.Again, here's a suggestion that's so simple it's a black mark forever on the "educators" in the system that they've never suggested or thought of it: get these fucking retards out of schools and into rubber rooms where they can be sterilized and ignored forever. We're paying for this level of "service"? Why, exactly?
It might also help with this Grade 1 class issue in Edmonton:
Autism - limited verbal, screams high pitch screams often, runs every 7-10 mins, functions at about 3 yr old development level, funding only provides .5 assistant time ... The child cannot be left alone so two EAs are required throughout the day and funding is only providing .5 of an assistant. School had to go thousands into debt to ensure adequate coverage. No extra support for the remaining students with high needs.Instead of schools going into debt for "adequate coverage" of retarded kids who will never function well enough to pay a dime of taxes for the rest of their lives, cut it off.
Okay, enough about the retards. We're coddling them and putting them in classes trying to pretend they are in any sense "equals" with the normal kids they're seated along with. It's a disaster, the teachers unions and the far-left are complicit in it, it needs to end. What else is going on that's negatively impacting classroom education? Any groups that are causing more trouble than they are worth?
Hey, will you look at this!
Half of my class is ELL. Some will likely code out with learning disabilities throughout the next year, but resources for testing them are scarce
High numbers of students are ESL learners- almost 60% of my classes. As a math/science teacher I get no aid time to help with this.
Each day I face an incredibly diverse group of kids. There are 8 Coded students, 12 English Language Learners, and several other studentsIt's possibly if you're a casual layperson you don't understand how unskilled immigrant kids are. It's not even, strictly speaking, immigrant kids alone. 65% of kids in the Peel region who can't speak English were supposedly born in Canada, 29% of the ESL kids overall. In Vancouver half of all kindergarteners can't speak English and more and more often those are "Canadian" kids born in Vancouver. The Ontario school system put out a hilarious guidebook to spot asians who rack tre proper engrish skirr to fucntion in the shity and town across the proince from Rondon to Rakeshore.
who require academic and emotional support. I struggle constantly with meeting the needs of everyone and have no classroom support to help with this. I feel terrible that I’m not able to read daily with my student who has just arrived from China
What can be done about classrooms being held back by kids who can't speak English, other than the obvious solutions?‡ The first option, naturally, should be a parallel to the short bus trick used on the retards: put them all in their own class. If you enter a grade unable to speak English I'm not sure why the education system, these teachers, and more importantly the taxpayers who fund this entire racket are obsessed with providing an English language education. If we are going to be funding their learning English, then it shouldn't be in the general population: there should be a "Immigrant Grade 1" that the "ESL" kids are put in and they don't graduate from it into Grade 2 until they're English proficient. If that takes a decade, so be it. If they were born in Canada and don't speak English (or, fine fine, parle français) then they are still immigrants. If they come from Indian Reserves (???) and don't speak English, they are still immigrants. I don't know how much harder this is to drill through.
Of course, I started that last paragraph off with a huge supposition: if we are going to be funding their learning English. Does that, strictly speaking, need to be true? I'm unconvinced that it does. There can still be an Immigrant Grade 1, of course, but the Alberta taxpayer doesn't pay for it. In fact, the immigrant themselves can pay for it. Why not? By the time of Grade 1 they've had six years to teach this kid the language in the country they decided he should be raised in (for the case of the Canadian-born ESL student), or an entire lifetime of deciding that should they come to Alberta this is the price they'll pay (for the case of an immigrant-immigrant). Seeing how I acknowledge the time delay issues in the latter case, we can even phase that in. Starting six years from now, this is coming. Put it into legislation to keep idiots like Red Redford Mark Two from getting in and ruining everything. Then we can sit back and reap the benefits.
‡ Those obvious solutions are stop letting these immigrants in and deport them back to their home country. Both of which are perfectly valid and sensible options, but sort of fall outside the scope of fixing Alberta Education.
Of course, once we've accepted there's Immigrant Grade One there's no reason there can't be Immigrant Grade Two and Immigrant Grade Ten and why can't the parents pay their own freight since this is their fault and...oh, look, we've reached the ideal situation of private schools again. It's amazing how often this happens when you just sit back and look at things from first principals. [that was a pun. Get it? If not, you've been educated by a union teacher. -ed]
There's an entire section in this survey titled "the need for support staff". It's pretty much covering the stuff we've already debunked, with the added benefit of reminding us we're paying people to babysit kids who are either hopeless or not so close to hopeless that these salaries are an efficient use of our limited resources.
What are the physical conditions of the schools and classrooms like?
Most of my students have had to have their fees waived due to low income. We were given a budget to buy school supplies for them.Why are we waiving these fees, exactly? Why are we buying them school supplies? More importantly, why are the same idiots who are demanding teachers salaries need to be raised constantly also then surprised that everything other than salaries has to take a cut?
I don’t have the time, despite my best efforts, to meet the needs of my students. Despite working until 6 most evenings and never taking a day off on the weekends, I’m behind. I’m working with a computer that is over 10 years old.I'm typing this blogpost on a computer that is "over 10 years old".
Most of my students have to bus over an hour just to get to school. They’re exhausted from being up so early when they arrive at 9, and are just as spent when they leave at 3:45.Have we awarded a prize for the stupidest comment on the Public Interest Alberta "ALARM BELLS RINGING" survey yet? If not, this Calgary teacher should almost certainly be awarded it. Even assuming that these children ride the bus for 90 minutes, leaving for school at 7:30 in the morning is something that I think most people would recognize as a perfectly normal thing for kids to do. It certainly should be leaving them exhausted a whopping 8 hours later.
Resources and space to pull these kids out and help them individually is almost impossible. Sometimes we sit in the boot room when it is warm out and do work. Sad and stinky.I think from now on we should exclusively use the #SadandStinky hashtag when referring to overpaid and ineffective unionized teachers.
This class does not have a classroom, as the portables expected for this school which were supposed to be completed by the summer have yet to be completed as of November 3rd. In the morning the class (call this class ‘A’) is split in half, and each half is then combined with another complete grade 4 class (classes ‘B’ and ‘C’), making for a total of 35 students in two different classrooms for the morning. In the afternoon class ‘A’ is pulled out of the other classrooms, and reunited in a kindergarten classroom that is then available. As this is not actually ‘their’ classroom, the students must carry all their supplies and work in a shoebox from place to place. The teacher of class ‘A’ also has no permanent space, as she splits her time in classroom ‘B’ and ‘C’ in the mornings to be with her students, and then works from the kindergarten room in the afternoonThere is a well established issue with Alberta schools not having enough actual...well...schools. The popular thing in the far-left circles is to blame Ralph Klein for his "cuts". Of course, Ralph Klein followed up his "cuts" with massive increases in spending for all departments.
So where did the money go? Why, it went to overpaid unionized teachers of course.
Alberta, like practically every other province in Canada, is struggling to fund education, so they’re asking teachers to forgo a raise this year in contravention of their five-year contractual agreement. But the teachers are having none of that, despite the fact that Education Minister Dave Hancock warned it could lead to layoffs.Whoops.
Okay, we're almost done with this stupid survey. I hope you appreciate how much of a slog this has been.
I have one educational assistant who works mainly with the autistic student. This is the first time in several years that I have had an EA and it has made a world of difference.All we need is to have one government employee for every retarded kid we throw in normal schools and it's cool! Aren't you impressed? I am, in the parlance, thrilled.
We're bankrupting the system, of course. And nowhere in here did we ever get the sense that teachers understand that they aren't very good at teaching. But that's a story for another day, and another reason the education budget definitely needs a good pair of scissors before it needs a feel-good growth story.