I used to work for School District #53 as a Reading Specialist. I was this District’s one and only Reading Recovery teacher. For seven years, I identified and taught a large number of Primary-age students and Special Needs students how to read because they were having difficulty learning how to read in their regular Grade 1 – Grade 3 classrooms. It wasn’t the fault of the teachers, it was because the students “just didn’t get it!”
I also demonstrated the Reading Recovery methodology to other teachers and teacher- assistants within our District and other School Districts in order that they could also learn how best to teach Primary students who were struggling to learn how to read.
When I “officially” retired 10 years ago, I was not replaced. I believe that this was because of cutbacks in funding for Special Education, Struggling readers now have to compete for scarce Learning Assistance Teacher-time in our District’s schools. This is just one example, a local example, of what has happened to Special Education funding throughout the province of BC.
Parents or grandparents of needy, Primary students or Special Needs students will all know that their childrens’ teachers (who make up the BCTF) are doing the best that they can with shrinking and limited resources.
Province-wide, the inadequate funding for students with special needs (which has slowly been shrinking for the last 12 years) is having a really crippling impact on services provided for children with learning difficulties. There is less time and money for Resource Room teachers. Far fewer Learning Assistance teachers have been hired.
I am not criticizing teachers or School District #53 personnel for the situation that we are in today. It really is due to the lack of proper funding from Victoria. Tell other government leaders that.
Government leaders would not allow what is happening in our schools today to happen if they themselves had firsthand knowledge of, and were witnessing what is happening in our schools on a daily basis.
Teachers are standing up for what they believe. They are suffering a serious loss of pay in order to try to bring about the changes in funding so that services for needy students, services that used to be provided for students, will be there in order that we can make suitable investments in our #1 resource …… our children.
Proud to be a teacher-member and supporter of the BCTF