A Traitor Amongst Us

My administrator, the boss of me, us and the whole school, has turned on us. Unbeknownst to me until this afternoon, I discovered this principal who works with all of us, teachers, whom Hudak hates (see my previous blog), is VOTING PC!  I can’t believe that.  He knows the consequences for his colleagues:

  • merit pay
  • lack of pension funds
  • much larger class sizes
  • budget cuts in various areas of education, such as special education
  • cutting 19,000 teacher assistant jobs

Merit Pay
This is an American thing, a terrible system whereby a teacher’s salary reflects the overall grade point average in his or her school. Qualifications, seniority, pay grids, none of it has anything to do with our salaries. That means that children who are very low academically, and those who have special needs, will also contribute to my salary. It won’t matter that we work our lives out to help these children to succeed and close the gap between those who earn provincial standard grades and those who don’t. Our merit stems only from the outcome with student learning. I realize that sounds reasonable to those of you who have no concept of teaching, and who have a child who probably isn’t the best in the bunch in terms of achievement. Here is the reality of it: if I teach in a community of overachievers who have big plans for their kids, and people who are quite affluent, you can bet your bottom dollar (which is where ours will be if this teachermerit pay comes to pass – god forbid), then my salary will be considerably higher than if I teach where I currently am teaching, in a high needs community that struggles with crime and often has Children’s Services involved with its families. Does that seem fair to you? Would you work for merit pay with your company? If your corporation is significantly down in the second quarter would you expect to be paid significantly less? Didn’t think so.

Lack of Pension Funds
Our pension is the same as anyone with a union – 10% of our overall salary. It’s a decent pension. For those of you without one, you can always invest in an RRSP using 10% of your salary. Hudak wants to cut our pensions significantly. We’d be lucky to get 5% of our salaries now. This is for no reason other than pouring every dollar into big business and tax write-offs for corporations. Not for you, the individual. For business, many of whom are firing a lot of good employees even as you read and I blog somewhere. I refuse to be a Walmart greeter when I turn 60. And before you say, well get your own RRSP, that will be difficult to do when I’m working for merit pay. I really would appreciate keeping my medical coverage and living just above the rate of inflation. That would be great, especially considering how much money I have to spend on supplies for my classroom due to that non-existent budget in our school.

Class Sizes
They will increase by at least 8 – 10 children. There is no cap on Kindergarten class size as of successnow. Most of the teachers in our school have up to 29 or 30 four and five-year old children in their rooms. Standing room only. Somehow they manage to get every child in the room to do academic work. They refuse to simply offer a “play-based” curriculum, as established by Mrs. Dalton McGuinty. Her plan was to allow the children to play all day, without attempting any written or somehow applied academics. Art, perhaps. Storytime, most likely. But that’s all the kids are supposed to get from Kindergarten.Yes I know McGuinty was a liberal, but there are some issues I disagree with in my party. Shocker. Now add about another 10 four and five-year olds into the classroom. We’ll be lucky if children don’t get hurt. Not only that, but children in all grades will get far less attention and assistance from the teacher. There will be 40 of them and 1 of her. Good luck with that.

Budget Cuts
You remember how Snobelen (Mike Harris’ choice for Education Minister) slashed the Special Education budget by $50 million. You may remember Snobelen’s comment to a reporter before the mess he and Harris made of this province. Snobelen’s comment was “we plan to do a lot to curb the crisis in education.” The reporter replied, “what crisis? There is none.” Snobelen’s answer was gold: “Then we’re going to make one.”You find that back_to_schooloutrageous?  Hudak will make Snobelen and Harris look like boy scouts. A severe budget cut means less supplies, textbooks, assistive devices and just less of everything for the kids. Think about that if you will.

And this is the party my principal is voting for. Why? Because he is a sneaky guy who is all about the bucks. Administrators do not have a union. They were exiled from OECTA and the OTF eons ago. What have they got to lose? We have a huge budget for supplies this year but he refused to allow us to use it. We got maybe half of what we were entitled to which was a whopping $400.00 for the year. This isn’t money in our pockets. This is strictly classroom and school investment. One thing I will say about our administrator: he certainly doesn’t care about the financial, psychological or educational effects of the PC party in our school. And if he isn’t with us, he’s against us. Not the wisest move to pull on his own staff.

Job Losses
19,000 teacher assistant jobs will be cut over the next four years if Hudak pollutes this province with his politics. In the previous link, watch Hudak trying to sidestep his own campaign about job generation. What a turd. There will be no qualified Kindergarten teachers anymore. There will only be Education Resource Workers (ERW) teachers educating your children. They have never been to teacher’s college. They have no formal university degree. They have no experience teaching an entire classroom of children. They do not know the Ontario curriculum for Kindergarten. Some of these ERWs will probably do a decent job however they aren’t trained in how to observe, assess and evaluate children. Teachers have taken years of this in order to give your child a fair and accurate grade. Don’t forget. These hard-working but unqualified people will be trying to manage 30 – 40 children in the same room without an assistant.

Impose Extra-Curricular Activities
All extra-curricular activities are already covered in the Ontario curriculum. Let’s say your son or daughter likes to play soccer and wants a soccer team at school. Soccer and other ball sports are are already in the physical education program. Imposing means hours and hours or more overtime without receiving a penny, something we do anyway marking, planning, preparing our lessons. Would you work for 14 – 20 hours of unpaid overtime a week? Didn’t booksthink so. Schools already provide wonderful extra-curricular programs. Some teachers lead extra-curriculars for 20 – 30 years, or the duration of their careers. Why? Because they love to do it and they want to present their children with the opportunity to experience teamwork. Hudak, like Harris, is good at making it seem as though teachers don’t care enough about their students as it is. However it would appear that 37% of the idiot voting body have already thrown the baby out with the bath water. To those who vote for Hudak: when we slip into another recession, when you lose your job due to budget cuts in your corporation, when your child is barely making passing grades because of class size and a lack of assistance from the classroom teacher, just remember: you’re the one who voted PC. Not happy with any of the candidates? Fine. Get off thte couch go to the voting polls and SPOIL your ballot. At the very least exercise your right to vote. If we’re going to lose humanity with the PC government (on a worst case scenario), at least keep democracy somewhere in the picture. You give Kudak the opportunity to turn Ontario into the dictatorship he envisions, he’ll move faster than Hitler grabbed the mantle from the dying German Prime Minister and imposed Facism on Germany for 8 years. Don’t snort. It’s happened there, why not here?





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