Letters: Parents voice support for teachers’ strike action

Parents pen letters to Revelstoke School District expressing support for teachers' strike action.

Editor’s note: These two letters were received by the Times Review prior to Thursday morning’s announcement of full strike action by the BC Teachers Federation.

Dear Mr. Hooker, trustees of School District #19 and others,

My name is Shawn Filipchuk and I am a product of the Revelstoke school system. I graduated in 1990 thanks to the support of numerous teachers and support staff. I have memories of each teacher that guided me through my educational days — and many of those memories are not of a curriculum that we were supposed to learn, but of the extra effort each teacher went through to reach out to us and grab our attention and make learning something we wanted to do, rather than had to do.

My husband and I currently have two kids in the Revelstoke school system at Begbie View Elementary. We have been blessed to have two children who love (every day, honestly — it’s insane) to go to school. Although I’m not there every day to watch them in a classroom setting, I can guarantee you that it’s probably not the reading and writing and arithmetic that gives them a love for learning.

What I can guarantee though is that they have been blessed (and, in turn, us) with the most amazing, kind, caring, empathetic teachers Revelstoke has to offer. Their teachers are fun, engaging and let learning be MORE than just letters and numbers and graphs on a page. Learning is exploring new ideas, grasping difficult concepts, making mistakes and moving forward with finding solutions.

Currently, our teachers are no longer allowed to do their job to the best of their abilities. This is not by their choice either. Thanks to the B.C. government, our teachers are NOT ALLOWED to do their job in a manner that gives them the pride of accomplishment and enjoyment of seeing a child learn that teachers have had for years.  There’s no extra help for kids that need it, no extra time to plan an amazing lesson that will give a child a love for science or math or English. No extra time to help children problem solve an issue on the playground that needs attention. No extra time to reach out to that one child (of which there are many) who needs a kind shoulder, a tender ear that will listen or just a safe place to be in a time of need.

Teachers need to have an empathetic and involved style of teaching that engages all students, with reasonable class sizes and student composition. What approach works for one student doesn’t always work for the next, and our teachers are able to understand what manner works for each and every child, as individuals. If our teachers are not allowed to do their job with a manageable class size, in a manner that works for a wide range of students, I’m certain you will soon learn that kids like our kids will stop loving school and will resist learning. Kids will lose hope that schools are a safe place because robots don’t have feelings or engrossing lesson plans. Kids that need extra help will grow up not only thinking that they aren’t good enough but actually believing that they aren’t good enough to be thoughtful and contributing members of society.

What Revelstoke has is a huge number of teachers who care about our children — the very children that will be our future. They give our children a love for learning and a love for being at school where they are supported, engaged and cared about. Our children are their children. Our teachers care about their future, and our KIDS are caring about their future because they have great role models to look up to.

The way the government is handling things now is beyond disappointing. The B.C. government needs to give B.C. teachers a fair deal, soon. This means fair wage, fair class sizes, and fair class compositions. Our children are missing out on valuable learning time when schools are in session because teachers aren’t able to do what they need to engage students, to show students that they are worthy of a well-rounded education, and because our teachers aren’t feeling respected themselves.

I fully support the Revelstoke teachers and their choice to strike and believe the B.C. government is fully responsible for the chaos that is our current educational system. The B.C. government holds the key to creating a better work environment and, in turn, a better learning environment for our children.

School District #19 needs to take a stand against the B.C. government and its pure disregard for the Supreme Court ruling. School District #19 needs to stand behind their teachers and show them that they are respected as the leads for tomorrow’s future.

I respectfully request a response indicating specifically when the issue will be addressed at the school district level, and for an update regarding a stance that our paid school board staff, and elected board members will be taking regarding the education future for our children.

Sincerely,

Shawn Filipchuk

***

Editor,

I am a parent in Revelstoke with one school-aged child and another who will enter the system in a few years. Our school system in Revelstoke is something to be very proud of and this is due to excellent administration and excellent teachers. Not only do our teachers excel at teaching our children the curriculum, but they teach empathy, social skills, patience, critical thinking skills, manners, work ethic, self-control, cooperation, etc… The list of methods that they use to make good citizens is endless. These values are essential to raising children who will be responsible individuals in our society. Our school system is the backbone of our society and I am disappointed that our government appears to be unable to make this connection. The teachers deserve a fair wage, and our children deserve a good education.

I fully support the teachers’ strike action. The government is disrespecting our province, our children, our society and our justice system by appealing the BC Supreme Court ruling. It is disgraceful.

Tara Sylvestre

Revelstoke

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

While Revelstoke has one of the oldest bear awareness societies in the province, the city has yet to implement a community wide bear-proof garbage system. (Submitted)
Saving bears: Revelstoke’s garbage dilemma

More than 400 bears have been killed in the city since 1986

Your Columbia River Revelstoke candidates; Nicole Cherlet (NDP); Samson Boyer (Green) and Doug Clovechok (BC Liberal). The polls are closed and ballots being counted. (File photo)
BC VOTES: Clovechok preliminary winner with 52 per cent of the vote

35 of 77 polls have reported and The Canadian Press is calling Clovechok winner

Firefighters and RCMP are on scene at a fire on Douglas Street. (Jocelyn Doll - Revelstoke Review)
PHOTOS: Firefighters battling blaze on Douglas Street

RCMP are also on scene and blocking off access to the street

The Columbia River Revelstoke riding saw three candidates, Nicole Cherlet for the NDP, Samson Boyer for the Green Party and Doug Clovechok, incumbent, for the BC Liberals. (Jocelyn Doll/Revelstoke Review)
UPDATE: Polls now closed in 2020 provincial election

B.C.’s snap election has already broken records for advance voter turnout, mail-in ballots

NDP headquarters on election night, Oct. 24, 2020. (Katya Slepian/Black Press Media)
ELECTION 2020: Live blog from B.C. party headquarters

BC NDP projected to win majority government – but celebrations will look different this election

NDP Leader John Horgan celebrates his election win in the British Columbia provincial election in downtown Vancouver, B.C., Saturday, Oct. 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan celebrates projected majority NDP government, but no deadline for $1,000 deposit

Premier-elect says majority government will allow him to tackle issues across all of B.C.

Kelowna Secondary School. (SD23 photo)
One case of COVID-19 identified at Kelowna Secondary School

Interior Health will follow up directly with those who may have been exposed to the virus

BC NDP candidate Harwinder Sandhu offered praise to her team of volunteers (pictured Oct. 21), following a too-close race with BC Liberal and incumbent Eric Foster in the 2020 provincial election Oct. 24. The outcome will be dependent on the final count from mail-in ballots expected in three weeks. (Facebook)
‘Every vote counts’ in tight Vernon-Monashee race: NDP Harwinder Sandhu

Incumbent BC Liberal Eric Foster finishes election night with slim lead

The Independent Investigations Office of BC (IIO)
UPDATE: One dead after Highway 97A crash near Armstrong, police watchdog investigating

The crash happened as RCMP attempted to stop an alleged stolen vehicle

FILE – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets Premier John Horgan during a press conference at the BC Transit corporate office following an announcement about new investments to improve transit for citizens in the province while in Victoria on Thursday, July 18, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Trudeau congratulates Horgan on NDP’s election victory in British Columbia

Final count won’t be available for three weeks due to the record number of 525,000 ballots cast by mail

Comedic actor Seth Rogen, right, and business partner Evan Goldberg pose in this undated handout photo. When actor Seth Rogen was growing up and smoking cannabis in Vancouver, he recalls there was a constant cloud of shame around the substance that still lingers. Rogen is determined to change that. (Maarten de Boer ohoto)
Seth Rogen talks about fighting cannabis stigma, why pot should be as accepted as beer

‘I smoke weed all day and every day and have for 20 years’

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Provincial Green Party leader Sonia Furstenau speaks at Provincial Green Party headquarters at the Delta Victoria Ocean Pointe in Victoria. (Arnold Lim / Black Press)
VIDEO: Furstenau leads BC Greens to win first riding outside of Vancouver Island

Sonia Furstenau became leader of BC Greens one week before snap election was called

NDP Leader John Horgan elbow bumps NDP candidate Coquitlam-Burke Mountain candidate Fin Donnelly following a seniors round table in Coquitlam, B.C., Tuesday, October 20, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Horgan, NDP head for majority in B.C. election results

Record number of mail-in ballots may shift results

Most Read