May 21, 2012
I remember when:
- The counsellor had enough time to come into our rooms and lead lessons on anti-bullying or class meetings or whatever issue needed addressing as a group, plus enough time to see kids individually.
- We had a school nurse, even for one day per week.
- We had a teacher’s assistant to help with photocopying, preparing for art projects (cutting 100 stocking shapes from fabric!), making booklets, laminating…the list goes on.
- We had clean classrooms on days that the custodian was absent, because replacement custodians were sent in.
- There was enough learning support time to get regular support for grey area kids too.
- If you had three designated kids in intermediate, your maximum class size would be 27 (30 minus three), so you could end up with 25 (to allow room for new kids). And this did happen – seriously.
- We did not have a TOC shortage problem.
- Cost-of-TOC for discretionary days was about $180 (prior to 2005), not $312 that it is today.
- Librarians could work at one school, instead of having to take on two or more schools for full-time work.
- There was a gifted program at each school where a teacher would provide enrichment to gifted students, once or twice per week.
- Paperwork for learning support (ex. IEPs) did not require a time-consuming, crash-prone program like BCeSIS. Instead, hand-printed or simple word-processing would do fine.
- Teachers were not as stressed, because the needs of their classes were not as great, since many kids were getting the extra emotional or academic help they needed. Maybe it is not our ‘demographic’ changing. Maybe what we are seeing today is the result of ten years of cuts?
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