Recess Canceled for Students due to teacher strike

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/03/2011 ( 47 moms have responded )

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I received an automated phone message this morning from my daughter's school district (my daughter picked up the phone so I didn't hear the entire message) detailing the new things teachers wouldn't do. Shortly after that I had a call from one of my husband's cousins whose children attend school in a town to the North of us. She told me that bus service was canceled for anyone living 4Km or less from the school and that outdoor recess was canceled. There's supposed to be a long list of things teachers are refusing to do now because of the strike in BC (including report cards and parent teacher meetings) but I can't find it right now.

I managed to find a link about the Kelowna schools (my district) on CBC.ca http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-co...

I understand that the teachers are upset about recent budget cuts. But to cancel recess for students because you don't feel it's what your paid for is selfish in my opinion. Don't punish children for what the government is doing to you. I guess I should say I'm glad it'll be in the upper 20's the rest of the week, but it's still crappy.

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JuLeah - posted on 09/03/2011

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Well .... see it from their point of view. They are required to be out of the playground with the kids during recess. They don't get paid fot that

They do have less hours to teach more kids more required things and they are docked big time of the kids don't learn the required meterial

Kids in many places won't be learning art, or music, or PE because they teachers are now required to teach so many other things, more kids, fewer hours, less help

Teacher here buy class supplies out of pocket

Teachers here are still required to take advanced and continuing ed classes over the summer, but the district doesn't pay for any of it any more. It used to be that so many classes hours got you a pay increase, and that is gone now too

Many schools here are 1/2 day on Wed and no school on Fri, but the teachers are still accountable if the kids don't learn - as I said, 15 more kids in their classes this year

And, the powers that be have asked the kids learn really really stupid things ... so, no science in first grade for example, because time will be spent learning to count backwards from 100

Kids that don't show up for class ... yah, the principle is accountable and money comes out of her/his personal pocket for each kid not in class - how dumb is that???

Don't get mad at the teachers ... I question why any of them are still there putting up with these conditions

Amie - posted on 09/04/2011

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I don't see the big deal. Our teachers went on strike out here, they ended up in a full on walk off near the end of the year. We weren't even sure if our kids would be able to finish the school year. They went back after 2 or 3 days (can't remember which) because they all went back to the bargaining table. It had started with cutting extra's (like recess, activities, etc.).

I still supported the teachers. They have every right to fight for what they need. It only helps our children in the long run when they do so. It's not just themselves they worry about, even though pay & benefits are a part of the bargaining.

I don't see the big deal with the little notice. It is the beginning of the year - at least they're making the effort to phone parents when they can. We were given one day notice by phone call and followed up with a note that was sent home with our kids. It didn't throw a wrench in my system but I'm a SAHM. I know some that are not but they worked it out. As parents we have learned by the time they reach school age to work things out fast and if we can't, oh well - that's the life of a parent. I refused to be mad at teachers that were fighting not only for themselves but for my children.

It's not the teachers punishing children and I was livid when I saw kids (too young to even understand politics or what was really happening) protesting out here when the strikes happened here. It is not punishment for them, it is to benefit them. It is a teachers last stand (striking) to say enough, better needs to be done for us and the children. Don't be mad at teachers for standing up, be mad at the governments for thinking so low of our teachers and our next generations.

Johnny - posted on 09/04/2011

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In BC until the 90's there were paid playground supervisors. Usually Moms looking to make a little extra cash with a part-time gig. Due to budget cutbacks those positions were cut and teachers were expected to take over those duties for no additional compensation. It has been a contentious part of the labor negotiations ever since. There is a good reason why this is part of their tactics. BC teachers have some of the worst pay and conditions in the country. I am thankful that they care enough about our kids not to launch a full strike. And if you are mad about the fees ask the provincial government not the local district.

JuLeah - posted on 09/04/2011

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Sharon: But unless you have been a classroom teacher ....

Yah, that sums it up. Come do it better if you think you can.

I am amazed we still have people willing to do this job

[deleted account]

Ya know there are A LOT of hours I spend outsude of my regular contracted day that I DON'T get paid for, and weekly duties, meetings, and covering OTHER classes that I don't get paid for. It's all part of the job. But here's a news flash, while the kids need a 15 minute break, so do us teachers! How about 5 minutes to pee! Or, in worst case scenario I had to call upon another teacher who was passing by my classroom to watch my class so I could go use the restroom. While the kids need a chance to stretch and run, teachers need some time to recharge as well. If the school cannot afford playground aides or lacking in volunteers then the teacher can build 10-15 minutes of non-instructional time in the classroom. Be creative. It sucks royaly for small kids to endure hours of instruction with no break. But labor laws protect and guarantee a lunch break and a 15 minute break. Sorry that some of you find that selfish-go volunteer to watch the playground in order to protect recess. But unless you have been a classroom teacher ( and I do know that some of you are) I get quite defensive of my profession.

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Michelle - posted on 09/07/2011

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I understand also that teachers are upset but you are right..dont punish the children! They are inside all day they need to get outdoors and stretch their legs and get some air. Cancelling bus services is also making kids suffer..thats their only way to get there. Im sure there are other things they could do..its always the kids that end up suffering!

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/06/2011

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Amanda, I'm aware a strike doesn't mean forever. We've had plenty back in the States. I'm upset about my daughter not being able to be outside not uninformed.

I met the teacher this morning, she seems very nice and my husband and I mentioned about Abby's ADD so she appreciated that. The school supplies the stuff that the kids need we just have to pay 40$. The cultural fee is also included and that's because 4 times out of the year they have cutural performances and the school has to pay for them. My husband's aunt has heard of the cultural fee before so maybe only the larger school districts do it?

I have to go pick my daughter up at 10:45 instead of 11 today because the day's shortened by 15 minutes. After today pick up is 2:15.

Well at least she can run around outside the apartment.

Jodi - posted on 09/06/2011

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Yes, Emma, here if teachers strike it tends to be for a stop-work meeting, so the school shuts down for a day or half a day. It doesn't affect me, because my kids are in Catholic school (so the pay system is different). But it is pretty rare, and doesn't go on and on and on.



I am anti strike action for getting what you want too. I think it is akin to blackmail to be honest. I remember when I once worked for a bank, and there was a strike of bank staff. I was one of the few who turned up to work because I simply don't believe in striking to get what I want.



Oh, except for the time I went on strike here one day when my husband pissed me off. I grabbed a book, told them all I was on strike and locked myself in our room for the rest of the day :P

Becky - posted on 09/06/2011

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I'm sure that's true. I don't actually know what they make. My BIL is an EMT and works on the reserve, and while his pay is okay, I know it's certainly not equal to the stress of the job - especially working on the reserve!

Becky - posted on 09/06/2011

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Well, I have to say the pay for social workers - at least government employees - here in Alberta isn't exactly shit. I was making $70,000.00 a year when I quit, and I think it's gone up since then. The working conditions aren't optimal, for sure, but the pay wasn't bad! Some professions here, like EMTs, firefighters and police are deemed "essential services" and are not legally allowed to strike. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I understand it may compromise their ability to achieve fair working conditions, which isn't right, but on the other hand, I don't really feel that allowing people to die because you want more money is right either. It's a tough one for me.

Stifler's - posted on 09/06/2011

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Any time teachers did a strike while I was in school they only took one day off teaching students to have a media conference.

Stifler's - posted on 09/06/2011

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Those professions never do a full on strike. They always have skeleton staff on. That's why they still get shit pay and conditions.

Becky - posted on 09/05/2011

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I'm torn on this issue. On the one hand, I definitely feel that teachers deserve to have breaks and that they deserve much more respect than they currently get, given the job they do. I've worked with a lot of the kids teachers have to teach, and they are NOT easy kids! And I know that here in Alberta there have been huge budget cuts to education and a lot of services that I think are essential in schools, like aides, resource teachers, school counsellors, etc, have been cut, which I believe seriously compromises the educational experience for some children, especially those with special needs. So I agree, action needs to be taken, and there are worse things than cutting recess for a period of time.
On the other hand, I have difficulty with the concept of strikes in general, I guess on a moral level. Well, for services I would consider essential, like police, ambulance, fire-fighters, teachers, social workers, nurses, etc. When I worked for Children's Services, there were a few times that contract negotiations were occurring and strikes were threatened. Fortunately, they never happened while I worked there, because I"m not sure how I would've handled it. For me, I just have a problem with leaving a family who is in crisis hanging out to dry. I can't reconcile it with my sense of responsiblility. I would've have had no problem leaving my paperwork and things that were just routine, but if I had a family I knew was struggling, I think I would've ended up working with them on my own time, in spite of the strike. Anyway, that's just my own overactive sense of responsibility, I guess.
The schools here do give a list of supplies - like Amie said, you can get the list in Walmart. I looked at the kindergarten list the other day, just out of curiosity. It's pretty long! We also have quite a few school fees - although, as far as I know, no cultural fee. And if your kids don't bus to school but you want them to stay for lunch, you have to pay an obscene amount of money for lunchroom supervision. If we hadn't moved to an area where our kids have to bus to school (we used to be just a block from the school), I would've almost been forced to continue to stay-at-home once the kids were in school. Not that I would've minded that...

Stifler's - posted on 09/05/2011

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teachers always bought stuff for the classroom when i was at school. we also had to bring a permanent marker,. a ream of A4 paper and a box of tissues to donate to the class room it was on our book list.

Amanda - posted on 09/05/2011

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A strike doesnt mean this is forever Megan. Get over it, I am sure the teachers will be off their strike in a few weeks. And everything will go back to normal. Btw most schools dont give a list of supplies, because younger children dont need any supplies other then pencils and crayons. I have never been asked in Ontario to buy things for the class room, and my children are in grade 8,6, and preschool.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/05/2011

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Amie, I'm new to all of this. My older daughter attended a private Catholic school in the next town over from me in New York last year. In NY the district mails you a letter informing you who your teacher is, what the child needs for school (last year we had to supply our classrooms with Kleenex, sanitizing wipes. hand sanitizer paper towels and paper cups along with the usual school supplies.) And a bussing schedule

I'm dumbfounded that no one thought up a better solution to these issues this year.

And I have to cut this short because I have to go do a family thing

Amie - posted on 09/05/2011

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Oh and the bussing issue. It is a privilege. In the city they have a bus that runs the perimeter of the school zone you're in to pick up kids out there. Where we are now it is still a privilege, even though we live 20 minutes from our daughters school and 5 minutes from our sons. All highway driving. They have rules they must follow and if our kids act up, they follow the steps to reprimand the kids. If it gets bad enough, the kids are kicked off the bus and the parents are expected to find alternate transportation for their kids.



We also don't pay for our buses though, they are all funded through the school district. If they don't get the money for that, well then yes I'd expect them to either start cutting those services or demanding money from parents to keep them running.

Amie - posted on 09/05/2011

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Megan, I have friends that were affected too. Other SAHM's like me who knew them - babysat for the working mom's during the strike. We did it for free and since we all had kids the same age that were friends - it worked out well.

I couldn't do this for our friends - they were in the city and we had not gotten to know the people where we are now all that well.

Also the school supply list - out here ours are handed out at the end of the year with report cards, certain stores keep the lists for the schools within their area (walmart does this here) and we have them posted online at the school's website. Can you not find it one of these ways? If not, just call - it's not the end of the world if they start the school year without their supplies. In the younger grades they generally just toss them altogether and share anyway - out here, it might be different in BC.

Does anyone know that the teachers and staff did in fact not look at other options? We were given notifications (before they settled the contract) that if it went into the summer and was going on at the beginning of this school year - what they would need from us, the parents. I also live rurally though and the parents are expected to do a lot more. Which I don't mind, I've always been active in my children's schools but now it's a bit easier with a clear cut list of where they need parents and I fill it in at the beginning of the year. (or some things I wait to see if I can fit it in, I try to play our entire year as much as I can when school starts)

Sharon's right too - I used to be very proud of our schools. They were doing a lot, the parents were involved and our kids were thriving in smaller classrooms. Now, the government has started cutting. It started when they took away the schools right to set their mill rates - saying they could cover it. Turns out, because they're a bunch of idiots, they can't. So they started cutting. The schools are slowly feeling the pinch. My sons kindergarten teacher last year (the one in the city, we moved half way through the year to our acreage) had to buy her own class room aides from the teachers store. The store is expensive and with a $200 budget for the entire year - it wasn't enough so she dug into her own pockets to get the kids what they needed. That is what is happens when the government (and those that support the government) do not respect our teachers.

Not many really know how hard teachers have it lately (outside other teachers), I know I was only privy to it because I am close with my childrens teachers. Most I would call family friends now.

[deleted account]

"I'm saying the districts should've looked into other options prior to the Summer holiday knowing that the teachers weren't happy so that the students wouldn't suffer because of budget cuts. "

I agree with you. It goes back to poor leadership at the administrative level. The link that you provided that listed what teachers will no longer do, IMO, is a little ridiculous. However, if you consider each item as an entire collective group of complaints, WHEN do teachers actually teach? There needs to be a compromise. But sadly, there usually is none and that's when frustrated teachers walk off the job.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/05/2011

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I understand district cuts, one of the towns back where I'm from cut bussing so much that you may as well have been in the next town over to be bussed.



I know Kelowna isn't rural, we're the 5th largest city in BC and the limit is 2Km. Vernon's a bit of a mix though and I don't know why the district increased it to 4Km.



I'm not saying the teachers shouldn't get support, I'm saying the districts should've looked into other options prior to the Summer holiday knowing that the teachers weren't happy so that the students wouldn't suffer because of budget cuts.

[deleted account]

Bussing has always been considered a privilege in some school districts, and not a right. Unless you reside in a rural district, most schools actually do enforce the walking rule. In my home-school district, after budget cuts, 81 lay-offs, closure of 2 schools, eliminating bus routes, parents had to get creative with walking students. They organized carpools, walking buddy programs, and a group of parents agreed to pay for bussing for their children to a specific bus stop. I think it was $30/kid for each semester. So it's a win-win situation for the kids at this bus stop becasue they won't have to walk, and the school district can claim the revenue for providing transportation. Also know that there are federal transportation guidelines that school districts have to report in order to be compensated for bussing over an "x" mile radius. Transportation gets reimbursed per mile OUTSIDE of the bus zone. If the bus stop is inside the walking zone, then they do not get mileage reimbursement. It is considered "courtesy" bussing. Another red-tape issue with educational funding.

Johnny - posted on 09/05/2011

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It boggles my mind that people think that those teaching their child and 20 others will be at their best selves after not getting any breaks for a full day. I certainly do not want to think of how my daughter's teacher would be with the kids after struggling just to get a pee break. And that's how it is right now, at least in our district. The school got rid of recess & lunch assistants and never provided for any alternative except for the teachers giving up their breaks.

At the school my daughter will go to there is only 8 classrooms. It's a K-3 Annex. There are teacher's aides for the special needs students, a vice-principal, a secretary and a janitor. That's it.

When I was a SAHM, I picked up my neighbor's son from school every day. There were only a handful of parents there, because most of the kids went to afterschool care as their parents worked. Some of the people who I'd even assumed were parents were actually neighbors like me or babysitters.

I'm sure in wealthier neighborhoods or such having parents pick up the slack might be an option. But for the two largest school districts in our province, having a large majority of parents at work during the day is a fact of life. They don't have this volunteer option. Not to say that parents are not volunteering a lot, just not during the daytime. So the system is going to have to come up with a negotiated working solution that puts our kids first. And to me, that isn't having a teacher who doesn't get a break at all.

I find it really depressing how little support our teachers are given. People are constantly whining and bellyaching about the state of education, but it never occurs to them that it costs money and some of that has to go towards the people doing the educating. BC teachers are some of the lowest paid in the country. They are really just asking for tighter class size restrictions (good for YOUR kids), more support for breaks (good for YOUR kids), and pay that is closer to the national average. I do not think that is unreasonable, but then again, I have a lot of respect for the job our teachers are doing.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/05/2011

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Amie, one of my husband's cousins is affected by the short notice because of her job. She has to rearrange her entire schedule becuase of this. I'm upset about the short notice because I'm from the states and as screwed up as our government is at least the school districts there give more notice on things (at least in my state) I don't even know the school supplies my child needs for school. Plus the Vernon school district cut some busing to students so now if you're 4Km or less from school you get to walk.

[deleted account]

You want me to break out the violins for you now Sharon?

Nope- save your sarcasm, I have enough on my plate already. Thank you for volunteering in your kid's school. I am sure your volunteer hours are truly appreciated. Here's the thing-there will always be people complaining about something. If the teachers in this particular district do not include recess in the regular contract day, then that's an administrative issue, not the teacher. It's poor leadership if the principals won't bend a little so that teachers AND students can benefit from a 15 minute break. My son's school also gets out 30 minutes early every Wednesday so that teachers can do their weekly grading and participate in mandatory professional development workshops. There are people out there who are clueless on the out-of-school contract hours any given grade level teacher spends in planning for his/her class that includes creating daily lessons, planning assessments, grading papers, inputing grades, returning parent phone calls and emails, attending after hours professional development trainings, etc.

So back to the original issue- recess IS important for both students & teachers. It is the administration and school officials that need to recognize that. I have always welcomed outsiders to come and spend a day in my classroom to observe to get first hand knowledge. I give a ton of credit to elementary teachers-they give up so much and gain so little respect in return.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/04/2011

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I found another link pertaining to the issue. http://www.canada.com/health/Kelowna+tea...

Kids will be allowed to go to Gym or the library but not outside. Also my husband and I never received a letter about any of these changes. We had to find out from an automated voice message on a Saturday morning 3 days before school starts.

My job (the one I get paid for) is hard too. I'm a care aide. I work in people's homes and don't get a break at all unless the person I'm taking care of says I can. And I work weekends and holidays too.

Oh and I found the will not do list: http://www.kelownadailycourier.ca/top_st... Please notice that this letter won't be given to parents until TUESDAY THE FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL. Thanks for the notice SD#23

Not supervising detention gave me a WTF moment. Back in New York teachers do supervise detentions. Some of it does make sense though, but some of it is also duh.

Jodi - posted on 09/04/2011

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You want me to break out the violins for you now Sharon? Sorry, but I cannot see how 1/2 hour a week of playground duty infringes on your rights, or how your rights are more important than the rights of the children. I think they are equally important.



So you feel overworked and underpaid. Welcome to the rest of the world.



And just for the record, I do volunteer more than 1/2 hour a week to the schools, while juggling two businesses (and earning less than the average teacher while doing so at the moment). So I'm kind of unsympathetic to the plight of cancelling recess for the sake of 1/2 hour a week.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/04/2011

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But they're not adding extra class time in BC Sharon, they're ending classes 15 minutes early which affects some parents who have to walk their children home. I understand the job isn't easy and the BC government has been cutting the education budget and removing some vital classes or reducing them. But it's been proven that kids do need to have some activity. I don't see why they can't just do like my daughter's teacher in the States did or request volunteers. I'd walk over to where my daughter goes to school with my baby to supervise. Hell I'm trained in first aid, CPR and I could change a foley bag if I had to. There should be alternatives other than keeping a kid inside.

Are the teachers just hoping the parents will get upset at the fact that they canceled report cards, recess, and meeting the teacher because it's not in the contract. I'm just getting a major crash course in how Canadian schools work and I don't like the system very much at the moment.

Amanda - posted on 09/04/2011

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This happens ever few years in Ontario. When I was in highschool we didnt have breaks, or even lunch due to teacher strikes, but on the better side, we were out of school by lunch. :0)

Now I ask you which would you rather the teachers do? Go on work to rule (which is what they are doing now to your child) or completely strike and your child be home all day long learning nothing?

[deleted account]

I've seen recess handled two different ways. One way is teacher rotations. The other way is the auxillary staff (PE, music, art, foreign language, and even the principal) will rotate.

Jodi - posted on 09/04/2011

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I think unsupervised recess would leave the school wide open for lawsuits if something were to happen. There are just too many things that could happen if it were unsupervised, that's just crazy.

At our school, the teachers take it in turns to do playground duty, so that every teacher rotates throughout the week. I am pretty sure they each do 1/2 hour a week or something all up, I don't see that as such a lot.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/04/2011

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I thought I may have read in the article that they're doing unsupervised recess. I don't like that idea too much either because on one side of my daughter's new school is a main road that leads to a highway.

I'm still looking for the list of what teachers won't do this school year online. When I find it I'll post a link

Jodi - posted on 09/04/2011

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Well, I'm just going to say that the teachers are making their own job more difficult by not doing recess. I wouldn't want to be teaching kids who haven't been able to get out and use a bit of their energy on the playground....... :\ I'd happily volunteer 15 minutes of my week (in rotation with other teachers in the school) to monitor a recess rather than teach a bunch of kids that didn't get that outlet.

Jenn - posted on 09/04/2011

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Volunteering encompasses numerous tasks, many of which can be done from home or after hours (covering books, making copies, helping with projects coming up). Our charter school is public but with a private school feel. Volunteering is important because our teachers do not have aides. Parents who work will volunteer for things not required during school hours. It is important for patents to be involved in their child's school. The kids love it too. It teaches a sense of community, responsibility and accountability. One teacher goes to recess and a couple of moms help monitor on the playground. Parents help out at lunch to give teachers a much needed break. I am a huge believer that parents should stay involved as much as they can not just with homework but also school itself. Kids need recess to chill out, play, let off steam and re energize for more learning.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/04/2011

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I sent my daughter to a private Catholic school last year and I wasn't expected to volunteer if I couldn't. They did ask for volunteers and you had to take a course. The only time I volunteered was for the Valentine's dance.

Johnny - posted on 09/04/2011

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When I was growing up, some of the parents in my neighborhood sent their kids to private school because one of the benefits was NOT being expected to volunteer. I guess it depends on the area. Aside from a yearly school bazaar, our local private school doesn't have any parent volunteerism at all. Not even a PAC. It may be different in religious schools, I don't know, they are largely specific ethnicities here and I do not know anyone who sends their kids to one.

I guess parent volunteers would work if there was at least a reasonable minority of SAH parents, but with so few, it would be placing an unfairly large burden on those that could.

Mary - posted on 09/04/2011

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Johnny - one of the differences with private schools is that they can make their own rules. Not all, or even the majority, of the moms in my sister's area are SAHMs...it doesn't change the school's requirements of the parents. I do know that my sister has covered lunch duty for more than one mom, or for her friend who has 6 kids ( 2 of whom are still in diapers), in exchange for some other volunteer jobs that occur on evenings or weekends. Parents know up front what the requirements and expectations are regarding "volunteer" responsibilities are, and they have developed their own barter system to get it all covered. Of course, private schools do have the luxury of kicking a kid out if the parent refuses to comply, and according to my sister, they have.

Stifler's - posted on 09/04/2011

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Some places they do different lunch times for different grades and have teacher aides doing the playground here. Well they did when I went to school. But still that is the reason that teachers and nurses and other professions are so poorly paid with poor incentives and poor conditions. They care too much about their work and won't do a full on strike until they get what they want.

Johnny - posted on 09/04/2011

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Volunteer parents may be a great idea in some parts, but there are very very few SAHM's in our school district. I do not personally know any other mom's in my area who are. The schools here did used to have a lot of parent volunteers, but it's very rare now. Even my mom friends who have kids in the local elementary schools and who do volunteer work are also full-time working moms, so all the volunteer work and fundraising happens on evenings & weekends. One of the moms in my co-op who is very active on the PAC told me that only one of the mom's in her son's class is a SAHM and she does virtually all the day time volunteer stuff. With our cost of living, it is not likely that a plan like volunteer supervision would be possible. It would be great, I'd love to do that personally. But it just wouldn't fly.

As for the cultural fee, I've never heard of that either. Could it be to cover field trips?

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/04/2011

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I don't know about in BC but back in New York my daughter's school had volunteer parents and the Gym teacher who monitored the cafeteria while the teachers had their lunch in their break room. I don't know why they can't do it there.

I am going to ask about the cultural fee because my husband is a Canadian citizen who has always lived in BC and has never heard of a cultural fee. I'll ask tomorrow at the family BBQ as well.

Hell I'm a SAHM right now I wonder if parents like myself who are bored out of their minds can't just volunteer to watch the playground. It beats staying at home on the computer all day trying to get other things done

Mary - posted on 09/04/2011

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This really made me think a bit. I went to a private (Catholic) school, and my sister's kids are currently in one as well. In those schools, they have what are called "Lunch Mothers". Growing up, our teachers were never on the playground - it was always a group of moms. At my sister's kids schools (and other Catholic schools in my area), parental volunteerism is mandatory. Each family has a certain number of hours that they must contribute for the school year, and rotation through the lunchtime/recess duty is a part of that. My sister has to do about one day out of the month, and there is schedule that is put out by the school some time in August. If something comes up - sick kid, jury duty, whatever - the parent has to find coverage for that day. The teachers are in no way expected to monitor recess.

The more I think about it, the more sense it makes. After all, those teachers put in long days. I think it's absolutely ridiculous to expect them to not get any type of break away from the kids, where they can eat their own meal in peace. If they are expected to monitor the lunch room and recess, when exactly do they get a few minutes to themselves? Hell, even the cashiers at Walmart and the burger flippers at McDonald's get a break!

I think these teachers are absolutely entitled to refuse this. It's sad that they have to put their foots down, and it sucks for the kids, but it's the system that needs to change, not their position.

Stifler's - posted on 09/04/2011

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I think if no one strikes they will never get respect. That includes refusing to do things and sometimes being "unfair". I think it sucks that you don't get paid to do overtime marking papers, or get a lunch break because you have to supervise kids playing and break up petty arguments and then get blamed for bullying and what not.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/03/2011

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Heather, my husband's from Surrey and went to school in Canoe and Salmon Arm. He's never heard of a cultural fee either. A neighbour/ friend of mine has a child going into Kindergarten they want her to pay 40$ for supplies plus the cultural fee by the 23rd. I have nothing saying when school lets out because my daughter wasn't even listed as being registered as an international student. Even though my husband and I did everything at the beginning of the year.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/03/2011

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Cultural fee???? I'm in BC and I've never heard of that. When I was in school they weren't allowed to charge any fees. Must be new. And what is it for? wtf. We also don't buy supplies from the school here. You get a list of suggested items and buy them yourself (which still costs you, but at least you get some choices that way). That must be a Kelowna thing.

Well...I guess 15 minutes early off of school is better than a full out strike. Hopefully they can get it sorted out soon.

♥♪Megan♫♥ - posted on 09/03/2011

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The kids are being let out 15 minutes early which means I'm SOL if my 5 almost 6 month old is napping when it's time to pick up my 6 almost 7 year old.

This is my first year at a Canadian school, last year my daughter went to school in my hometown in western NY. The teachers went out on the playground and supervised during recess. They watched their own class not anyone else's.

I understand that it's hard. But here in BC the students buy their supplies from the school and we also have to pay a cultural fee. I don't even know what that is.

Lady Heather - posted on 09/03/2011

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I really feel for teachers these days, especially the young ones just starting out who have to put up with all the crap and have zero job security. I know one of my band teachers from high school just recently had his post confirmed for greater than a year's length and I graduated 11 years ago. Sigh.

We have the same thing happening in PG and I'm not sure I get it. Does that mean the kids just stay in class instead? So the teacher has to supervise anyways? I guess it's just a symbolic thing. Wouldn't be my first choice as a protest tool.

[deleted account]

Being a teacher is essentially two full time jobs. The first is what most people think of...teaching all day. The second is all the paperwork, lesson plans, grading, meetings, etc. Teachers are severely underpaid. BUT I agree that it is crappy to take it out on the students. It's been proven that exercise and breaks are good for student performance. It seems to me like the teachers are shooting themselves in the foot by doing this. The kids will be restless and inattentive without an appropriate break, and their jobs will be harder.

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