Saturday, March 22, 2008

Attentione, Amici

Please note along the right hand column that I have added a new link today titled: "Samantha Speaks: The Vancouver Manifesto."

For a quick look, go here now:

http://thevancouvermanifesto.blogspot.com/

She is an interesting writer with a distinct point of view.

Cheers.

5 comments:

Urban Manifestos Since 2007 said...

Thanks for the traffic.

TheVancouverManifesto

David in North Burnaby BC said...

"She is an interesting writer with a distinct point of view."

She's a BCTF apologist spewing the usual self-serving to hell with the kids we're a trade union accountable to no-one drivel imo. Not sure I spotted anything "distinct" here.

Samantha Orwell said...

"to hell with the kids"?

wow.. that's an interesting interpetation, david.

nothing about my post even remotely talked about the BCTF or being unionized. and no, you weren't even reading between the lines on that one either.

if you have EVER seen an FSA test you would know what I am talking about. And if you have EVER seen 10 year old children run away crying with anxiety, stomach cramp and nausea over a exam that means ABSOLUTELY nothing than you will know why I am opposed to the FSA exams.

You don't have to deal with kids that cradle themselves under the sink in the washroom to calm themselves down. Kids already deal with so much shit, I'm just trying to make sure people aren't adding unnecessary, and even destructive, hurdles for kids.

And yes, all of the above experiences are true.

I'm so tired of everybody saying that teachers are just in it to protect themselves. The vast majority of teaches I know are incredible educators that sacrifice every minute of their day worrying about the kids in their class as if they were their own children.


The Vancouver Manifesto

Anonymous said...

Re: Teacher Strike: Shirley Bond Needs to Go

"And if you have EVER seen 10 year old children run away crying with anxiety, stomach cramp and nausea over a exam that means ABSOLUTELY nothing than you will know why I am opposed to the FSA exams."

Please. If a child is in such a state over an FSA exam it's likely because the child's teacher got him into that state (although such upset is hard to imagine quite frankly). In grade four my son's teacher spoke openly to her charges about the evils of the FSA. When my son came home spouting same, and how it would be judging him, etc. and how difficult and unfair it was, we had to do damage control. My daughter, in a different (read private) school, had no such experience with her teacher and therefore no such angste.

The point about taking away precious teaching time to "teach to the test" doesn't hold any water. Teachers take time away from "teaching" for all manner of things. I believe my son has now been to the Vancouver Art Gallery on three different occasions to look at paintings by Emily Carr (is this really necessary? -- perhaps teachers should get together and decide about such things instead of repeating ad naseum). They certainly took time away from teaching when they went on strike (and my son's teacher in particular took time away from teaching prior to the strike to "teach" about the BCTF's position on the strike -- I know because the parents were called in to hear the speech. There are also the various projects that are taken on (you know, trying to be all things to all students) that take time away from actual "teaching". In the end, there are many ways to teach I'm sure, and "teaching to the test" is just one of them.

And the stance that the teacher is some kind of saint spending 8 hours a day (not true by the way) with a child and that the parent is not doing their bit is offensive and just plain nonsense. Quite frankly we parents spend a great deal of time making up at home for the work that wasn't covered at school (this is particularly true for math). And why are there currently so many students with tutors, if the teaching is so superior?

And then we hear about accountability. Apparently accountability means coming in and talking to the teacher to find out how Johnny is doing. Well, what if I think Mrs. or Mr. Teacher is not doing a good job? Then what? Well, then nothing. Her point seems to be that teachers should be able to assess themselves. That's not how it works in the real world however. If the FSA is so evil, please oh please come up with a better way to evaluate the teachers, because, like basic job evaluations, an evaluation needs to take place.

Mo.

David in North Burnaby BC said...

"because, like basic job evaluations, an evaluation needs to take place."

Not according to the teachers' trade union. They use the kids as human shields (very classy, very professional, very caring) to cover their, uh, deficiencies but no-one seems to be buying it.