Marking in the Malls

Press Release:
November 29, 2011

Hundreds of Surrey teachers attended a “Marking in the Malls” event on Monday to demonstrate their ongoing work and commitment to teaching during job action. At three public locations throughout Surrey, teachers marked student work, prepared lesson plans, shared teaching strategies, and talked to passers-by.

“We are reminding the public how much of teachers’ work goes beyond the hours of a school day,” said Julia MacRae, a teacher at Fraser Heights Secondary and one of the organizers of the event. More than 150 teachers at the Guildford Town Centre food court were surrounded by stacks of papers and had signs posted nearby stating “Teaching is more than an 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. job.”

Many of the teachers also sported buttons stating “Proud to be a teacher” and “Kids Matter, Teachers Care.” They posted signs to invite discussion with the public stating, “I’m a teacher. Ask me what I’m doing.”

Over 100 teachers also brought their stacks of marking to the Semiahmoo Shopping Centre in South Surrey, while at Surrey’s new City Centre Library in Whalley, dozens of teachers crowded around tables and sat on the carpet to mark and discuss their teaching materials with each other and interested bystanders.

“During job action, teachers are working as hard as ever to meet student needs,” said Denise Moffatt, president of the Surrey Teachers’ Association. “What better way to remind the public of this than to let people view hundreds of teachers marking assignments in a public space?”

These so-called “grade-ins” have been held during the past several months in many states in the US where attacks on public service workers’ rights have increased in recent years. “It’s an opportunity to interact with the public in a new way,” said Moffatt, “to help keep the public informed and aware of what public school teachers do each day to help students learn and achieve.”

Further events are planned for the new year.

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For more information media representatives can reach the Surrey Teachers’ Association by calling the office at 604.594.5353. You can also email Denise Moffatt at

Tuesday, December 13th, 2011. Filed in Category: Media News Releases

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