The 2023 Red for BCED Campaign focuses on why it’s important to fight for a well-funded public education system if we want to sustain a healthy democracy.  Last week, we listed the first reason.  

A second reason is that a quality, well-funded public education system aims to ensure that every student can reach their full potential. 

Here is a fantastic story from a Grade 2/3 Surrey Teacher who celebrates what’s great about their school and where they could use more support. 

How lucky am I to work at my school?  Our large, fast paced school hosts approximately 700 students from all corners of the world, 80+ of which are of Indigenous ancestry. We have Options running programs at our school, STARR program, Safe Schools, Adams Apples, Starfish Backpacks of food that are sent home with families, and the Lunch Program.  With our ever-growing student population, we have a large LST and IST staff who work to support staff and students, and a weekly School Based Team that runs like a well-oiled machine to help manage needs.  Our staff collectively addresses the challenges we all face day-to-day, and as a result is supportive, caring, and inclusive.  Our school’s diversity and wrap around approach in programs and district support is truly a celebration of the strengths of public education serving to support students.  

When speaking to my colleagues about what we need to thrive, there were two trends frequently mentioned: space and time. In terms of space, our school is bursting at the seams and students continue to enroll at a steady rate.  Our school is under construction as we are luckily receiving an additional wing with 8 classrooms, however, considering we currently have 12 portables, we have already outgrown our extension.  We have had to be creative with spaces to support students in our school, and as a result, have lost book rooms and our admin, IST and LST are sharing office spaces.  We have gone without a library for much of this school year due to lack of classroom space and more recently, a flood. Considering our increase in staff over the years as we’ve grown, we have not seen any more photocopiers, washrooms, or space for staff to gather.   

Time was the second word to come up frequently.  Remedy time (of our 31 divisions, 24 are in remedy) in the form of in-lieu time was a saving grace for us when we needed some time to breathe.  EA time is spread thin.  Collaboration time is a dream for many but with 32 divisions spread out across a large school, just coming together to eat lunch is a win. Time to attend workshops during the work-day so as to not take away from our time with families, friends, or simply recharging from our work day. Time from the district to actually hear our struggles and work with us to solve these.  

If the sky was truly the limit in terms of what we could ask for to thrive, would something more luxurious than the thinnest two-ply toilet paper be too much to ask?  

Remember to send us a photo of your staff in your Red for BCEd gear and include your stories for a chance to win a pizza lunch.  Read the details

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