After over 7 years of working as an education assistant in the public-school system, I can no longer watch as day in and day out so many children, who so desperately need and deserve our help at school, don’t receive it. It is time for me to stand up and fight for what I believe in, a better and safer education for All children. I am running for a school board trustee position.
I can no longer watch as some student have no choice but to spend countless hours each day walking the hallways, going to the library, stage or looking for some available nook or cranny in the school because they are unable to manage in the classroom and there is no other space available. The School Act requires schools to be “inclusive’, yet we do not have enough space, staff, training or the materials to keep all students engaged and as a result, children of all needs suffer.
I can no longer stand seeing some children become so upset about having to be “in the classroom” when they are simply not ready and may never be. Perhaps because it is too bright, too loud, too busy, not engaging or is simply not at their level of learning, and they just can’t manage. As a result of this sensory overload, they act out, interrupting the lesson and the entire classroom and none of the children in the classroom are able to learn. For some children the classroom is too overwhelming. We know this and should therefore be offering alternative spaces in the building so that all children, not only those in the classroom, can have the opportunity to succeed.
I can no longer bear to hear another teacher silently crying, at the end of the day when she thinks no one is watching, because she is overwhelmed by the vast number of children with varying degrees of medical, physical, behavioural and learning challenges. She feels she has “let down” the few kids in her class who are ready and able to learn but are not often given the opportunity because of the other needs in the classroom. All she wanted to do was become a teacher and have the opportunity to inspire children to learn. Little did she know that she would be receiving so little support in trying to do so.
I can no longer imagine having to witness yet another student sobbing at the school psychologist’s door, waiting for her to arrive only to learn that she will not be in today. There has been yet another emergency in the district that she has had to attend. So many children in our schools today have emotional, psychological and mental health needs. These children desperately rely on us…but once again they will have to wait.
And I absolutely can no longer stay silent about the frequency and intensity of injuries that occur toward not only teachers, education assistants and other school staff but also sometimes toward fellow students. Nor can I stay silent about the classroom evacuations that take place at school because we do not have enough help or the right help or the right space to adequately help all of the kids in the building. Every child, teacher, education assistant and other staff member working in the school has a right to be safe at school at all times.
Our public education system is broken, and it needs to be fixed. Parents need to know what is going on at school so that they will stand up and fight for a better and safer education for their kids.
If elected as a Maple Ridge school board trustee, I will work with others to insure these and many other concerns are addressed in order to begin the process of making much needed changes to our public school system. Changes that will benefit ALL children.