Thanking B.C. teachers

Yesterday morning I read a Facebook post from one of my former teachers that started,  “Well, today marks the official first day of summer holidays after the last 3 worst professional months of my 21 year teaching career...” I was disheartened.

These are the words of a good teacher and a good person. They are not the words of an unreasonable and greedy person. It is frustrating to drive by the community schools, and the district offices and see our teachers on the picket line.

Many of the teachers I see are my teachers--the people who shaped me, and whose guidance and patience helped me become who I am today.

Some teachers are also my peers, they are the 'kids' I went to school with, they are passionate about teaching and want to inspire the next generation in the same way that we were inspired.

We need a strong public education system if British Columbia is to be resilient, flexible and adaptable. It needs to be properly funded. Teachers and students need conditions that are conducive to working and learning. Class sizes must be appropriate for the age and abilities of the students. And schools must be well-resourced with modern equipment and technology.

When I was a kid we would give my teachers a flower basket from the family business at the end of each school year. It was our thank you. This year, we didn't get to give my son Silas' teacher a basket. The last couple of weeks of his first year of school were scrubbed out by the latest labour dispute.

So thank you to Mrs. Barnes and Ms. Archer at Brentwood Elementary for their love and direction of Silas this year. Thank you to all the teachers across the province. Gracias to my neighbour, and Mr. Simmonds I will support you every day with a honk even if you never see me.

Thank you to the volunteer coaches and managers of the school sports teams and thank you to the host of teachers who produce and direct the school musical. Thank you to the shop teachers who build race cars with their students and race them at the local speedway.

Thank you to the visionaries who encourage their students to think critically and challenge them to find global solutions. You provide experiences that shape us, and you help us through the most important years of our lives.

Thank you to the administrators who gave us second chances, who hauled us into the office to discipline and encourage us. Thank you to all the support staff, the lunch monitors, bus drivers and maintenance crews, and to everyone else that I missed - Thank you.

Adam Olsen

Stellys Cross Road, Brentwood Bay, BC, V8M 1J7