I’m back! I was away for most of July and August, returning to find that life for teachers in the province had not notably improved in my absence. While I hear that it has been a lovely summer in BC, being on the picket lines when one would far rather  be in school working with learners has not been nearly so lovely. It has been a long protracted dispute and no one is particularly ‘pleased’ with the results of the recently negotiated agreement. Just before we voted and were resigning ourselves to a less than desirable agreement, the Vancouver Sun published Shelley Frailic’s article  “ESL, the trouble with our schools: Looking past altruism, and political correctness” http://www.vancouversun.com/life/trouble+with+schools/10203596/story.html

The title alone raised my hackles – and those of many others. The article seems to imply that the only problem with our schools is that there are too many of those immigrant  parent ‘freeloaders’  who are sending their children to us – the benevolent ones – to educate. They are even sending them speaking another language – what a nerve!

As a teacher and an immigrant ESL learners myself, one who has paid her taxes and contributed to this country for decades, I am appalled. Who is this Us and Them Fralic is setting up? In fact there were so many inaccuracies and seemingly deliberate misinterpretations of the facts that I found it difficult to compose a coherent response without getting into unpleasant expletives.

What concerns me more is  the fact that there are probably a lot of people who agree with Fralic and think their children are being neglected because of all those ‘immigrants’ learning English, an opinion I do not happen to agree with. What are your thoughts?

Perhaps the best response I have seen yet – the kind where you think, “I wish I had said that.’ is this post by Reema Faris: