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NEWS RELEASE · 6th July 2010
Steps for Students
While students across the province prepare to enjoy summer vacation, Prince Rupert teacher Tulani Ackerman is getting set for a 3,000 kilometre walk that will take her across B.C. to raise awareness of issues and concerns in the education system and gather feedback from those who rely on the system in a number of districts.

Ackerman will be stopping in more than 35 communities between July 1 and August 12 as she travels from the northwest through the interior, the Kootenays, the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island to take her message to the Legislature in Victoria.

“I’m hoping to discover other effective ways to meet the needs of our children and, along the route, I’m hoping to regain confidence in the education system for parents, teachers, students and others to believe in it again. Some do believe in it, but I want all to see that their best interest is to put their children in the public education system,” said Ackerman, who says she was inspired to undertake the walk because her teaching experience showed the current system “teaches to the whole instead of the personal child”.

“We need to start personalizing curriculums to our children and make sure each child is taught to their learning style. It’s going to have to take a transformation of the whole system. We also need to look at what we’re teaching our kids in school. We don’t need to get rid of things, but we need to make sure we’re teaching our kids so they are ready for what is going to be happening in the next 10 or 20 years.”

During the walk and bike, Ackerman will be speaking with people and taking down their ideas and feedback, as well as filming her journey for a potential documentary.

For more information, including a list of scheduled stops, visit stepsforstudents.ca
hooray
Comment by Diana Penner on 7th July 2010
As a School Board trustee for CMSD 82 it is wonderful to see such an advocate for education. So many it seems have given up . Rupert like Terrace and many northern communities has a high level of children with special needs which speaks to the increased need that Ackerman speaks of; for individual education curriculum (IEP's) which meets the needs of the student 'where they are at' and enables greater success. This comes with greater need for individual attention which speaks to the need for sufficient staffing to do so. Unfortunately the funding to do that, is not there and so the ability to teach well is restricted by time when the full load is placed on the classroom teacher or on SSA's that are spread thinly from class to class.
We here in CMSD 82 have been bringing our concerns to the Minister but have not yet been successful. This is as a high concern for our district. We know that the huge ratio of Special Needs is causing inequity and negative pressure in the classroom. We believe proper supports can alleviate this.
I wish you well Tulani.