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NEWS RELEASE · 2nd October 2011
Walter McFarlane
Recess has been cancelled at all schools. According to School Board Chair, Barry Pankhurst, a notice went out on Thursday, September 29th making the announcement. He explained the school Administration had been looking after the playground monitoring.

“Administration cannot keep up with the supervision at recess and at lunch hours, before and after school. Starting on Monday, school will be starting 15 minutes later and there will be no recess,” said Pankhurst.
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 4th October 2011
Did you not have a unionized career?

We can not demand that teachers volunteer their time. Shall I go down the street and start demanding every person I see volunteer thus be accused of being uncaring, fat and lazy?
Parents can volunteer
Comment by Sandy on 4th October 2011
To respond to James, parents can volunteer and do, most lunch programs are run by parents and many parents are coaching sports teams. Parents do not have to join the union to do this, they do it because they care about their school.
Nancy Wells and board staff have busy jobs, busy SALARY paid jobs. Teachers have busy jobs often doing work at home. When you break down a teachers salary to an hourly rate, it is below the minimum wage, would you work for less then minimum wage?
The teachers in strike action has nothing to do with whether they want to supervise during breaks or not. They are being directed by their union to take a different action to walking out. Does that not prove that teachers want to teach???? Remember the one month strike a few years ago?
I encourage everyone that is upset with the cancellation of recess to take a stand like the students are doing. Call the board office, write letters, join the student protests.
Good views
Comment by James Ippel on 3rd October 2011
We have seen many views expressed here. All have a degree of validity, but in my opinion, most miss the point.
If the teachers are truly wanting to teach the children entrusted to them, they would supervise recess, realizing that this break from the classroom recharges the batteries of their charges. This makes for a more receptive student. Not every teacher has to be out every recess, I am sure they can work out among themselves, and take turns at supervision.
I do not fault Nancy Wells and the board for cancelling recess. They have limited resources, and cannot go out willy nilly and hire a number of people to take on the supervision of recess students.
As for parents volunteering to do this job--it won't wash. Correct me if I am wrong, but won't the Union step in and demand that volunteers must become members of the Union, be paid union rates, and pay Union Dues.
Part of a teachers job is supervision, along with teaching. Should they choose to volunteer time for becoming involved in other student activities, that is their choice, and should have absolutely no bearing on any negotiations they may enter into.
Thank you to those teachers who go the extra mile. I know I appreciated this when I went to school, the field trips on weekends, the extra sports events, and it did both student and teacher a world of good.
Be angry at the right people
Comment by Sandy on 3rd October 2011
Nancy Wells made the decision to cancel recess and start school 15 minutes later. Direct your comments to her and the trustees. There are many parents out there that would be willing and able to supervise students, as suggested.

The teachers deserve our support, afterall, we are leaving our children with them for 6 hours a day. We expect them to care for our children and provide the best education possible. I guess if you disagree with the strike action, you can always home school. Of course then YOU would be responsible for your childs education and there would be no opportunity to point the finger at the teachers who won't "get their fat butts outside to supervise."
Comment by Stacey Tyers on 3rd October 2011
Lets, instead of having venomous tongues at teachers, who are fighting for our children, rally around them.

Do you think they are being paid too much to mold and shape our children's futures? (some maybe...) The bottom line is these are the people who care for our children, who grow our children and who teach our children.

We should be rallying around them and ensuring they know that they have OUR support, so that we can know our children have theirs. I sure wouldn't want to invest a whole lots extra into children and parents who don't appreciate it.

The ending of recess is an administration decision, because teachers decided instead of walking out... they wanted to teach however, they were going to end all participation in outside of teaching activities. To ensure schools stayed open, kids continued learning. The ending of breaks etc... Is an option to piss off the general public. Just like locking out the posties. Because once they have the general public mad enough at teachers they can FORCE a contract on them.

Collective bargaining is the only thing keeping the middle class alive.

We also know that media is rumbling that they are getting ready to lock the teachers out. Will the teachers take the same blame the postal workers did? Lets try not to make that mistake again. Lets stand with our teachers and say enough is enough. Class sizes are too big (which required a COURT order, what a waste). Resources are too small. Our children are entitled to better, because we are afterall in a free and democratic country... aren't we?
Comment by Karen on 2nd October 2011
Give it a break! If it wasn't for these teachers fighting for better conditions for children in our education system, rather than leaving it up to the provincial government, there would be extremelly over-crowded classrooms, much fewer youth programs and no one to recognize when children are having a difficult time when parents can't be there.

Teachers do not enter their chosen career without a desire to care for, teach and help our children become decent human beings. Too bad you can't ignore your biases against unions long enough to realize that these teachers care almost as much for our children as the parents do. Many volunteer their time to stay late to help a child with their homework, coach a sports team or help fundraise for much needed programs.

If you want to ensure the best for your children you would support these teachers. They are the ones who are in a position to bargain for better education standards and to make sure that our children get the best care possible while at school.

Be happy that these teachers are continuing to teach the children rather than sending them home while they bargain for better conditions. A few missed recesses are the least of your problems if you are a parent and you are more concerned with how much of your tax dollars are going to education.
We still have...
Comment by Maggie Jo on 2nd October 2011
Hey, Bill. I love you reminiscing about the days when we used to have...

There's alot of validity in those olden practices.

Actually, at Veritas as soon as a child enters "K" grade he/she is promptly assigned a
pre-screened responsible, caring buddy from an older grade who will guide/protect/mentor that "K" child for the next consequtive years until the younger child reaches the age to do so for others.

The older kids really take their roles seriously; often putting themselves last to ensure the younger ones are primarily tended to and protected. Like during the school's skating times at the rink. I was deeply touched watching the older buddies work so vigilantly to ensure the younger kids were helped/engaged in learning to use their skates (some little kids for the 1st time on the ice), while their older assigned buddies were assisting them with ice skate lace tieing and skate bars out on the ice. After ~45 minutes of tending to the little ones, the younger kids left the rink and the older kids got a breather and were served a free spare block to skate around without "babysitting". Even so, there are parents/extended family members/teachers watching pridefully towards them all as we took our breather on the adjoining bleachers, while the older kids assisted with the younger ones. I believe it's called teaching our kids "responsibility".

My son went thru that process - being mentored AND mentoring. He is now in Senior High School and continues to hold that childhood mandate close to him - often engaging the "lost" kids in his Public School surroundings into dialogue/friendship groups. Definitely a "win win" like you said.
Give me a recess from the madness...
Comment by Janice P. Robinson on 2nd October 2011
Teachers: Get your butts out there, and do your jobs. What kind of role-modelling is this? Maybe, you guys can redirect some energies you currently focus on union contracts......and get your fat butts out there for recess.

If recess is cancelled.....I will do everything possible to get it back. (I don't have a lot of spare time, but I mean it!)
ALL Public Schools.
Comment by Maggie Jo on 2nd October 2011
As far as I can gather...ALL schools within the Public School District will no longer hold recess until further said notice (except for Independant Schools). I assume that includes Jack Cook. head's up, heh Karen? Pretty sad.
we used to have....
Comment by bill braam on 2nd October 2011
Back in the day when I was in elementary school we had older (and responsible) kids acting as 'monitors' out in the playground. I don't recall teachers being out in the school yard. I recall the teachers being in the staffroom regaining their sanity while we ran off some energy outside. This idea seemed to work, why not today. May be a win-win situation. Thank you.
Jack Cook
Comment by Karen on 2nd October 2011
No notice was received from Jack Cook. Are they also adjusting their schedule?
Yippee. More tired, grumpy kids.
Comment by Maggie Jo on 2nd October 2011
Can you imagine if scheduled breaks were taken away from workers in the Employment field?

Of course there are some workers who are exluded from the Labour Relations Code in working long hours of work without a break - including HIGH school students in work study.

But the LITTLE kids in school had their recess taken away too? How is that contributing to the learning mind of a young child? Was there any effort to engage parents who have cleared their Criminal Record Checks in performing recess monitoring prior to this ruling, cuz I heard nofin'.

Perhaps the kids chould ask daily to be excused to use the bathroom and take a 15 minute break in there instead. As far as I Administrative monitoring is required in the washrooms???