Delta teachers digging into their own pockets to outfit classrooms

Delta teachers are giving extra time, as well as money out of their own pockets, to improve the classroom experience, something long unaccounted for in school budgets, Delta school trustees were told last week.

Representing the Delta Teachers’ Association, local teacher Mahima Lamba made a presentation to the Delta board of education to explain how teachers are providing many extras in the classroom, asking that more funding be given to schools.

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“The reason why public teachers do this is simple: quality public education is a goal Delta teachers are committed to. In the interest of the shared goal of advocating for a high-quality learning environment for Delta students, teachers are bringing their gifts to education directly to the board to make public what they are providing,” she said.

“As most teachers do not seek attention for their good deeds, many of these good-hearted intentions are going unnoticed and undocumented. While public recognition is not the goal for individual teachers, these gifts provide a significant support to the public education system,” she added.

Lamba provided several examples of teachers going the extra mile, including volunteering for extracurricular sports, spending time with parents, providing extra support for students, and supplying resources, toys and even food, all out of their love for teaching.

Asked how much funding would be required so teachers wouldn’t have to dip into their own pockets, Lamba noted that while charity is admirable, it’s not the answer. She said fundraising can lead to inequities between schools and undue hardships for families.

Members of the board of education, including chair Val Windsor, a former DTA president and longtime teacher, said trustees recognize all that teachers do and appreciate them.

Delta Secondary teacher Casey Mynott recently told the Optimist he’s spent thousands of hours and his own money to support his technology students.

The B.C. Teachers Federation, which is still without a new contract, has also noted how teachers are paying out of pocket for school supplies and other resources for students.

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