By: Jill Barclay, President, Vancouver Elementary School Teachers' Association (VESTA)
As students and teachers begin another September the year begins with the same hopes, aspirations, anxieties and celebration as it has for many years before. Public schools are welcoming and inclusive places and teachers in your child's school are ready and waiting to welcome them.
One of the main objectives of teachers during the beginning of the school year is to build community. Teachers do this in many ways. They begin with building the feeling of belonging and community within the classroom environment. Developing a safe and inclusive learning environment is the objective. Many activities at the beginning of the year are designed around this, however this work continues throughout the year.
As well as building classroom community teachers and other staff in schools work toward creating that sense of belonging within the school. Schools are at the heart of Vancouver neighbourhoods. They provide a place for families to gather. If your school is hosting a beginning of the year event it is something worth attending.
In addition, teachers provide opportunities for students to participate in a wide variety of extra-curricular activities. Support is available for students and their families when issues come up. If you have a concern or question, your child's teacher is the first place that you should go. Make a point of getting to know your child's teachers.
As the Union for Elementary Teachers in Vancouver, VESTA, works on behalf of and with teachers to promote the interests of public education. We work with the BCTF to promote the importance of equitable and sufficient funding in public schools across British Columbia. This is #OurVSB and we value public education as a cornerstone of a democratic society.
Thank you for your continued support as parents and members of your communities. We look forward to an exciting year of teaching and learning ahead.