Teachers sometimes the best thing going

Letter writer says teachers have to fill many different roles but shouldn't be diagnosing kids with disabilities.

Editor, The News:

Re: Time for teachers to avoid psychological labelling (Letters, March 5).

I am guessing Anne Rostvig and me are from the same generation, as she is a grandmother, so I can understand how she feels about how things are in schools today. But I speak from experience, as I have been working  in the school system for the past 18 years.

When we were young, moms usually stayed home. That is not the case anymore, whether by choice or necessity.  Also, back then, teachers just had to teach. Also not the case anymore.

Now they have to fill many different roles. But one of them is not diagnosing or labeling kids with disabilities. This has to be done by outside professionals in order for the funding needed to hire support staff. The wait list is huge for those kids waiting to be tested for various learning difficulties, and in many cases may not happen until the more senior years at high school. In the meantime, teachers and support staff work with these kids as best they can.

I work in an inner city school in another district. I never cease to be amazed at the hardships a lot of kids take for granted: no food, no new clothes, no hot water to wash, no supportive parents. I also never cease to be amazed at the effort teachers and support staff put in to help these kids just get through the day, let alone learning anything. Adopt-a-Family, food hampers, donated clothes, hygiene products, add to this compassion and caring, and I think you will have to agree teachers are sometimes the best thing some of these less fortunate kids have going for them.

Susan Tait

Maple Ridge