Lizanne Foster
Lizanne Foster, who currently teaches in Surrey, British Columbia, became a teacher by accident in apartheid-era South Africa.

Entries by Lizanne Foster

Counting The Losses After B.C. Teachers' Supreme Court Win

(2) Comments | Posted November 14, 2016 | 4:06 PM

She's excited about our Supreme Court win. Premier Christy Clark, who as Minister of Education in 2002, introduced legislation that violated teachers' constitutional rights, and set in motion 14 years of students' suffering, is excited that the Supreme Court of Canada has said...

Read Post

Spare Us The Hyperbole About Flexibility In B.C.'s New Curriculum

(7) Comments | Posted September 19, 2016 | 2:36 PM

"British Columbia's curriculum is being modernized to respond to [a] demanding world. To develop new models, the Ministry consulted with education experts both locally and internationally. They agree that to prepare students for the future, the curriculum must be student-centred and flexible ..."

From B.C.'s New Curriculum


Read Post

I Strive To Make My Classroom A Safe Space For Students

(2) Comments | Posted September 12, 2016 | 3:03 PM

frame of mind banner

When she walks into my classroom at the beginning of the school year, she won't notice the shiny floor and the sparkling clean whiteboard. She won't pay any attention to the new posters I have on the wall or the yellow flowers on...

Read Post

You Might As Well Add Mousetraps, Personal Fans To School Supplies List

(11) Comments | Posted August 25, 2016 | 5:08 PM

What kinds of conversations have you been hearing about back-to-school supplies lately? The angry ones where parents fume at teachers for demanding so much? Or the sad ones where parents living in poverty are trying to figure out what to cut from the household budget in...

Read Post

What Do We Teach Students In Times Like These?

(5) Comments | Posted July 19, 2016 | 2:42 PM

I've been turning off the radio whenever the news comes on, having exhausted my capacity to consume any more details about the latest atrocity, whether it's a 5-year-old girl being murdered along with her mother in Calgary, or a huge truck crushing people celebrating Bastille Day in Nice. I don't...

Read Post

Is This British Columbia In 2016, Or Oceania In 1984?

(5) Comments | Posted June 7, 2016 | 4:43 PM

In the novel Nineteen Eighty-Four, the government of Oceania has an entire Ministry that uses all forms of media to create a false reality.

One of the tasks of the Ministry of Truth is to develop a new language called Newspeak which is meant to make thoughtcrime (thinking...

Read Post

Perhaps I Can Celebrate The End Of B.C. Provincial Exams

(0) Comments | Posted May 31, 2016 | 1:45 PM

If I wasn't so familiar with the B.C. Ministry of Education's Jekyll-and-Hyde character, I'd be thrilled with the new Graduation Program. After decades of frustration about the limits to student learning experiences that provincial exams set, I'd love to pop a champagne cork now that I am free...

Read Post

The Devastating Opportunity Costs Of B.C.'s 'Balanced Budget'

(14) Comments | Posted February 25, 2016 | 2:22 PM

When Premier Clark decided that pets living in B.C. were vulnerable and needed protection, did anyone in her cabinet mention her "families first" promise during her last election campaign?

I have a friend who is so poor that sometimes he will buy one can of tuna so that both he...

Read Post

The Skills That Only Teenagers Possess

(3) Comments | Posted February 22, 2016 | 7:22 PM

Dear Teens,

I see what you've been doing. I've been noticing it for a while now. Almost weekly you are solving intractable problems that have had adults stymied for years. A cheap way to check for pancreatic cancer. Stopping the spread of germs on planes. Cutlery...

Read Post

B.C. Voters Care About More Than Money

(33) Comments | Posted January 11, 2016 | 11:18 AM

Does Premier Christy Clark believe that money is the only thing on the minds of voters? Does she think that voters are really enjoying having the extra money in their pockets from all her tax cuts so that they can have the choice to pay to cross bridges? Does she...

Read Post

The Children Christy Clark Forgot

(19) Comments | Posted December 23, 2015 | 12:04 PM

I'm thinking of the students who wish school was open today. The ones whose only meal each day is the one they get through a school meal program.

I'm thinking of the one in five B.C. children living in poverty who Santa Claus will...

Read Post

Students Will Remember Laughter More Than Tests

(0) Comments | Posted October 27, 2015 | 6:32 PM

I have a confession. I am a high school teacher who doesn't care about how many As my students get. In fact, I dislike high-stakes tests as much as my students do. I tell my students that tests test how well you can do tests. And so, I do not "teach...

Read Post

New Curriculum Not Meant For B.C. Public Schools

(21) Comments | Posted September 7, 2015 | 6:13 PM

I've been wracking my brain trying to figure out how the new B.C. curriculum could be implemented in all the classrooms I know. I could not fathom how a teacher could personalize learning for all 30 of her students when half of them who needed support of one kind or...

Read Post

The New B.C. Education Curriculum Is Part Of Jekyll And Hyde Story

(13) Comments | Posted August 31, 2015 | 4:18 PM

I wish I could get excited about the new curriculum from the B.C. Ministry of Education, I really do. I wish I could believe all the hoopla about how the new curriculum is going to prepare our students for their lives as adults in the 21st century. I...

Read Post

Barely Disguised Racism Has No Place In Vancouver Real Estate Discussion

(55) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 12:59 PM

I've been at times frustrated and at times disappointed at the tone of most media coverage about the rising cost of real estate in Vancouver. So much of what is being published is written with barely disguised racism. I wonder how people of Asian descent feel when they read the...

Read Post

Which Canada Will You Celebrate on Canada Day?

(173) Comments | Posted June 30, 2015 | 9:00 AM

I'm not sure which Canada to celebrate this year. In the past I celebrated John Diefenbaker's Canada, the one that introduced the Canadian Bill of Rights, Pierre Elliot Trudeau's Canada, that birthed the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and Mulroney's Canada that fought to end Apartheid. But in Stephen Harper's...

Read Post

Some Advice For the Education Minister on Teachers' Professional Development

(0) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 6:24 PM

Now that Bill 11 has become law in B.C., giving the minister of education the power to determine what I do for my professional development, I'm looking forward to his plans to help me to deal with some challenges I have in my teaching practice. I have some...

Read Post

It's Time B.C. Liberal Government Showed Us All Those Rainy-Day Savings

(3) Comments | Posted May 20, 2015 | 3:22 PM

As a child born during the Depression of the 1930s, my mother knew a lot about saving money. She knew all kinds of ways to stretch our family's food budget, and we all grew up believing that that was just the way things were done.

You always made do...

Read Post

My Former Student Will Likely Get More Help For Learning Disability In Jail Than In B.C. School

(14) Comments | Posted April 28, 2015 | 10:49 PM

My heart skipped a beat when I saw your face on the front page of the newspaper, my mind racing back to the day that photo was taken at school. Your smile is so brilliant. Your eyes have that mischievous look I remember well. You would use that smile to...

Read Post

Bill 11 Exposes B.C. Students' Private Info, Dictates Teachers' Development

(4) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 6:38 PM

Dear Minister Fassbender,

I have heard you reference your grandchildren several times when you talk about the rationale behind your policies as B.C. minister of education so perhaps this analogy will make sense to you. Let's say, hypothetically, that your grandchildren are sick and need to see a doctor. Would...

Read Post