Masochistic Perceptions, Trials and Truths

These are my cyberfied cerebral synapses ricocheting off reality as I perceive it: thoughts, opinions, passions, rants, art and poetry...

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Letter to The Edmonton Journal

As teachers take their jibes about having two months off in the Summer, are portrayed as being greedy in the media and face the latest in Government reneging and cuts, I get both frustrated and annoyed.

Yes, I am a Teacher, so, you can take what I have to say as being biased.

Let us begin with the role of Educators in our society. To begin, Teachers play a massive role in the nurturing of our greatest resource: children. The first thirteen and most formative years of a person's being are under the care of Teachers who prepare our furture generation of trades people, health care professionals, lawyers, educators, bankers and business elite. Without the assistance of Educational professionals, these people would largely be non-existent. If you can read this or articulate an argument for or against what I am saying, odds are that you owe it to a Teacher. CEOs, brain surgeons and, yes, even politicians, all who make substantially larger salaries than any Teacher, came to their positions largely because of the knowledge, skills and passions cultivated at school. While I'm not advocating that a Teacher should earn the same amount as a heart surgeon, one could, quite reasonably do so, especially against the back drop of inflated wages in other professions.

Our perspective as a society is distorted. In professional sports it is completely acceptable to offer star players multi-million dollar contracts to put a team on top, yet we do not apply the same manner of thinking to a child's education. This is because society has come to take Education and Teachers for granted. Tax payers who moan that their taxes pay for school boards, even though they have no children themselves reflects this further. We pay significantly more each year to house maximum security inmates than we do for a single child's learning (inmates get paid to go to school while inside as well, and never have to learn on an empty stomach). What does this say about our priorities as a society?

I'm not going to talk about how difficult the job of being a Teacher is as I respect the fact that all careers have their share of stress and sense of being over-worked. I signed up to be a Teacher and accept the slogging and rewards that come with my chosen profession. It's the lack of respect that I take issue with. The fact that bureaucrats largely shape policy, not heeding the advice of Educational professionals (i.e. full integration of Special Needs students), that Teachers are often portrayed as being greedy and holding students as mere bargaining chips (pure Government propaganda), and that Governments continue to cut and take and expect Teachers to do more with less, while padding the accounts and giving massive tax breaks to the big corporations. And it's not just Teachers who receive such poor treatment as any health care professional can attest.

Perhaps the short sightedness of our politicians and much of the public opinion and apathy is a testament to how past cuts in Education are playing out in the present. As a Teacher, I simply want to share my perspective; to add my voice. Whether you agree or disagree with me matters little. What does matter is that you are able to look at this situation critically and form an educated opinion of your own.


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