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Tuesday 27 May 2014

Letter: Here’s one teacher who earned every dime

There has been a lot of recent talk about our teachers, government and job action. I'd like to take a moment and talk about Jane Powell. 

She was my drama teacher from eighth grade until I graduated (with a brief respite while I was in 11th grade) and she passed away on Oct. 1. 

Like most people, I had a difficult time in school. With hormones controlling my every move, bullies in the hallways, less than stellar home life and an intense need to be lippy, poor Ms. Powell had to deal with the results of that equation.

All I wanted to do was play around and when I found out how easy it was to make people laugh, I felt that I had found my calling, but Ms. Powell had different ideas.

Very early in my drama studies she was quick to tamp down my eagerness to be a jackass.
I have never been a person to blindly accept authority and Ms. Powell, like all of my other teachers, had to deal with it on a daily basis. She, like the others, never gave up on me. 

I don't know what she or any other of my teachers were paid to deal with the rag-tag group that we were in school, but given the crass behaviour she was exposed to daily, it probably wasn't enough.

This was before teachers had to deal with students text messaging in class etc. (our text messages were hand- written notes passed around the room!).

When the B.C. Liberals gave themselves a pay raise a few years back, there was talk that “we need to attract the best and brightest.”

The best and brightest people in the world are not grown in petri dishes. They are challenged and taught by a specific group of professionals who dedicate their lives to their work.

"They get weekends, stats and summers off” is a common argument I've heard.

According to the Parliament of Canada website, last year our MLAs had 46 sitting days in parliament? (I am not going to give them credit for work they do outside of Victoria until we give credit to the work teachers do outside of the school.)

“It shouldn't be about money, if they really love their jobs,” is another common argument I've heard.

The same could be said about people choosing to run for public office.




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