I guess I did a terrible job in over 25 years of classroom teaching. Reading the uninformed comments from respondents to articles in newspapers and reading the press, I see myself and my peers have failed miserably. You see the illogical unsupported statements being made show that those that bash teachers did not pick up the lessons I drove hard and with conviction on a daily/weekly basis.
These were lessons like:
You live in a democracy –fight for your rights and stand up for what has been won for you by you forefathers.
With rights come responsibilities. One of which is to be an INFORMED citizen. If you want to argue issues GET ALL THE FACTS STRAIGHT.
If you are going to debate an issue do it with knowledge because knowledge is power.
You do have the power to affect change in a democracy if you put your mind and heart into it.
My kids got involved in issues directly. We confronted Toronto Airport when the coyotes there were to be shot. We lobbied for “milkweed” being taken off the noxious weed list when we were tagging and learning about monarch butterflies. One of my students wrote Prime Minister Trudeau back when mortgage interest rates were 21% and her parents couldn’t afford to buy a home. She got a hand written response from the Prime Minister. I’m sure he was truly moved by her words because I surely was.
One of the most important lessons I preached was: DON’T BELIEVE everything you READ and what you HEAR. Go that extra mile to get the REAL answers otherwise you come off as being uneducated, uniformed and, I dare say, sometimes idiotic. If you are going public with a comment you better have the data/information to back it up. Otherwise you are no better than the politician or reporter who spews misinformation.
Here are just a few examples in the Governments dispute with the teachers.
Laurel Broten, your education minister keeps saying the elementary teachers walked out of NEGOTIATIONS after ONE HOUR.
THE TRUTH: The teachers were confronted by government bankruptcy lawyers who had no knowledge of education issues and said “take or leave it” or the government will legislate it. Why would you remain at the table to NEGOTIATE when there was a hardline no-negotiation stance? There WAS nothing to NEGOTIATE!
Teachers are employed by School Boards. Their contracts are negotiated with School Boards. That’s where they have been negotiating all along. Now the artificial government deadline of Dec. 31st, with the unworkable parameters in Bill 115, have made local negotiation IMPOSSIBLE. Over half the school boards in Ontario have written the Minister saying so and asking that Bill 115 be either withdrawn or changed.
Every news report starts saying the teachers are angry or are fighting over the wage freeze. THAT IS TOTALLY NOT TRUE. All of the unions accepted a wage freeze right from the beginning. They ‘re fighting over Legislated contract strips that were duly negotiated with SCHOOL BOARDS –some as long as over 40 years ago.
So, not only is your Ontario government in a Prorogue situation (You have no government!) but your locally elected School Board Member has had all of its power usurped. Does this sound like a democracy? You’ve elected people but they can do nothing. Laurel Broten has the power of a dictator in her hands. The opposition can’t even challenge this. Is this not worth fighting for?
Teachers are accused of using students in this battle but it was the government who set the table for this by calling the Bill “Putting Students First”. Ladies and gentlemen Bill 115 has nothing to do with students and everything to do with teacher contracts and the legal negotiations for same. The very name of this Bill was meant to incite the public.
FACT: “If a local agreement is reached, however, that agreement must be submitted to the Minister for approval before it can come into operation. Cabinet, on the Minister’s advice, may impose terms into or remove terms from the collective agreement, thereby unilaterally changing any deal reached by the parties. Cabinet may also require the parties to go back to the bargaining table.”
(Maybe next municipal election time your vote for a School Trustee will be completely useless. Why? Well, your last vote has been usurped by a government that is in Prorogue.)
Bill 115 is unprecedented.
•It takes away the democratic rights of teachers and education professionals to bargain collectively.
(Folks, there is a defined legal process that is set forth for the benefit of all Ontario workers union and non-union. Are the teachers the first to go? Maybe, your rights will be next?)
Maybe the government will say, “Truck drivers wages are too high. We’re going to cut them so the public has lower produce prices. We’ll call it Bill 115.” Many of you are probably too young to remember the dreaded WAGE AND PRICE controls that affectd everyone in Canada.
•It places the government beyond the reach of the Ontario Human Rights Code, Ontario Labour Relations Act, and the courts.
(All power is set in the hands of the Minister and her government. Democratic process and Ontario law has been bypassed. There is no organization or office to go to to register a formal complaint. The government did an end run here.)
•It takes local decision-making away from school boards and puts it in the hands of the provincial government.
(Your children are taught at the local level by frontline workers: teachers. Do you want to completely give up local control of the issues that affect your child? Who do you want making decisions for your child’s well-being Laurel Broton or the local trustee? Who knows best about local issues?)
•It singles out the education sector for wage restraint and benefit cuts over the next two (and possibly three) years. Teachers believe the repeal of Bill 115 is worth fighting for.
This issue is about democracy and decency. You mean wouldn’t fight for that?
The argument that really gets me is the one where teachers have received wage increases of 25% over 10 years. Wouldn’t that be an average of 2.5% a year?
If you look further into this here are some facts.
Government of Canada Stats
The average annual salaries for employees of the Manufacturing sector rose from $40,991 in 2001 to $49,553 in 2010, or at an average rate of 2.1% per year. There was an increase of 0.5% over the 2009-2010 period. http://www.haygroup.com/ca/press/details.aspx?id=31313
THE HAY GROUP (Global Management Consulting firm.)
The results of the recent survey of Canadian employers forecast a national average salary increase of 2.8 percent for 2012, which is higher than the 2011 projection of 2.6 per cent, but well below the 2009 projection of 3.7 per cent, just prior to the downturn.
The average actual salary change that organizations realized in 2011 was 2.7 per cent, which supports last year’s forecast of 2.6 per cent.
So teachers will get 0% -that’s doing your part. AND THEY FULLY ACCEPTED THAT FROM THE GET-GO!
Is a 2.5% raise per year out of line for professionals, most with 5 years post-secondary education and many with additional qualification courses completed at their own expense?
In 2011 workers in Mining and Oil and Gas, Utilities, Construction, Finance and Insurance, Scientific and Technical Services, Company Management and Public Administration all had higher weekly wages than teachers. http://www.livingin-canada.com/work-salaries-wages-canada.html
Workers that have tremendous responsibility historically are compensated at a high level. That’s why we pay our doctors, nurses, fire fighters, and police a decent wage with decent benefits. The average Ontario doctor bills $385,000 annually, nearly 10 times the $40,000 earnings of the typical Ontarian. Starting OPP Officers earn $52 000 annual with a ceiling of $85 427 while Ontario nurses start at $52 260 and many experienced nurses make more than $100 000 a year.
Check that Sunshine list my friends that is where are where you should be placing your bashing efforts. For God’s sakes, teachers are in care of your kids 6 hours a day for about 14 years of their life and you want to bash them and treat them like they’ re worthless.
Starting salaries for teachers are between $41,766 and $44,292. The maximum wage in elementary schools is $92,813 in elementary schools and $94,942 in secondary schools, depending on years of service and education level. Of course, that highest wage is for those with the highest qualifications and most experience – the few as opposed to the many. Realistically, the average teacher in Ontario makes between $42 000 and $75 000 per year.
Peter Harris from WORKOPOLIS says this: “Looking at the qualifications needed to land one of the highest paying gigs, the lesson seems to be: if you want to earn the big bucks, stay in school.”
That was another of Grumpy’s classroom rants- EDUCATION WILL OPEN DOORS FOR YOU! Teachers ARE worth what they are paid – they are highly educated professionals.
DOCTORS CARE FOR YOUR HEALTH.
POLICE AND FIRE FIGHTERS CAR FOR YOUR SAFETY
EDUCATORS TEACH YOUR CHILDREN, CARE FOR THEIR HEALTH AND SAFETY AND EMOTIONAL WELL BEING AND SPEND 6 HOURS A DAY, 200 DAYS A YEAR FOR 14 OR MORE YEARS WITH THAT AWESOME AND HUGE RESPONSIBILTY.
Does your child see the police officer, a fire fighter, a doctor and a lawyer 200 days a year? I sincerely hope not.
That’s why teachers are worth what they get!
Yes, I guess I failed my students because all of this bashing year after year every time teachers stand up for their own rights and the rights of their students, tells me a lot of you weren’t listening to me in your 200 days in my charge. You have closed your minds and accept what you hear and read as gospel.
If you want to rant about the issues get the facts straight. Don’t be like a politician and spew vitriol and misinformation. This issue goes way beyond the surface stuff you hear daily. It is way more complex. Really, I could write a mammoth book about the systematic problems that have brought us to this point.
And, I am not 100% pro-teacher in this. Just go to the education section of this blog site and take the time to read “DON’T PAUSE, WHY NOT REWIND AND GO FASTFORWARD.” I have my beefs!
But, the issue brought forward by the government was the $15 billion dollar deficit. How in hells name do teachers get pinned for the fault for that?
What about the ORANGE Ambulance scandal?
Do you know the cost of the cancelling of the gas plants?
Are you aware of the E-health scandal and the waste?
Do you know how much would be saved if we put together the Catholic and Public Education Systems? Maybe you now know why the Separate teachers always settle first. Could it be the threat of that very amalgamation?
Do you know how much subsidized day care for your kids (All day Kindergarten) costs? Remember the Fiberals promised you NO TAX increase. Did you forget that?
What about a Corporate TAX Rate in Ontario that is one of the lowest, if not the lowest in Canada. Maybe the deficit wouldn’t be so high if big business was paying their fair share?
Where are all you letters to the editor and FACEBOOK/TWITTER posts on this?
There are so many more areas of waste I’d need 10 blogs to fill these lists.
Have you ever questioned the bloated administration at the board office level in school boards and the Ministry of Education? Who delivers education to your child: the teacher or the $100 000 a year consultant or Minister of Education? Who wipes their noses, dries their tears and spends each and every school day caring about them?
Yes, Grumpy is pissed.
If you want to attract the best educated, most skilled and caring people into teaching you don’t pay them poorly, strip their benefits, and constantly drag them into fights for rights and freedoms. You don’t bash them constantly and you don’t use social media to do this. And, why would you want stressed-out angry people in the care of your kids? Teachers ARE surrogate parents – kind, nuturing and mindful of your child’s needs. You would have to be nuts to dump on them.
I know of many really good young people and potentially great teachers that are giving up on their dream of being a teacher. Why would they want to deal with this crap and have a good job stripped of its benefits, making it far less attractive as a career? Who will enter teaching then? Perhaps, the bottom-feeders?
What you should be doing is forgetting about the “me-now” and thinking about the future. You should stand behind the teachers against the “Fiberals” because they are stripping Ontario of democratic rights in a ploy to retain power in the legislature. It’s as simple as that. And, by distracting you from other issues by CREATING a crisis in education, when there was none, they have duped you into another session of teacher bashing.
Get your facts straight.
Did you know the Ministry of Finance has just about 2/3 of the budget as education? It takes this much money (about $15 billion) to create a $15 billion dollar deficit. Now that is an oxymoron of monumental proportions.
When I heard this comment yesterday, “The problem teachers have is it seems as though a group of teachers is going on strike every year,” when, in fact, the last teacher strike in Ontario was in 1997, over 15 years ago – I went ballistic.
Sometimes I feel a bit like Abe Lincoln who said, “Teach the children so that it will not be necessary to teach the adults.” I guess I’m trying to teach adults NOW!
When I confront teacher bashers I usually say, “If teachers have it so good why didn’t you become one?”
The common answers is, “Well I won’t last one day bcause I’d kill the little buggers!”
And that’s why you paid me well my friends. I cared about your kids and worked my ass off for them and for you and LOVED EVERY FREAKING MINUTE OF IT.
If you want to experience what a real teacher faces invite 30 of your child’s friends over for a 6 hour birthday party and run it for 5 days straight. See if you can keep ALL OF THEM happy and engaged. If you can you might just be cut out for teaching! If not, you might be ever so more mindful of the comments you make.
“Teaching is the profession that teaches all the other professions.” If you can read this and form an opinion upon it, please thank a teacher.
There was a time when teachers were respected by respected and notable people on our planet.
“A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.” -Henry Adams
“The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.” -Khalil Gibran
“The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called ‘truth.'” -Dan Rather
“What the teacher is, is more important than what he teaches.” -Karl Menninger
“Those who educate children well are more to be honored than they who produce them; for these only gave them life, those the art of living well.”
When you study great teachers… you will learn much more from their caring and hard work than from their style.”
― William Glasser
In large part, we are teachers precisely because we remember what it was like to be a student. Someone inspired us. Someone influenced us. Or someone hurt us. And we’ve channeled that joy (or pain) into our own unique philosophies on life and learning and we’re always looking for an opportunity to share them—with each other, our students, parents, or in our communities.”
― Tucker Elliot
Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten. — B.F. Skinner