Teachers are important, Golldarnit!

In an opinion article for the Calgary Herald today March 6, Mr. Jack Qually  states that teachers are overpaid and underperform. Below is the response I posted to his article. I thought it would be good to broadcast both and see what kind of response I might get to my point of view.

Teachers are already overpaid? In my view teachers are not paid enough. Teachers are instructing our future generations and Mr. Qually obviously does not realize exactly how much work teachers do both inside and outside the classroom.

Teachers often stay late or take work home to mark student work. Teachers are also required in their contract to supervise or coach a sport or after school activity. Then there are Parent Teacher Interviews. This can make a teacher’s work day close to 12 hours. There is no extra pay for this, it’s part of their salary. Teachers will pay for supplies out of their own pockets when the budget will not allow for further supplies. That 2 month summer holiday is really about 5 weeks long because teachers are still working for about a week after classes get out and go back to work about a week before the summer is over to attend school meetings. This does not include the time during the summer where teachers will work on the next year’s lesson plan.

Alberta students, according to the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment), score the highest in Canada in science and reading and Canada overall ranks 6th in the world. I see this due to the quality of our teachers right now. Every time there are budget cuts, teachers are cut in order for schools to remain in budget. The classroom sizes get bigger and the quality of the instruction gets lower.

Teachers are there to teach our children, but are also expected to parent, discipline, and counsel classes of over 30 children without being given the tools or the power to do so; and then blasted because they failed to discipline or parent a child that isn’t theirs or are considered to have gone over their bounds because they have.

I am not a teacher, but I married into a teacher family, and have friends who are teachers. I have seen first hand the amount of work and dedication teachers give to their students and their career. Mr. Qually needs to get his head out of the sand and see that without good teachers and the funds to pay them, the education of our children and the future of our country will suffer.

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