Attacks diminish teachers’ dedication to students

It so happens that my older boy is a teacher, so I know how hard he works and how seriously he takes his profession

I see Ron Barillaro is continuing his barrage of letters against the teaching profession by “throwing enough mud at the wall approach and hoping some will stick” (his words from another letter) in the May 4 Western.

It so happens that my older boy is a teacher, so I know how hard he works and how seriously he takes his profession. Like myself when I coached soccer, he realizes that children have to have other interests outside schoolwork if they are to grow up as well-rounded citizens and stay out of trouble. To this end, he has always coached rugby in his own time at the schools at which he has taught and also coaches the kids at hockey on the weekend.

Being a member of a band, he also spent a considerable amount of his own time first convincing a group of kids that they could ‘do it’ and then, after they formed a band, coaching them to the point that they played at their own graduation. He also took his entire class down to see a Canucks game, making sure no kid was left out, an experience they will never forget — some of the kids had never even seen the sea before. I have seen how tired he is on some nights preparing material for the class on the weekend when I have been visiting him.

I don’t know what type of teacher you were Ron, or what experience would have traumatized you to the extent that you feel you have to constantly attack the profession in your letters. So please tell me why, as an ex-teacher, you constantly attack the profession. Otherwise, I can only put it down to your right-of-the-Liberals political beliefs that you often espouse.

Also, perhaps you should dwell on the fact that teachers are charged with the difficult job of teaching kids how to think and developing their minds, a far more important job in my opinion than most of the medical profession, who are charged with mainly fixing parts of the body when they malfunction or become injured. Yet it is health costs that eat up 42 per cent of the provincial budget, and I do not hear you constantly railing against the medical profession.

Finally, with regards to your comment that things have got to the point of saying: “If you don’t play the game my way, I’ll take my bat and ball and go home,” the Liberals already did that when one of the first things they did was rip up a legally negotiated contract and told the teachers: “If you want to play, these are my rules”.

As I have said before, the teaching profession is probably made up of a cross-spectrum of people with different political beliefs, so I would suggest you get off your political high-horse, as nobody can blame them for reacting against the way they have been bullied by the current government.

Brian Sutch