Comments on: What we can learn from Canadians Thu, 21 Jul 2016 07:57:19 +0000 hourly 1 By: taximan72 Sun, 04 Dec 2011 04:34:23 +0000 I read the comments by donvalley that teachers do not understand the “real world.” What exactly is this real world? Is it that everyone should work for $5/hr.? What exactly is it? And what makes that person an expert on the real world? I am 52 yrs. of age and I am still not an expert. I have found in the past that when people make these types of comments are usually bitter for their choices in life.

By: mopalot Tue, 30 Aug 2011 00:54:06 +0000 Both these aritcles are terrific on paper. My experiences as a mother was back in the 1960’s, when the public school system in Ontario was terrible. It was the time of Dennis and Hall, a couple of simpletons. My son’s marks were very good, but they did not reflect his
knowledge of English or Math. We finally took him out of the public school system, and are thankful we did so. I still question the system, looking at some of the young people today, how little they really know, except to play games on the computer. They still can’t spell or add up a few figures in their head. Yes there are some extremely clever children, but only some instead of most.

By: StanWright Mon, 29 Aug 2011 23:23:50 +0000 The Canadian one and two year teacher education programs are limited to those who already have a bachelor’s degree in some other subject, usually in the subject area that the applicant wants to teach. To become a high school math teacher, then, you can do a four year education degree, in which you with study both teaching and mathematics, or you can get a BA in mathematics and follow up with one or more likely two years at a teacher college.

You can’t get a teaching license with only one or two years of tertiary education. Everyone’s gotta have at least a BA, BSc, etc.

By: rocstar Sun, 28 Aug 2011 20:20:25 +0000 An excellent article in fact. Thank you for writing it!

For Donvalley, I am sorry to hear that you have had a bad experience with the Ontario school system. I am a teacher in Ontario, and in fact, I find my union not strong enough. As for the pay, I went to school for it and my diplomas (emphasize the plural form)prove it. I am still taking courses for upgrade, attend countless workshops and still learning to become a better teacher, after 23 years and hoping for many more. My salary and benefits are well earned. Being a teacher is more than just standing in front of the classroom; it is knowing how each student learns, how to deliver a strict curriculum, how to assess it, how to be flexible, how to keep the students motivated and engaged and thus, improving their performances. It is how to communicate with the parents and guide them in being involved in their child’s education.
As for welcoming experts in our classrooms, our doors are opened because we don’t keep secrets. In fact, we keep abreast on the new philosophies and teaching approaches, based on research. We invites experts because we want to know how to be more efficient as teachers.

And the outside world? Well, we are preparing 21st century learners for jobs that do not exist yet! These learners are critical thinkers, amazing problem solvers, they see things in a different light and help us see that. Children are amazing teachers. We are privileged enough to be preparing the agents of change of the world of tomorrow. So do not accuse us of being clueless, in fact, maybe you should open up your eyes to the world around you and see the impact that we have. Simply said, if you know how to read, write and count, thank a teacher.

By: Dashacrick Sat, 27 Aug 2011 05:55:37 +0000 Most workers do not have a clue what a teacher’s world looks like. Have you ever received a scathing note from a parent first thing in the morning, and then had to get up to greet the class as a happy teacher, and teach lessons and deal with behaviour problems as though nothing has happened, all the while while wondering when during the day, (when you may have no work-free periods) you will have time to reply to sometimes unjustified comments or accusations?
Have you ever wondered when, while dealing with before school, recess and/or after school playground duty, and frequently coping with lunchtime meetings, concert practices, or supervising lunchtime intramural sports, you will ever have an opportunity to eat, go to the baththroom, or prepare homework for parents who have requested it for absent students.
I look at many of my peers who have time during their workday to make and answer phone calls, surf the net, and even view and answer email, and wonder if a time will ever exist when teachers can do such tasks in the course of their workday.
By the way, contrary to popular belief, teachers do not work from 9 to 3, and our ever more time-consuming and complex report cards (and interims) are all completed during our evenings and weekends. Before and after school we are busy helping students, preparing lessons for every subject, ordering and gathering materials (many of which we pay for with hundreds of dollars per year of our own money) organizing and counting funds for field trips, collecting money for hot lunches, and school fundraising, organizing the classroom, climbing high on ladders to put up and/or take down bulletin board displays, doing extra-curricular activities, keeping track of who has (or has not) handed in assignments and which are completed at an acceptable level, and which need to be redone, planning to get absent students caught up with their work, entering marks into grading programs, attending staff meetings, committee meetings, professional development, ordering Scholastic books, communicating with parents, preparing special work for students on adapted or modified programs, and ultimately, doing so many other tasks, that I cannot remember them all at this time.
As for vacations, I was at an all-day Pro-D session today. Many of my colleagues will attend week-long workshops next week. Some are working on Master’s degrees, and a lot of us have been in the classroom preparing since early August (and some in July).
No matter what challenges we may encounter in the course of our duties, (which may involve teaching 30 8-9 year-olds with reading levels ranging from grades 1-7) and widely varying special needs and behavioral challenges, we are expected to act as kind and judicious parents, and must always be aware that even raising our voices too much may result in a parent’s report to our provincial College of Teachers, and a possible investigation and/or reprimand.
Oh, and, by the way, intermediate teachers must prepare teach and mark lessons and assignments for Reading, Writing, Spelling, French, Science, Social Studies, Health and Career Education, Information Technology, Physical Education, and Fine Arts (officially defined as Music, Art, Drama, and Dance). We are also expected to provide Daily Physical Activity, which is a distinct challenge in the winter in a small room crammed with 30 desks.
The curriculum, the textbooks, computer reporting methods, and the programs supported by the school district constantly change. We are expected to keep abreast of these changes and communicate with district staff, administrators, learning assistance teachers, teacher-librarians, counsellors, and in some cases nurses and social workers.
When I began teaching in 1989, we were given $150 a year to spend on classroom materials. Then this declined to $125, and has not changed since.
As for benefits, we still get $200 for glasses or contacts every 2 years. This will seldom buy a set of frames, let alone lenses. This has not changed since I can remember.
Elementary school teachers in my district get two 45 minute blocks a week for preparation time. (a time when we are not actively teaching, and another instructor takes our class so we can get some work done.) This time has not altered since I can remember, and is way behind what other teachers in other provinces in Canada receive.
Notice that I do not mention salary. Sure, I would like a raise, but that is the least of my concerns. For those who do not think that teachers understand what the real world looks like. I recommend that you spend a year in an elementary intermediate classroom. I guarantee that you will come away with a new perspective on the life of a teacher.

By: donvalley Thu, 25 Aug 2011 22:11:47 +0000 The teachers union in Ontario is too powerful. Many Canadians think teachers are overpaid and have too many benefits. Many teachers lack a fundamental understanding the subjects they are trying to teach. The quality of teachers varies from one school to the next in one city. As a union they are very protective of their turf and they will not let an expert into the classroom even for one visit. Like other civil servants they are a closed system that looks inward not outward. Most teachers do not have a clue as to what the real world looks like.