Adult Reality Check 101  

Teachers: What are you teaching?

Those poor, bullied, and under-appreciated teachers are now beginning two more weeks of time off, and as usual, it’s conveniently tied to a weekend or long weekend. Time to travel, garden, shop, and reflect in self-absorbed dejection on how hard done by their profession is.

What other profession in modern society enjoys such great hours, such a comfortable atmosphere, so much time off, great benefits, a great pension, fantastic pay and then still demands more.

Every other occupation in society follows the premise that production and attendance equals pay, as opposed to the principal that just being a “teacher” entitles pay. Two weeks of spring break, two weeks of Christmas break, six professional days, one administrative day, and two glorious months of summer off. This grand total leaves kids in class 186 out of 365 days. And amazingly, no one ever questions why a nine month work year, constitutes a whole year’s salary.

Offices can’t shut down operations for two weeks to get a break, nurses can’t close wards in hospitals to get respite, and companies can’t leave customers without service because they need to “recharge” after a challenging Christmas rush. Teachers have brainwashed the public for decades with the “pressures” of their occupation, and we subvert to their demands, always accepting, never questioning.

If they want to teach, to enjoy all the perks, then they shouldn’t necessarily expect a sympathetic audience and a salary that’s competitive with many other professionals who don’t enjoy such perks.

Maybe it’s time taxpayers addressed the distinctions of this profession, one that has become over indulged and overly pampered with minimal onus of responsibility to parents, and little transparency to the general public, unless it conveniently serves the union’s purpose.

Given recent developments surrounding extra-curricular activities, it’s become obvious that the primary concern is not the kids, but the teachers themselves, contrary to the “kids first” position they pander for the public. Many taxpayers would support allotting more money to hire more teachers, but not giving more money to existing teachers.

If teachers are genuinely concerned about “kids first” then they could forgo their raise and allow the ministry to use their demanded money to hire more teachers. More teachers, smaller classes, more individual attention equates to a truly Kid friendly option.

Unfortunately, the profession has become so predisposed to putting its self-interested teachers first, vulnerable kids second, unacquainted parents and public third, that it’s become impossible for anyone to question their imperious status quo.

When one stops and reflects how the teachers have managed to manipulate their work place to serve themselves first, it puts into question much of the union propaganda we hear in the media.

The whole education model needs to be re-evaluated and adjusted to make children’s needs come first, and teachers wants second.

Parents are the tax based employers, and have a right to say where and how their tax dollars are spent. We pay teachers to provide a comprehensive and reasonable service, not to continually find more grievances, more complaints, avoid more responsibility, and then demand more money and public understanding.

After all the rhetoric is exchanged, and the process concludes, we need to remember that teachers are just a service provider, an important service, but only one of many important services the government is charged with.

And even though it’s our children, teachers should not receive any preferential treatment above and beyond any other public servant. Fortunately or unfortunately, the examples teachers set today, are very important, for they will scatter seeds that go far beyond the classroom, examples that will resonate with our children tomorrow, and for years to come.


This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.

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About the Author

Jeff Hunkin is a 47-year-old Community Service Worker working with autistically challenged male adults in Vernon. The son of a retired Edmonton city policeman, Hunkin was raised and educated in both BC and Alberta. Hunkin continued his studies of the Human experience for over 10 years, in 7 provinces, 3 states, 15 cities and at least a 100 postal codes.

At times he has known the privilege of materialistic wealth and at others lived in a world of harsh poverty.  He has loved and lost more than most people see in a lifetime, he has been a free, happy and unbridled spirit, yet for a period of time, imprisoned within the depths of depression, all the while studying and observing the human experience unfold before him.

Hunkin's subjects are the very topics we usually discuss in our staff rooms, coffee shops or dinner parties. For whatever reason; being fear-based, being politically correct, or just no mainstream media theatres of discussion, these subjects rarely see the ink of print. HER side, his side, their side, your side, you may not like it, but someone will. Hunkin will take it, talk about it, run with it, roll with it, and see where it takes us all.

If you want to contact Jeff Hunkin about this week's column please e-mail - [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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