Monday, 18 May 2015

Striking Teachers

Happy Victoria Day!

Right now, in Toronto, teachers are on strike. I'm not going to read up about their issues or learn the reasons for their strike just to regurgitate it here because I really don't care. Don't have kids and don't know any kids of school age so really it's not a matter which I can honestly discuss. But I think teachers should never be allowed to strike.

Just think of the stress they are causing to kids in their last year of high school. Their whole life could go askew because their entrance into university or the work force is put off for a few months. And what about the parents? They have to stay home from work to look after their kids so the strike affects them aversely too.

Teachers never striked when I was a kid. Our teachers rarely took time off work. I remember them always being in class. They were always available to us and offered great school programs. I have great memories of many teachers from Westdale Secondary in Hamilton.

When in grade 12 and with our history teacher and a few adult chaperons, we went to Quebec City. We took the train. I was 17 years old and so in Ontario, I wasn't old enough to drink since the age was 18. However, in Quebec, the age requirement to drink was 16. I was playing bridge with the history teacher, an older sister of one of my classmates and another teacher. They were all drinking except me who had a can of coke. When we crossed the border, my history teacher picked up his bottle of rum and poured it into my coke. I loved him for that!

For some strange reason, I fell in love with chemistry in grade 9. I did very well in that class and volunteered to clean test tubes after school. My chemistry teacher was a lovely man who spent time helping me excel in his classes. I received a 98% in that class. Actually, it was the best mark I ever received. I was more a B student.

I had a lot of problems learning how to read. As a child, I avoided reading as it was torture. I don't think I was dyslexic but probably borderline. I see words as shapes. If a word is spelt wrong, I can tell by its shape but I'm not always able to identify the mistake. I remember sitting quietly in class as the other students read. Amazingly enough, I managed to make it to grade 5 without being able to read.

Then I met Mrs. Markham. I'll never forget her name. She realized I wasn't reading and set out to teach me to read. She spent much quality time with me. To encourage me to read, she gave a book: Mrs. Pickerel Goes to the Moon. That was the first book I ever read and I loved it. Reading became better than candy and because of that book, I set out to read everything I could get my hands on. I'm still a voracious reader thanks to Mrs. Markham.

Teachers are a major part of a child's life. They make a difference. I have the upmost respect for teachers but they should never be allowed to go on strike. Let me know what you think. Do you agree or disagree?

have fun,
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@PattyLesser