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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 19, Number 4, January/February 2007

Looking back

70 years ago

The words "vitalize" and "devitalize" have been much overused in matters and discussion pertaining to the classics, but even so their meaning should be fairly clear in the connection in which they are to be used here. All classicists are aware of the charge that many teachers of the classics, in a desperate effort to make Latin attractive to the student, have completely overlooked the numerous real values and objectives of Latin in their well-meant but misguided "sugarcoating" of the subject. To handle the subject thus certainly tends to devitalize it.

– February 1937, The BC Teacher

50 years ago

A good school is not a good building with teachers inside but good teachers with a building around them. Indeed the quality of a child’s education depends primarily on the classroom teacher. He carries the ball. If the classroom teacher is not a good one, it won’t matter how good the Department of Education officials or the inspector or superintendent or the school trustees or the curriculum or the school building are. If the pupils are to be stimulated to grow and develop in their best fashion, school boards must invest in good teachers before anything else. Paying high enough salaries to attract highly competent teachers is a gilt-edged investment that pays great dividends; paying low salaries which command the service of poor teachers is wasteful and extravagant.

– January 1957, The BC Teacher

30 years ago

There is the discipline debate. In reaction to the excesses of the youth cult and anti-establishment vehemence of the 1960s, many adults want to see kids put back in their place. They want to see obedience and order—compulsion in place of choice. Whether school can be authoritarian when the home is still permissive is one question. Whether it should be, is another.

– January/February 1977, The BC Teacher

10 years ago

If the boys aren’t working as hard as the girls at their class work, if they aren’t taking on leadership and social responsibilities, and if they seem less concerned about their futures, what are they doing? If the girls are simply outperforming the boys, that’s fine. It’s their turn anyway. But too many boys don’t seem to be even trying. They aren’t on the field. They have retired to a leisured existence of watching televised sport and playing electronic games. They have been anesthetized by a "boy culture" that celebrates bravado, lassitude, and stupidity.

– January/February 1997 Teacher newsmagazine

Chris Bocking, Keating Elementary School, Saanich


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