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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 20, Number 2, October 2007

Looking back

70 years ago

Requests have been received from Prairie teachers addressed to specific British Columbia schools, and no doubt teachers and school children everywhere will be co-operating with the general local citizen body in sending neighbourly aid to distressed fellow countrymen. There seems a consensus of opinion, however, that all such efforts should be pooled and distribution left to the officials in the distressed areas, who have in hand definite schemes for the fair distribution of gifts from more fortunate parts of the country.

– October 1937, The BC Teacher

50 years ago

The centennial year in BC gives teachers a special reason to celebrate. One hundred years ago the Hudson’s Bay Company brought out the Reverend Mr. Staines to teach the children of company employees. During the year 1957–58 our Federation members will number 10,000. Yet this prosperous province, with the highest birthrate and immigration rate in Canada, faces a distressing shortage of teachers. Will you, every individual member, be such a good teacher that pupils, parents, school boards, and departments will be won to realize that we must have good qualified teachers, and that they can be recruited and retained only when salaries, pensions, and education finance are adjusted to give us the economic status worthy of our profession and its heavy responsibilities?

– September/October 1957, The BC Teacher

30 years ago

Teachers are well aware that TV has cultivated a speediness, an impatience, a lack of concentration that makes their jobs all the more difficult. It’s harder to teach the basics. There’s a lot of talk in educational circles about basics, a lot of "truths" become platitudes, web-footed answers to real, contemporary dilemmas. That the average child’s primary social relationship (in hours spent) is with a TV set raises some fundamental questions.

By age 14 the typical TV consumer has witnessed 18,000 TV deaths and 350,000 TV commercials in 22,000 hours of obeisance to our cyclopean god. That same adolescent has spent 12,000 hours in school, perhaps 20% of that time dealing with "basics."

– September/October 1977, The BC Teacher

10 years ago

In the current storm of passionate interest in technology, one school, Ridgeway Elementary, of North Vancouver, has planted a walled garden at its centre instead of a MacLab. Appropriately called The Refuge, this sanctuary to students and teachers alike has transformed the school and community in ways that Voltaire (and many others) would approve. In an otherwise sterile urban environment, students can walk down the hall and open a door to find nature. The gatekeeper and head gardener of The Refuge is teacher-librarian Chuck Heath. Beneath his white shock of hair, his eyes glowed with the intense joy of sharing what he knew with the child beside him.

– October 1997, Teacher newsmagazine

Chris Bocking, Keating Elementary School, Saanich


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