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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 18, Number 4, January/February 2006

Looking back

70 years ago

Nazi leaders are demanding that Jews should be eliminated from the teaching profession as incapable of comprehending the constitution and conception of the German state. While in 1932 there were about 4,000 Jewish students in German universities, the number was reduced to 223 in 1934. In Bavaria and elsewhere Jewish children are no longer admitted to the Youth Hostels that have become so important a feature of young Germany. This is justified on the grounds that "It is impossible to require a German child to sleep under the same roof with persons belonging to a foreign race." The extermination of an unpopular minority was common enough in barbarous days. It has remained for modern Germany to try the experiment of murdering a people’s soul.

– January 1936, The BC Teacher

50 years ago

Too many of us are prone to point out that teachers in this day and age are enjoying a "soft touch," high salaries, too many holidays, and a superannuation plan for the security-minded. On the other hand, a good percentage of us, once we were backed into a corner in the argument, would quite readily admit that we wouldn’t take on the job of attempting to control 30 or 40 young Canadians as a daily chore, and at the same time try and instill in them the educational requirements as laid out in the curriculum, for double the salary. – January 1956, The BC Teacher

30 years ago

Examinations, as Desmond Morris has said, are a modern version of primitive tribal initiation ceremonies, complete with ritual, isolation from parents and external sources of help, mental trauma, and final ceremonial initiation into the secrets of the tribe. Clearly, they are institutions designed for the selection of certain people for more and more "advanced" levels of education, higher qualifications, better-paid jobs. Because the reality of this situation is that most people don’t get advanced education, higher qualifications, and better-paid jobs, examinations become instruments for the exclusion and rejection of the majority. – Jan./Feb. 1976, The BC Teacher

10 years ago

In 1987, Bill 20 removed administrative officers from the definition of teacher and prohibited their membership in the bargaining unit. The courts have now decided that AOs are due "compensation." A decision has not yet been made as to the amount, but we expect to hear soon. Sitting through the final court proceedings was upsetting and discouraging. It’s hard to look at AOs, with the salary and benefit levels they have achieved through the efforts of the BCTF, and view them as a disadvantaged group who deserve compensation from teachers. – Jan./Feb. 1996, Teacher

Chris Bocking, Keating Elementary School, Saanich

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