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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 16, Number 4, March 2004

Looking back

70 years ago

This is an age of slogans. A catch phrase is presumably more effective than logic. One of the most popular of such slogans is "Balance the Budget." Obviously the principle of balancing the budget, or living within our income, is simple and fundamentally sound, but as is the case with many such principles, its practical application is not necessarily either simple or fundamentally sound.

In the City of Vancouver the budget was balanced only because the teachers agreed to teach without salary during the month of December. The point is that the teachers balanced the budget by giving up their undoubted rights under their salary agreements.

January 1934, The BC Teacher

50 years ago

Merit rating! Pay the teachers by the excellence of their work. Let’s pay the best what they are worth. We want to give the teachers a monetary incentive to improvement.

Mr. Cooper examined research reports from nine school systems and discovered that merit ratings: undermine teacher morale, attack teacher integrity, stifle teacher initiative, encourage partisanship and politics within the school, increase the insecurity of teaching, divide teachers, relegate teachers to becoming items of debits or credits on principals’ registers, and are designed to balance school budgets by granting fewer and smaller increments.

February 1954, The BC Teacher

30 years ago

Can you imagine a school day beginning and ending with teachers and students doing nothing except sitting with eyes closed for 15–20 minutes? It may sound fanciful and impractical, but if a simple system of meditation were adopted by the schools, the results would be anything but impractical. The Science of Creative Intelligence is the theoretical aspect of the technique of Transcendental Meditation (TM). Both SCI and TM have, I believe, much to contribute to our educational systems.

January 1974, The BC Teacher

10 years ago

The face of the employer on the other side of our teacher bargaining table is changing. Government passed Bill 78—the Public Sector Employers’ Act—in July 1993 to ensure that not school boards, but the provincial cabinet itself, has the main say in teacher collective agreements. Bill 78 limits even more the autonomy of the local school boards we face. It also opens the way for boards or government to establish provincial or regional employer structures.

January/February 1994, Teacher

– Chris Bocking, Keating Elementary School, Saanich

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