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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 19, Number 5, March 2007

Looking back

70 years ago

Tucked away quietly on page seven of the new Junior High School course of studies are the following words, which may easily be missed by the harassed teacher bent on gulping the other 600 odd pages: "The provision of study periods should reduce greatly the amount of homework required of pupils. Written exercises and the solution of mathematical problems should not be exacted as homework. Work done out of school should represent joyous and creative activity." Some students need to be kept from doing excessive homework, and thereby ruining their already somewhat feeble health.
– March 1937, The BC Teacher

50 years ago

Staff meetings, the mention of which usually brings a frown to the brows of most teachers, can be made much more pleasant and interesting to all if certain steps are taken in a constructive, co-operative, and friendly manner. The principal proposed what we, the staff, thought a highly progressive idea. He suggested that the staff representative include in his duties that of being chairman at all staff meetings. The staff representative, as chairman, is in an excellent position to build up and maintain among the staff an enthusiastic and personal interest in their local association, which is the backbone of the Federation.
– March 1957, The BC Teacher

30 years ago

Within two hours of my call to the school board, I found myself facing 20 Grade 11 and 12 Graphic Communications students. Everything went well until one of the students asked me to explain how to make rubber stamps and my only possible answer was, "I wish I knew; let’s look at the manual." I left the manual with the student and a few days later he was explaining the process of rubber stamp-making to the other students. This was the beginning of student produced learning activity packages.
– March–April 1977, The BC Teacher

10 years ago

A preschooler surprises her family by expressing fear and hostility toward "black people" after seeing Roots on TV. A frightening scene of a slave’s whipping has caused her to conclude that the character must be a very bad person to be so severely punished, a belief supported by his dark skin and pain-contorted face, which appear to her to be both evil and scary. Like a darkening mirror, television violence extinguishes the hope that lights childhood, reflecting what is dark within ourselves and our society.
– March 1997, Teacher

Chris Bocking, Keating Elementary School, Saanich

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