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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 20, Number 4, January/February 2008

Looking back

70 years ago

The primary teacher can classify the musical background of each child as belonging to one of two groups:

1. Where the child has been brought up in a musical home. Here he has been exposed to the best in music literature, from Mother’s cradle song to symphonic radio music. He is encouraged to join in the family singing and becomes conscious of his voice as an instrument.

2. Where music has been an indifferent sideline. Here he has been exposed to inferior radio programs, his sister’s blues singing, and his brother’s saxophone.

– February 1938, The BC Teacher

50 years ago

If teachers are ever to receive adequate salaries, two conditions must be met. Teachers must be conscious of their worth in society, and they must be prepared to apply pressures upon the paying authorities to convince them that the teachers will refuse to accept salaries that do not reflect this worth. Teachers cannot expect to get higher pay by wishful thinking. In fact they may have to act in some quite unpleasant and disagreeable ways to realize their economic hopes. It is only when the alternative is more unpleasant than the paying of higher salaries that the school authorities will pay the increased rates. It is up to the teachers to force the issue.

– January 1958, The BC Teacher

30 years ago

Back in the 1950s, Dr. Hilda Neatby, head of the History Department, University of Saskatchewan, caused a stir in educational circles across Canada with a book entitled So Little for the Mind. Since that time the language arts have been studied, deliberated, shouted about, researched, and written about. Over-zealous university professors produced studies to show that Johnny can neither read nor write. Over-zealous teachers—from Grade 1 to university level—produced studies to prove that Johnny can read, write and understand better and more than students of any previous generation.

– January/February 1978, The BC Teacher

10 years ago

In the spring of 1997 the BCTF, through a motion passed at its Annual General Meeting, began work on one of the most difficult and controversial social issues it has ever addressed. We resolved to work on eliminating homophobia and heterosexism from BC public schools. If the experience of teachers in schools were not enough to indicate a problem, the tidal wave of intolerance, bigotry, and threats of violence that plugged the Federation’s phone lines and fax machines before and after the AGM, verified our concern that homophobia is indeed a social reality.

– January/February 1998, Teacher newsmagazine

Chris Bocking, Keating Elementary School, Saanich.

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