Friday, 1 November 2013

The teachers of Saskatchewan said "NO"

The teacher of Saskatchewan said no to a tentative agreement of 5.5% increase over 4 years. Having been a teacher for 31 years I feel I have a right to an opinion as to what teachers deserve. The general population feel they know what happens in the classroom of today, some of you might as you may have only been out of school for a couple of years, but if you have been out of school for more than 8+ years you have no idea.

Teachers are professional who attended post-secondary university education in order to be called that. This title of professional is the same one that applies to Nurses, Lawyers, Doctors, Engineers, Pharmacist, Dentists because they too attended university and entered a profession. All professions which have overtime pay, bonuses, specialties, EDO and work approximately the same number of hours in a year as teachers, yet the lowest paid of these professionals make 20,000 dollars a year more than teachers. Each one of these professionals achieve this higher salary because of the work that is done in school by the professional educators.

The teachers of this province would just like to be treated as professionals, be part of the changes that are required in education. The teacher’s work day was increased by 20%. That is the increase if you calculate the work day by the amount of time a teacher spends in front of students. It is very ignorant if one thinks that is all the teacher does. Just as it would be considered ignorant if we thought the Premier is only working when he is standing in parliament.

I do know some nurses, doctors, engineers, pharmacist, and dentist who are paid for the work they do. With teachers the problem is that the work day is not defined. Every teacher would love to be paid for the actual work they do, the preparation time, the coaching, the supervision, the adaption of new curriculum and all the other stuff which is necessary to make sure the time in front of students is valuable.

If push comes to shove, look around your community what would it be like if teachers did just what they were paid to do? The education experience for the students would be greatly diminished and our Saskatchewan advantage would falter. As most teachers are very active members of the community.

So maybe it is time to pay the teachers for what they do, by paying them for everything they do, the general population would understand what happens in the schools of today. An understanding which would silence most naysayers. The only ones who would still be complaining would be the ones who did not take advantage of the third best education system in the world and now are looking for someone to blame for their lack of ability to contribute to the Saskatchewan Advantage.

The worst thing that could ever happen in Saskatchewan is that teachers only do what they are being paid to do. Be very careful society if you think it is a good thing to not respect and treat teachers as professionals who do way more than what they are actually paid to do. The cost of ignorance exceeds that of education.

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