Many educators deserve our praise

Royal Roads University president emeritus Gerry Kelly weighs in on the importance of teachers

Re: Great Teachers (Gazette, June 22)

Congratulations to our outstanding teachers and the Goldstream News Gazette for your initiative in honouring them. Only a few teachers were selected, but they are representative of all our dedicated educators. Thanks also to the support received from Staples and Camosun College, where teaching excellence and concern for the student is the top priority.

It’s important that teachers be recognized for the critical roles they play in our communities. They not only educate our children, but in today’s rapidly changing workplace and family culture, with both parents working and many single-parent homes, teachers, in a sense, assist as surrogate parents. How many kids see the classroom as a kind of second home?

So, societal change means that teaching, already demanding work, is becoming even more taxing. I’m reminded of business people involved in Junior Achievement volunteering to spend a few days in the classroom. Wanting to see what it was like, they quickly found it’s darn hard work. Try it sometime.

Teachers start “on stage” shortly after breakfast and finish late in the afternoon or later, for many involved in school activities. Each classroom hour requires an hour of preparation, planning lessons for the next day. Oh yes, I almost forgot … they also have families to raise themselves.

Teaching is different from most other jobs where there’s a steady flow of tasks, meetings and projects. Teaching is more like being a playwright and lead actor at the same time. For tomorrow’s classes, you have to create the whole day-long scenario yourself. A teacher must keep it moving hour after hour and make it interesting, challenging and motivating for a classroom of young people; youth who also have a lot of other things on their mind, wrestling with the challenges of being and becoming.

Undaunted by the challenges, everyday teachers keep forging ahead with the interests of our sons and daughters at heart. They are vital to the enrichment of our communities and indeed, our families. Overwhelmingly they certainly deserve our recognition and continuing support.

Well done teachers! Well done Goldstream News Gazette!

Dr. Gerry Kelly

President Emeritus

Royal Roads University


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