Letter writer wrong about teachers

Dale Stuart’s Sept. 25 letter criticizing teachers was offensive to me, a retired teacher. Let me enlighten him on a few points.

Dale Stuart’s Sept. 25 letter criticizing teachers was offensive to me, a retired teacher. Let me enlighten him on a few points.

The contract between the Alberta Teachers’ Association and the government of Alberta was negotiated prior to Sept. 1, 2007. The terms of this contract are from Sept. 1, 2007, until Aug. 31, 2012.

Increases in the first year was three per cent. In addition, teachers are relieved of their monthly payment to the pre-1992 unfunded liability (a debt owed by our provincial government) with is 3.1 per cent of salary savings for teachers. This equates to a 6.1 per cent increase.

The purpose in signing this contract was to promote stability and direction for both parties in the long term. This contract must be honoured. During this time of recession, there are unemployed teachers as well. No profession is exempt. I am sure teachers with contracts are very appreciative of their jobs.

With regards to class time, the length of the school day has not really changed in the last 30 years. The start times and finish times may have shifted a bit, but the actual student contact time is much the same as it has always been. Teachers do not determine the number of school days in a year, the number of minutes per day, when holiday times occur, or whether or not there are half days. These are mandated either by the provincial government, or your local school board.

I have no idea where Stuart got the idea that teachers spend one-third less time in the classroom. That’s simply, not true. In fact, with the increase in extra-curricular activities, teachers spend more time with their students.

As for pay for performance, how would it be measured? Children develop physically, emotionally, and intellectually at different rates. Some are advantaged. Their parents offer support, guidance, and expose them to outside activities. Some children are disadvantaged. They come from dysfunctional homes, are neglected or abused. There is no level playing field here. So how would one measure performance? The fact is, you can’t. Children are not balance sheets. They are diverse, and payment for performance negates the true meaning of education, the development of each child to her/his potential, whatever that may be.

The teachers I have known are dedicated professionals who care about their students. The rewards are often intrinsic. It is hard work, often exhausting, but worth it. Children are our most valuable resource and teachers, along with parents, play the most important roles in developing our future citizens. Teachers — keep up the good work! You are worth every penny!

Diane Swainson

Red Deer

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Buccaneers battle Wolfpack in AFL semifinal

The Central Alberta Buccaneers battled the Calgary Wolfpack in the Alberta Football… Continue reading

Raising awareness for Bikers Against Child Abuse

Second annual Raise A Ruckus Against Child Abuse was held at the Red Deer Radisson Hotel Saturday

Central Alberta Yogathon cancelled Saturday

Due to air quality concerns the fourth annual event will take place Sept. 15

City Hall Park construction begins next week

Construction to update Red Deer’s City Hall Park is set to begin… Continue reading

PHOTOS: Jazz at the Lake begins

The 16 annual event began Friday and runs until Sunday in Sylvan Lake

WATCH: Medicine River Wildlife Centre opens new playground

The grand opening of the playground was Saturday morning

Thousands to attend funeral service for officers killed in Fredericton shooting

FREDERICTON — Hundreds of people have lined the route of a funeral… Continue reading

Calgary police officer seriously injured

CALGARY — The Calgary Police Service says one of its officers was… Continue reading

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

MONTREAL — Canadian politicians are adding their voices to the international reaction… Continue reading

‘Four of a dozen kids will not make it:’ Tina Fontaine’s family healing together

WINNIPEG — Melissa Stevenson was just starting her career 18 years ago… Continue reading

No winning ticket for Friday night’s $16 million Lotto Max jackpot

TORONTO — No winning ticket was sold for the $16 million jackpot… Continue reading

Hundreds of neo-Nazis march in Berlin, protected by police

BERLIN — Hundreds of neo-Nazis waving flags with the colours of the… Continue reading

Romanian trucker is Genoa bridge’s 43rd victim

GENOA, Italy — The Latest on the Italy bridge collapse (all times… Continue reading

1 dead, 6 injured after building collapse in Nigeria capital

ABUJA, Nigeria — An emergency response chief says one person is dead… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month