Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Educational Authority - The Beginning

Far too often, the ‘bosses’ have little concept of the challenges facing teachers, either because they have spent so little time in the classroom themselves or, after their ‘ascent’ (some would say ‘escape’) from the classroom, forget all too quickly what it means to be a teacher. For example, when I started my job in Manitoba, I was shocked to learn that I would be teaching two Business courses and one English. When I had been interviewed for the job, all the questions had been about English, my subject area; the Superintendent mentioned nothing about Business. When I arrived a few days early at the school and saw my timetable, I quickly phoned the Superintendent, telling him that I knew nothing about business. His glib response was, “To my way of thinking Lorne, a good teacher can teach anything.” A smooth way to deal with a 'problem,' but of absolutely no help to me. At the time, I had neither the wherewithal nor the experience to debate him; I simply ended my call with a lame, “I’ll do my best.”

Thus marked the beginning of what was often to be a disputatious relationship with administrators. The following thirty years were to see me occasionally working for very competent and principled people, but who, sadly, proved to be in the minority.

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