Teachers’ tough position made worse by politics

I recall 1970, teaching in Oromocto, also know as Camp Gagetown with a two-year certificate at the tender age of 20. The government had to bribe us with free college tuition in order to get recruits for the educational system.

To the Editor,

How I miss the good old days.

I recall 1970, teaching in Oromocto, also know as Camp Gagetown with a two-year certificate at the tender age of 20. The government had to bribe us with free college tuition in order to get recruits for the educational system.

Wages were a little better than bank tellers; there was no union, no sick days and the principal was god. Almost all teachers were women, at least until they got married, and we got to smoke in the staffroom.

The change came when teachers got unionized and started to make a decent salary. The governments made political hay by encouraging the public to see us as greedy and lazy when we fought for intelligent class sizes and proper supports for our special pupils. We have become the whipping boy for votes.

One thing has not changed – we still lose half of our new teachers five years after graduation. They go on to retrain at even greater expense or maybe just become realtors.

Perhaps we should encourage our kids to get a profession where one is treated with great respect, pays very well and there is no shortage of work, and no student loan needed – the trades.

Dave Cutts, Nanaimo