In October 1999, I wrote this letter to CBC
radio in response to an "education panel" discussing
teacher negotiations etc. It was read on national radio and the
images seem to strike a chord that resonates with non-teachers.
I hope it helps you communicate to others, what we do all day and for a good portion of each evening.
For many years I have been convinced that
teaching, like many other service professions,
simply cannot be explained to those who do not do the job.
Like acting, it is deceptively difficult to make the job seem easy.
Students only see the performance, not the research, the rehearsals and
the rewrites involved in every effective lesson. But actors (who, as everyone knows, only
work for about an hour and a half per day) get to do the same play night after night.
Imagine writing, producing, then acting in
four different one hour plays
each day, and returning the next day with four new ones to present
to the same audiences...and the next day and the next,....from September to June.
Hey, why would anyone need "prep. time"? Or holidays?
No, wait! That doesn't describe it either.
I didn't mention that at night you have to read and comment on the reviews of your performances written by each member of the audience.
Oh, and then there's coaching, cafeteria supervision, and students who were away and want a 5 minute summary of yesterday's performance, and, and.....
This is our dilemma....
Doug De La Matter
Barry's Bay, Ontario