This letter is in response to Joe Sawchuk of Duncan, B.C.
I am really tired of reading about how many days off teachers get each year. You, Mr. Sawchuk, assume that teachers walk into school on day one, and leave on day 188 without ever doing anything other than the bare minimum of work.
Most teachers upgrade their skillsets regularly. They take courses on their own time, attend summer conferences, work late into the night marking and creating lessons, work weekends on new projects and research, and even work on holidays. More teachers than I can count wind up being sick for several days of their extended holidays because they have been stressed for the weeks prior to this break. Teaching is exhausting.
Teaching requires at least five years of university education. Many teachers have six, seven or eight years of university and often are hired because they have other skills like journeyman tickets or skills they developed outside of school, along with their university degrees. Those “extras” count for nothing in salary, but they do help the teacher in acquiring a position to teach.
Instead of comparing the salary of teachers to the salary of the “average” British Columbian, try comparing the average teaching salary to that of the “average professional with five or more years of further education”; whether it is academic or technical education is irrelevant. You need to compare appropriately.
Teachers work very hard, and people like you, who do not know what goes on behind the scenes, propagate the myth that anyone can teach, and teachers are useless. This does nothing for teachers, for students or for the future of education. Teachers are worth far more than they are ever given credit.