Thursday, January 18, 2018

Satisfied teachers equal successful children

Why do people think that teachers are selfish and have everything so easy? It is so aggravating to hear people say that teachers make a lot of money or that teachers have so many holidays. I wonder who is willing to step into the shoes of teacher and go at it for one week. Will that person ever survive?

To those who do not know, a teacher has to care for all the individuals in the classroom. That is right, every one of them. Some teachers have as many as forty students in front of them and their needs must be met. It does not matter if that child came from a healthy, functioning family or a dysfunctional one (more common every year). A teacher is called upon to help them all to learn. Can I go to a clerk during his or her break and ask them to attend to my needs? I would be laughed at and the person would call security. Teachers do not have such luxury. Many of my lunch times I deal with disputes, listen to children's needs, render first aid and talk to parents.

Imagine, if you will, a parent coming to you and saying that she can only come to the school during lunchtime and she would like to talk to you about her child. Hmm….should I say like a typical clerk, "Sorry this my lunch hour. Please come back during official hours."

We are in a struggle the likes I have never seen before for a just salary. The Chief Personnel Officer (CPO) is insulting us with an average of 4.7 per cent. Some people would say that we should be grateful to get about $400 extra in our salary. If you want the best and brightest to become teachers, would they want a salary like that? If we as a nation believe that the education of our young citizens should be a top priority, then shouldn't teachers be top priority as well? You can build as many new schools as you want but if there are no satisfied teachers that cannot be called a success.

Alvin Peters

Port of Spain