Violence should never be normalized in school

Schools must avoid the equally misguided extremes of zero-tolerance policies and permissive idealism

Violence should never be normalized in schoolSaunders Secondary School in London, Ont., is home to approximately 2,000 students. It’s been in the news a lot lately, but not in a good way. A recent CBC story quoted an anonymous teacher who described Saunders as a “tinderbox of violence” where students regularly challenge teachers to fist fights after school. Over the last six…

Teachers must stop undermining parental values

Teachers are hired to educate students, not to indoctrinate them

Teachers must stop undermining parental valuesWhen parents send their children to school, they place a lot of trust in teachers. It’s important that teachers not undermine that trust. Unfortunately, some teachers haven’t learned this lesson. For example, last year a school posted a message on its outdoor sign stating that farming affects oceans and that the chemicals used in farming…

Technology should never be the driving force behind education reform

Students need more time reading books and less time reading screens. Good teaching, not more technology, is key

Technology should never be the driving force behind education reformTechnology has had a huge impact on public education. Classrooms of today look quite different from those of a generation ago. It shows just how quickly technology changes and the extent to which it dominates our children’s lives. However, while it makes sense to ensure that students and teachers have reasonable access to computers, technology…

Teachers must retake charge of their classrooms

It is the only way to ensure quality education

Teachers must retake charge of their classroomsProspective teachers learn a lot about individualized instruction in faculties of education. That’s because teachers are encouraged to personalize learning for each student as much as possible. To a certain degree, this makes good sense. An inflexible, cookie-cutter approach to education serves no one well. At the same time, the pendulum has swung so far…

It’s time that students came first rather than last

Two years of pandemic restrictions have taken a toll on our kids

It’s time that students came first rather than lastFinally, provincial governments are loosening public health restrictions. Based on what many health officials are saying, there’s a good chance that our country will be largely free of these restrictions by spring. And not a moment too soon, particularly for our young people. Even though kids are in the age group that is least likely…

Handwriting remains a useful skill

We are more likely to remember words we write than words we type

Handwriting remains a useful skill“Sign here please.” Anyone who has ever accepted a UPS delivery, signed a permission slip for a school field trip, or filled out a legal document has likely seen this phrase. Although it takes only a few seconds to sign a document, our handwritten signature means we have read the document and accepted its terms.…

Teachers should keep using textbooks

Telling students to create their own knowledge by finding sources on the internet is just plain wrong

Teachers should keep using textbooksI learned a lot about Canadian history when I was an elementary school student. However, it had little to do with what happened during class. Rather, I came across an old Canadian history textbook in our school library and started reading it on my own time. What sparked my interest was the textbook author’s ability…

Teachers’ unions are undermining their own long-term viability

Parents can no longer rely on the public system for their kid's education

Teachers’ unions are undermining their own long-term viabilityFinally, schools across Canada are starting to reopen. Most provinces had switched to remote learning at the beginning of January to assess the impact of the Omicron variant. But now, thankfully, these remote learning sessions are coming to an end. Given this trend, it looks likely that all Canadian students who want to be back…

We need more diversity of thought among our teachers

The left-wing activism of teachers’ unions sends a clear message about the political leanings of many – perhaps most – teachers

We need more diversity of thought among our teachersIf you visit any Canadian teachers’ union website, you might think that all teachers reside on the far left of the political spectrum. For example, the British Columbia Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) isn’t shy about taking left-leaning stands on controversial political topics. Among other things, the BCTF supports student climate strikes, advocates for more spending on…

Why principals, teachers don’t belong in the same union

New legislation will allow Manitoba to follow the lead of Canada’s biggest provinces, creating clear lines between management and staff

Why principals, teachers don’t belong in the same unionPrincipals and teachers shouldn’t be in the same union. That was a key recommendation of the Manitoba Commission on Kindergarten to Grade 12 Education report. Clearly, the Manitoba government has taken this recommendation to heart. Bill 64, the Education Modernization Act, proposes to remove principals and vice-principals from teacher bargaining units. This is a significant…
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