In the last year of primary school, our day started the same way every morning.
We said prayers. If gale force winds were blowing, we prayed to Our Lady Queen of the Sea taht all the men in boats would find a safe harbour.
If it rained, as it did more often tha not, at harvest time, we prayed for a break so that farmers could get the grain dried and off the fields.
If there was an explosion in a coal mine , we prayed for trapped miners.
Black babies in Africa and the missions were always in our prayers.
We prayed four times a day.
Ten mental arithmetic problems, written in chalk on the blackboard was the second task of the day in that last year.
Previously, religious instruction was the priority. We still had it in the last year but it came second.
Primary school was six years; three years in secondary school.
Five years or earlier, depending on birth date, was starting age. Fourteen was leaving age.
There was no pre-school.
Learning in earnest started on day one .
Leaving school without knowing how to read and write was not
an acceptable result of education.
Toronto school teachers are withdrawing services to-morrow.
I want to share a mental arithmetic exercise.
Schools are closed nine weeks in summer. The last week of the school year no teaching happens.that's ten weeks of no learning.
Minus ten weels in summer;reduces the school year to forty-two weeks from fifty-two.
Christmas and March break take three weeks.leaving thirty nine weeks.
Statutory holidays probably another week: thirty-eight weeks.
Professional development and sick days likely average at least another week; thirty -seven weeks. in the school year.
The school week is five days of seven .That reduces the classroom year by seven more weeks. .
We are down to thirty weeks.
The school day is one third of an ordinary day. Down again to twenty weeks of actual teaching in a year
Teachers in Toronto have decided to withhold service. .for yet another day. To protest the unfairness of the system. .. to them.
D'you see where I'm going with this.
Do you think as I do it's odd that no-one even mentions teachers salaries and benefits for twenty weeks of teaching a year.
School board spokespersons speak of "inconvenience" to parents.
while schools are closed.
Nobody talks about kids and taxpayers being short-changed.
The Auroran poll was interesting. this week.Sympathy is not with the teachers.
I wasn't surprised. At Christmas I heard it said, the government should do what Ronald Regan did with air traffic controllers. Fire them and make them apply for their jobs without the protection of a union.
No doubt there will be a hefty fine for illegal work stoppage.
Teachers don't have to worry about that.
Union coffers have more money than the Province .. And it all came out of the same pockets initially.