Jo's Ridiculist...

When I was in high school, I wanted to be a teacher.  I joined the Future Teacher's Club, and went out to some of the elementary schools and did 'practice' teaching.  It was fun and I enjoyed it.  I thought teaching was one of the most noble professions a person could undertake.  I still do.  Some of my favourite teachers -- Mr. Chalmers, Mrs. Littleton, Mr. Atkinson -- made a deep impact on me, and opened doors for me that might otherwise have stayed closed.  Other teachers -- Mrs. Hutchison, Ms. Somerville -- made me realize that not all teachers love teaching.  For the most part, however, I still have a great respect for teachers.  They influence our lives in ways we cannot understand until we are older.  I often think of my teachers, and of something they said during the course of a lesson.

'Little girls! I am in the business of putting old heads on young shoulders, and all my pupils are the creme de la creme. Give me a girl at an impressionable age and she is mine for life.'  ~~ Maggie Smith, 'The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie'

So, I was very disappointed to read the following article in our local newspaper three days ago:

'The cost of Vancouver teachers’ unlimited massage benefit soared to $1.62 million last year, contributing to the district's latest multimillion-dollar budget crisis. The Vancouver School Board confirmed teachers’ 2012 claims represented a 50 per cent increase over 2008, when they filed for $1.08 million worth of massages. Over the same period, the number of teachers actually decreased from 3,728 to 3,605.

Board spokesman Kurt Heinrich told CTV News that while the pricey job perk is paid for by the VSB, it was negotiated at the provincial level. “Any changes to it would have to be bargained by the BC Public School Employers Association,” Heinrich said in an email. “Unfortunately, the VSB has no control over this.” The board confirmed all claims are subject to the Pacific Blue Cross’ reasonable and customary limits, though the organization can only request a doctor’s note for massage claims after 24 visits in a calendar year. The claims must also be for registered massage treatments.

Gerry Kent of the Vancouver Elementary School Teachers Association defended the unlimited massage benefit, describing the work of an educator as “very stressful and challenging.” “I’m not privy to why they’re taking the therapy but I believe teachers who are taking these therapies are doing it to maintain their ability to go to work,” Kent said.'

Massage therapy?  Really?  What happened to bringing the teacher an apple?


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