Letter: What teachers make is a difference

Dear Editor,

I am a member of CUPE Local 1260 and an Administrative Assistant at R.E. Mountain Secondary, and have had the distinct pleasure of working for the past 25 years with some awesome teachers.

On Friday, I was beginning the task of creating new files in preparation for the new school year, when I came across a lovely little book, titled, “What Do You Make?”

It was a book for and about teachers, by Tom Hierck, with illustrations by Anne DeGrace, an adaptation of an original poem by Taylor Mali.  

I took a few minutes to read the book, reflecting on this gift that was presented to staff a few years ago by our school administrators at the beginning of the school year.

Here are some excerpts, while simple, in my opinion, profound.

Mr. Hierck writes, “The dinner guests were seated around a table discussing Public Education. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem.

“‘What’s a kid going to learn,” he argued “from someone who decided the best option in life was to become a teacher?”

“You’re a teacher, Kristin, he said. “Be honest. What do you make?”

“I make kids work harder than they every though they could.”

“I can make a C+ feel like an Olympic gold medal for the student who gave it everything – and an A- feel like a knot in the stomach, if the effort wasn’t the very best it could be.”

“I make kids apologize, because they know it’s the right thing to do.”  

“I make them write. I make them read, read, read.”

“I make kids wonder, I make them question, I make them criticize with a view towards improving a situation.”

“I make them show all their work in math and hide it all on the final draft of their English essay.”

“I immerse them in music and art and the joy of performance, so their lives are rich, full of kindness and culture, and they take pride in themselves.”

“I make them spell ‘believe’ and ‘success’ over and over again – ‘I believe in myself, success is for everyone!’”

“I make them understand that if you have the brains (and they all do) – then follow your heart.”

“And if anyone ever tries to judge you by what you make – you pay them no attention.”

“I’m a teacher and I make a difference.”

Teachers do make a difference, and deserve to be treated fairly by the government, as do all school employees. We are all suffering during this turmoil.

It is high time for the minister of education and the premier to put their hearts together for a fair resolve to these current negotiations, because it is the right thing to do.

Donna Mason, President CUPE Local 1260 Langley Schools

Just Posted

UPDATE: Stars offer four tickets to tonight’s Langley concert to $500 donors

From country music celebrities to NHL alumni, many famous faces hit the links at Redwoods today.

Langley animals feeling effects of smoky skies

Animal shelters are trying to keep their critters healthy through the smoggy days.

Medevac called to South Surrey business

‘Serious workplace incident’ reported to WorkSafeBC

Langley City in need of some Terry Fox Run helpers

People can help out on run day or be involved in preparations before then.

VIDEO: Mustang Roundup in Langley attracts car lovers from all over

A car show dedicated entirely to one model of Ford drew admirers and collectors to George Preston Recreation Centre.

Vehicle fire on the Coquihalla

Heavy congestion in north bound lanes

Prime minister greeted by B.C. premier as cabinet retreat begins

PM Justin Trudeau and Premier John Horgan meet in advance of federal cabinet meetings in Nanaimo

Are your kids anxious about going back to school?

BC Children’s Hospital offers tips to help your children be mindful and reduce stress

New trial ordered for James Oler in B.C. child bride case

Meanwhile, appeal court dismisses Emily Blackmore’s appeal of guilty verdict

This trash heap in Vancouver could be yours for $3.9 million

Sitting atop 6,000 square feet, the home was built in 1912, later destroyed by fire

Date rapist left victims with ‘long-lasting, emotional scars,’ judge says

Klifford Kenyon of Abbotsford sentenced to additional two years in prison

Fire in barn that housed therapy horses has been confirmed an arson

Abbotsford Police Department is now investigating and seeks witnesses

Team Canada’s next game postponed at Little League World Series

They’re back in action on Wednesday against Peurto Rico

Most Read