Encouraging our teachers in their jobs

Teaching has been valued for many years around the world. It had been held up high alongside doctors and lawyers and educators highly respected and elevated within the communities.

Teaching has been valued for many years around the world. It had been held up high alongside doctors and lawyers and educators highly respected and elevated within the communities.

It is still important to recognize the needs and efforts of teachers today and the countless hours each of them put in to prepare their students for the world.

According to the Alberta Education 2008 statistics there are 29,504 teachers in Alberta this year that teach full-time and 4,879 that are active part time teachers for a total of 34,383 teachers in the province.

The average class size for these teachers is 18.4 for kindergarten to Grade 3, 21.3 for Grade 4 to 6, 22.5 for Grade 7 to 9 and 22.7 for Grade 10 to 12.

These teachers work hard all school year, plan during the summer months and are active in many after school activities and sports. Many people switch jobs every couple of years but most of these teachers continue in the profession and give of themselves for decades.

Oct. 5 was World Teachers’ Day, a day to acknowledge the role teachers play and the work that they contribute personally and professionally to students’ and families’ daily lives.

World Teachers’ Day was inaugurated in 1994 to commemorate the signing of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) / International Labour Organization (ILO) Recommendation concerning the status of teachers on Oct. 5 2006. Today more than 100 countries celebrate World Teachers’ Day.

There are high expectations put on teachers, after all, they are with your children all day, guiding them, encouraging them, disciplining them and teaching them.

Teachers are very involved in this day and age in the lives of the students and are faced with many benefits but also many challenges.

Teachers and schools strive to meet the needs of individual students and accommodate and teach all kinds of students.

They are more than just teachers, they are mentors, coaches, psychologists, etc.

Alberta has many great teachers in the province’s schools and does its part to recognize the efforts of these teachers with the Excellence in Teaching Award showing appreciation to 23 finalists this year.

Ponoka had two teachers nominated this year for their dedication and teaching. Lisa Tidd, a teacher at St. Augustine School made it far as one of the semifinalists for the award. Catherine Knudskov, a teacher at Ponoka Alternative Supports School, was one of the 23 finalists and was invited to attend a special dinner and awards ceremony in Calgary. The province also helped recognize her work and encouraged her to continue with teaching by offering up to $4,000 for a conference of her choice along with other initiatives and building tools.

The work that teachers do in Ponoka is evident. They encourage reading, take time for students, run with them during the Terry Fox Run, help solve problems and issues, create an innovative learning environment that caters to different learning types, etc.

One major thing to commend teachers on is their patience. With a class of many different kinds of students, learning abilities, constant hand raisings and “I don’t get its”, these teachers keep their cool and exercise good classroom management skills.

It takes a lot to become a teacher, and good marks and fancy papers in university does not cut it alone. It takes many hours, after school work, marking, report cards, parent/teacher interviews, passion and a good personality to make it as a successful teacher.

It is important to recognize the efforts of the schools and the teachers in trying to lead Ponoka’s students in the right direction and prepare them for life.

We do not want our teachers to become or feel exhausted and underappreciated because they play a major role in student’s lives.

Think back to previous grades or when you were in school. It is easy to remember each teacher for each grade and how they had impacted you. Whether it was positive or negative each teacher affected your life in some way.

So, encourage our teachers in educating our Ponoka students and give them a hand because without them society would be moving backwards.

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