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From the Chair
Registrar's Report

PS News

Professionally Speaking welcomes letters and articles on topics of interest to teachers. We reserve the right to edit letters for length and to conform to publication style. To be considered for publication, letters must provide the writer's daytime phone number. Address letters to: The Editor, Professionally Speaking at ps@oct.ca or 121 Bloor Street East, Toronto, ON  M4W 3M5.

Respect, race and memories

Respect for retired

Barry Weisleder, in his letter in the June issue of Professionally Speaking, wrote that "most retirees enjoy pensions of close to $50,000 a year and top up their incomes with these assignments."

I am one of the many retired occasional teachers with a pension of not even a quarter of what Mr. Weisleder suggests most retirees make. Having spent 10 years at home with my children I would have had to work until the age of 64 to avoid getting a significantly reduced pension. By retiring early I gave a younger teacher my job and I gave myself "options" with regard to my life after the age of 60 (which I still have not reached). The money I earn is very important to my well being and that of my family.

In addition, I love teaching and truly enjoy my time back in the classroom as an occasional secondary school teacher. Retired teachers like me are making a positive difference in Ontario's schools and deserve the respect, not the criticism, of our colleagues.

Patty Attkins is a retired Spanish, English and ESL teacher who teaches occasionally for the Thames Valley DSB.

Professional designation

Since we are a profession of long standing and have an established governing body, not unlike other professions, I propose that all members in good standing be expected to place a legal/professional designation after their names. This would not be unique since other professions practise this. For instance, engineers use P. Eng., nurses use Reg. N., psychologists use C. Psych., doctors use M.D., F.R.C.S.(c), etc. Perhaps members could use a designation such as: M.O.C.T., Reg.T., C.Tea., P.Tea. The professional designation could be the beginning of the recognition we all deserve. What do other members think?

Cliff Hasson is a retired Elementary, Junior/Intermediate/Special Education teacher who teaches occasionally for the Lambton Kent DSB.

Gene blindness

Teachers have, as their highest obligation, the responsibility of understanding ideas properly and acting on them.

When a cover photo is criticized by a teacher for not having the appropriate balance of colour, sex and disability, it is clear the critic is judging the image on those terms. He does not know if the picture was composed haphazardly, randomly or with prejudice, but his presumption betrays him.

Racism entails judging another by that miniscule millionth of one's genes that make skin colour stand out. Racism says tribe is more important than character. In an effort to eliminate racism by finding "imbalance" in a picture, the critic makes genes the issue and, de facto, becomes the racist, sexist, etc. Shoehorning people into pictures, courses or degrees on the basis of their genes in the name of "diversity" is racism. It is as irrational and demeaning for a man to be rejected because of his race, as it is to be chosen because of his race.

This principle is not difficult to understand and should be known by middle school. It should be taught as readily as is spelling. No teacher's forum should have to stoop to tabling colour-conscious debate on so elementary a subject.

Richard Bramwell is a science and biology teacher, retired from Mentor College in Mississauga.


I read with interest your article on Mary McBride of Banting Memorial in Alliston. I had the great good fortune to teach in the same department as Mary for 10 years. Her in-depth knowledge of methodology and her subjects and her level of enthusiasm and dedication are rare indeed. The school's motto fits her to a T: Quae cumque optima [the best of all].

Eileen Jones-Whyte is acting principal and teaches Grade 4/5 at École des Grands-Vents in St. John's for the Conseil scolaire francophone provincial de Terre-Neuve-et-Labrador.