Thursday, July 7, 2011


If you read no other editorial column this week, do yourself a favor and read today's piece in the Vancouver Sun. It is one of the best and most important items I've read in a long, long time.

Education of aboriginal children must be top priority

Issue has been acknowledged -but not addressed -since the 1960s

Tomorrow, the paper promises solutions, and I will eagerly await this follow-up.

But I can tell you right now what two elements must be.

1. Recruit, hire and deploy a kind of "navy seals" cadre of dedicated teachers who are prepared to start tomorrow and work very hard and very closely, one-on-one when necessary, to inspire aboriginal children to the joys and rewards of learning.

No studies or commissions please. Just do it.

2. Gather the parents and families and shake them from their liassez-faire approach to fostering and encouraging their kids to succeed in school. Do whatever it takes to bring families into that sense of pride and accomplishment that is essential for kids to revel in learning.

Passing Strange

Something bizarre has happened.

In the days past when I used to post new items on this blog site every day, I would average about 300 hits a day.

Recently, because I only post once or twice a week, I rarely get more than 200 hits.

But yesterday, a first.

1568 page loads


What the heck was that all about?

I can't know for sure, but I have an idea.

Yesterdays post (PLUTO? URANUS?) was all about the BC Teachers federation.


Could it be that one union member emailed or texted another union member and that person contacted three of her friends and so on?

Most mysterious.

That, and the 12 comments this morning suggests that I seem to have struck a noive.



This comment came from a regular contributor. I thought it deserved a post of its own. Read it and weep.

My son is a student at Lord Byng -- his French teacher (I won't name her) likes to check her Facebook account during class (which she leaves open on the computer, with no concern that a) the kids can see it; b) that it might be considered inappropriate; and c) that it sends a message that she is less than interested in her little charges and that it's really NOT all about the students). Did I mention that she also is in the habit of texting during class?

Toward the end of the first and second terms (although I understand that is going to be cut back to once per year) we are given the opportunity to set up 5 minute interviews with our childrens' teachers -- for the first term interviews we were unfortunately unable to get even one interview (and we weren't the only ones). Did they schedule another evening (I mean, we are talking 5 bloody minutes per student!)? Of course they didn't. I contacted each of my son's teachers by e-mail asking for some feedback in the form of a meeting or, at the very least, a phone call. Only one teacher met with me, the rest (with the exception of the aforementioned French teacher) replied that everything was fine and a meeting wasn't necessary. In order to get a basic (and I do mean basic) reply from the French teacher, I had to send two e-mail messages and leave two 'phone messages (the later a complaint to the counsellor) before a response was received. Perhaps I should have texted or Facebooked her!

Professional would be the last word I would use to describe this lot.