It has been 50 plus years since I attended school in Quesnel, B.C. Although the Cariboo Junior/Senior High School has since burnt down and replaced many years ago, I have many fond memories of my teachers.
I remember class rooms of 36-40 children.
There was pre-school band practice, noon band practice, after school practice, choir practices, sports after school and at noon. All on the teachers’ time.
I also remember in Grade 10, our teacher, Mrs. Pegues, saying “I consider teachers as professionals and professionals do not go on strike.”
Yes, all teachers were Mr. or Mrs., or Sir or Mam.
Our music teacher/girls counsellor, Mrs. Halleran, taught Jr. band, Sr. band, Jr. orchestra and Sr. orchestra, plus our regular school music classes.
Every year we did a school musical, Rogers and Hammerstein productions, costumes rented from Theatre Under the Stars in Vancouver.
We had sold out seats for the two-night performances. Christmas was always a manger scene and the Christmas songs and yes – religious ones. Every night was a full house.
She was also my church choir instructor and our organist. Mrs. Halleran will never be forgotten and the hours of work she did every day could never be paid.
It was doing what she loved to do – teach.
We had sport tournaments against Prince George and Williams Lake for best basketball and volleyball teams.
We would travel to and from the towns by school bus, with teachers.
We practiced at noon and after school.
We had track and field and travelled to and from Prince George and Williams Lake to be the best in the Cariboo.
In those days our teachers were professionals, they dressed in suits and ties, dress shoes and the women were in dresses, suits or skirts and blouses, nylons and heels.
The students took pride in their appearance as well, girls were not allowed to wear jeans or pants.
In the winter we would wear long stockings, or pants under our skirts and remove them once at school.
There was very little bullying – although there was some but they got the strap or detention after school.
Our teachers today have lost all their pride in themselves and their profession. Look at their appearance at school – jeans, runners… so unprofessional.
I remember singing Oh Canada and God Save our Queen and saying the Lord’s prayer before class every morning, also bible readings every morning.
I bet 75 per cent of our students today could not sing the anthems, or say the Lords Prayer. What a shame. This is progress?
Will our students have these kind of memories – I think not. They will remember strikes, no sports, no music programs, no report cards and these teachers call themselves professionals.
Act like one, respect your chosen profession, dress appropriately –
being called by your first name is not demanding any kind of respect.
June Nogier (Walters)