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  • Writer's pictureBernardo Garcia

Does it all comes down to the teachers?

Updated: Oct 29, 2020

Trailing spouse”. That’s a term I always find a bit tricky and, to be honest, I didn’t feel totally comfortable with it when it was applied to define me. I think is has to do with the fact that I’m not a fan of labels (at least in most cases) but also because it implies that you don’t do much but follow your partner wherever she goes with her career.

Anyway, the point is that my wife’s career took us around and we moved countries four times in twelve years until we finally settled in lovely Calgary. During that period my kids went to four different schools and I worked for three of them as a Learning Support Assistant.

Along the way we all learned many, many things but in retrospective, there’s something that we got very clear: no matter if it was a British school, an American, a Dutch, a private or a public school, the teachers always made the difference, for good or for bad.

Both as a parent and as school staff I realized that the best learning experiences were not necessarily linked to a particular education system, to the fanciness (or lack of) of the facilities or to the curriculum but often to teachers with passion, enthusiasm, patience and commitment. Perks like modern buildings, memorable field trips or state of the art interactive boards are nice to have but they never compensate for teachers who can’t keep students engaged or who don’t understand the full extension of the words inclusion and diversity.

I also had the chance to see some really good teachers struggle because they had too many students in one class and not enough time to prepare their lessons, or to support every student according to their individual needs. Sometimes they didn’t find much support from their Principals.

We also saw the other side of the coin. From those not-so-positive experiences I learned that it is critical to get in touch with the teachers as soon as issues or concerns arise and let them know our expectations clearly. I also realized how important it is to teach self-advocacy to my kids and to my students.

Fortunately we always remember the names and the faces of the good teachers that we found in our path and how they played such an important role in our lives.

It reminds me of how important it is to let our teachers know that we appreciate their efforts when they walk the extra mile.


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Adolfo P. Salgueiro D.
Adolfo P. Salgueiro D.
Oct 29, 2020

Tiger: Gracias por hacerme llegar tu reflexión. Todo lo que afirmas es exactamente como lo dices. De allí surge tambien que las escuelas deben tener los reursos necesarios para que los maestros puedan cumplir con las expectativas que se tienen sobre ellos; sea escuela publica o privada (en este último caso la inclusión se asegura solo si hay recursos ).

Espero tus nuevas publicaciones.


Adolfo Salgueiro
Adolfo Salgueiro
Oct 26, 2020

That's good stuff. Something to think about. Teachers and parents need to team up to develop a child for the future that awaits him/her. Both parties have a responsibility because both parties are shaping the kids' life and development of critical thinking.

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