There is no white light at the end of this tunnel, nothing more to look forward to.
I take solace in the fact that I have achieved what I have set out to do here in the Yukon … nothing short of changing the world.
A young girl has found an artistic ability that will enable her to become the next Picasso or Rembrandt.
Another child, bound to a single-parent household, has taken comfort in knowing that he has finally found the first positive male role model in her life.
A young lady, no longer afraid of the water, may spend years joyfully splashing in her neighbour’s pool, one day representing Canada at the Olympics.
And a little boy’s social skills have tremendously improved over the past several months.
These children will grow up to become successful individuals in the community and may look back on the times we had together with fondness.
As a child-care provider, I live below the poverty line, unable to meet my current financial obligation and there are hundreds more like me.
I leave the Yukon with the hope that someday people will learn to appreciate the role we teachers have in passing on the values and beliefs to the next generation.
Children will spend nearly 8,600 hours in a day-care setting prior to commencing kindergarten.
Most of the information children gather is learned before they reach the age of five, which means they gather that information from people like us.
Therefore, it is essential that the facilitators working in such environments be highly trained and motivated to the best of their ability.
Yet, we have not been respected for what we do as can be seen in the wages we receive.
Supermarket cashiers are getting paid just as much as child-care workers, yet are not required to shape the minds of young children.
It’s a shame we are not valued for our work. Its not wonder people look down on this line of work.
Yet, there are a few of us who stand up against the criticism and speculation to reap the benefits of doing what the skeptics only dare dream about.
We strive to change the way people think and behave. By doing so, the children of tomorrow may be very open-minded, enlightened, and self-confident individuals.
However, there is a more sinister reason for doing what I do and as my life fades into black, I can finally see the truth.
It’s not so much about the children as it is about me. I’m single without children of my own. When I have passed on, there will be no one there to remember me. It will seem as if I never existed.
By teaching young children, I may be remembered after I am gone. The children may look back at our time together with fond memories and tell their children about that one special teacher.
This is good for there will be someone somewhere who will know that I was here. While there is no light at the end of the tunnel, there may be a ray of hope for me yet.
Our media seems somewhat divided on the question of whether it would be correct for Great Britain to pass an omnibus Parliamentary bill creating a belated pardon for the 23 Canadian soldiers shot for desertion or cowardice in the First World War.
War historians are more certain that it would be what Desmond Morton of McGill University called “self-indulgent rubbish” and what Jack Granatstein has called “turning fact into fiction.”
The media were after me for a comment like a terrier after a bone!
Fresh in my mind were the stories from my father, a decorated First World War veteran, who survived the trench warfare. He never forgave the very small percentage of soldiers who took the easy route.
Incidentally, most of them had bad service records, having committed other crimes before they deserted.
A quote I gave to the Globe & Mail stated: “Deserters were bad role models for other troops. How can you expect other troops to go on sacrificing their lives if they knew they could get out of it and then get a pardon?”
In a perfect world, the Great War of 1914-1918 would never have happened.
It did. It took the lives of 60,000 young Canadians.
I had studied the matter for many years.
When contacted by the media, I had no alternative but to speak for the soldiers killed in action and for the British High Command who saw execution of deserters as the only way to maintain discipline.
The War Amps, and most of the executive officers from the 55 organizations belonging to our National Council of Veteran Associations, were polled.
They came down hard in their judgment against the contemplated action of the British government to meddle with Canadian politics.
Cliff Chadderton, chairman, National Council of Veteran Associations