Scott Cameron and Sybil Flemming are two local educators who have 25 years of teaching under their belts. Both have been at their schools for their entire teaching careers; Cameron at Cobequid Educational Centre and Flemming at West Colchester Consolidated School. The local school board has presented certificates of service to 45 people who have been employed with the board for 25 years. Monique Chiasson – Truro Daily News
TRURO – Being a teacher means much more than passing on knowledge in the classroom, and associated responsibilities can be challenging and even heartbreaking, says a longtime educator.
Sybil Flemming, a teacher at West Colchester Consolidated School in Bass River, says teachers face many more challenges than people realize.
“There are some situations that you have to report to family services and that’s hard but the kids come first,” said Flemming, who along with 24 other teachers and Chignecto-Central Regional School Board employees were recognized for 25 years of service during a special ceremony at the Best Western Glengarry in Truro on Tuesday night. There were 45 recipients in total.
Flemming, who teaches music, science, family studies, healthy living and guidance at times, has the special honour of teaching all 25 years at the Bass River school. She has seen some very distinct changes since she began teaching.
“Kids have very little respect for themselves these days and it’s hard for them to respect others,” Flemming, of Great Village, said. “And technology can be (an obstacle). Kids are using it and losing the ability to write a sentence. The basics are getting lost.”
Despite the challenges, Flemming wouldn’t have any other career.
“I’m still looking for a challenge and I love my kids and I tell them to learn something new everyday,” she said.
Valley’s Scott Cameron also received a 25-year service certificate. Cameron teaches social studies, sociology and Canadian history at Cobequid Educational Centre in Truro.
“I went to CEC as a student so when I went back (to teach) I felt like a student again walking through the halls. It is different being called, ‘Mr.’”
Cameron was happy to receive the long-service honour, but said the best form of thanks comes when “I see (former) students around town and 20 years later they say, ‘I remember you taught me’ or when I hear I taught them valuable life lessons.”
Cameron said people don’t realize how difficult it is to be a teacher in 2014.
“It’s a hard job. You have to be patient, empathetic, open minded and hold kids to accountability,” he said. “And kids sometimes divulge personal information that’s hard to hear. You hear about their hardships and not all students come from a middle class, two–parent family.”
Cameron said he personally has learned to be “a lot more considerate of kids’ backgrounds, to be more patient, and to have respect and humour.”
The presentation of the 25-year certificates is an annual event that is hosted by the local school board.
The following are the recipients of the 25 years of service in Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.
Leeanne Cullen Rudolph
Beth Anne Marr