For many years, I have had very bright students coming to my office to sing praises to a certain chemistry teacher, a legend according to their proclamation, because she was the only teacher that inspired them and kindled their interest in science.
The name of the chemistry teacher is Mrs. Savita Pall, who teaches chemistry at Colonel By’s well-known IB program. In fact, she played a key role in founding the IB program in Colonel By about 20 years ago.
Each time a student mentioned Colonel By, it was about Mrs. Pall and her legendary teaching. This endless repetition by students gradually crystalized in my mind an equation: Colonel By equals Mrs. Pall and Mrs. Pall equals Colonel By, which, interpreted more generally, means Colonel By = dedicated and inspiring teachers.
Then suddenly there came the news that Mrs. Pall is leaving Colonel By. Students and parents were puzzled, confused and asked each other why?
Mrs. Pall enjoys teaching and loves her students, and her students love her teaching and admire her. There must be some hidden reasons behind her sudden departure.
I don’t wish to speculate on the hidden reasons. I only feel uneasy about the equation crystalized in my mind through endless praises heaped upon Mrs. Pall by her former students: Colonel By = Mrs. Pall = dedicated and inspiring teachers.
Now Mrs. Pall is leaving, will Colonel By remain the same?
Will schools stay the same without dedicated and inspiring teachers?
The question reminds me of an old hypothetical scenario about Christian churches. If God one day takes Holy Spirit away from the earth, will Christian churches continue to operate the same way? I have heard of many Christians lamenting upon their observation that Holy Spirit is entirely irrelevant to the operation of most churches today.
Just as churches can operate without Jesus and Holy Spirit, schools can operate without dedicated and inspiring teachers. Most people don’t real care, and there fades away the hope of a great Canadian education.
But students do care, and I have heard of a petition by students demanding Colonel By to reinstate Mrs. Pall.
Perhaps there is still hope.