Graeme Decarie taught grades 7 to 11 for six years. Loved it. Then went back to school for his MA at Acadia & PhD (History) at Queen’s
I’ve posted a couple of previous posts about Graeme Decarie, whom I last met in person over 50 years ago:
Graeme Decarie mentions that Mr. Hanna was principal of a high school way up the Ottawa River
Graeme Decarie (teacher at Malcolm Campbell High School) recalls Raimbault Creek, the stream that ran through Cartierville in the 1960s
I remember working with Graeme Decarie at Malcolm Campbell High School in Montreal in 1962-63 when I was president of the Student Council. I recall at one point there was controversy among students about whether or not we should screen a movie called Splendor in the Grass. I recall he offered helpful and reasoned input during the decision making process. I enjoyed seeing the movie, at the school. Years later, I saw Graeme on a TV panel and learned he was active in Quebec political life.
If you scroll down the page at his blog, you can read his profile.
MCHS 60s Reunion & Celebration of the 60s
I’m really pleased I’ve been in touch with Graeme Decarie recently. I’ve learned so many things I had not known. This is one of the benefits of organizing a Sixties high school reunion. You get talking with people and catch up on news – you catch up on what people have been doing over the past 50 years.
The first of the two links above includes a comment from Marge Huk (Fuller) and Graeme Decarie’s response. The purpose of the current post is to bring attention to the comments, which are of interest.
Marge Huk (Fuller) wrote:
- Oh my goodness. I remember you. When you went back to school what did you take? Did you stay in the teaching profession? You must have been about 22 years old when you started teaching – not much older than your students. I started teaching grade 2 in Dollard Des Ormeaux just before my 19th birthday in 1967 and retired in 2008 as a high school English teacher in Calgary.
[End of text]
Graeme Decarie replied:
Well, I was born in 1933. – and a started teaching in 1957 at Parkdale. (I flunked out of high school, but got into evening classes at Sir George as a mature student – then to teacher’s college, taught at parkdale while finishing a very bad BA at Sir George, and moved up to MCHS. Nobody would look at me for an MA with those grades. So, on the first day of school for 1963-64 , I made a wild decision. I quit, drove down to Acadia U., and begged for a chance to do an MA. They reluctantly allowed me to do another undergrad year as a test. So I did, got my act together and got straight As, did another year for the MA, and got a scholarship to Queen’s for the PhD.
Taught at UPEI for three years, then got an offer from Loyola (now part of concordia U). Back in Montreal, I also lucked into a spot on CBC radio for a dozen years. But they dropped me when I became too prominent in the language wars. (I was chairman of Alliance Quebec). Then I got a call from Gord Sinclair at CJAD to do a daily show – and it was close to my Con U office. So I did that for a dozen years. I also did quite a bit of TV for CBC, CTV, global, BBC, NBC… And wrote for newspapers and magazines. Also taught History in The Netherlands and China – and journalism to working reporters in China.
I loved every minute of teaching – and I miss it terribly.
[End of text]
Mr. Decarie. You were a young and HANDSOME whipper snapper when you were my history teacher. In those days I was more into googling at you than listening to you talk about history. You were very popular with the female students (as if you didn’t know). I remember you smiled a lot and were not much of a disciplinary, but you sure as heck mentored us to believe that history was (is) important. Thank you for that. You and a few other teachers helped pave my way to an MA and EdD in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and a career in higher education. Thank you for loving your work and supoorting students like me who were smart but more interested in having fun.
Somehow, that reminds me of the day I had to teach an all-girls class in Geography – of which I knew nothing.
They just giggled. I couldn’t stop them. I always remember that as hell on earth.
The problem in university teaching was (and is) that most university teachers don’t have a clue about how to teach – and most of them really don’t care. Prestige comes from research. not from teaching. I vividly remember one prof from my days of History chair at Concordia. I assigned him to teach one course – just one course, with a small class. It would meet twice a week. (for a salary of well over a hundred thousand.)
He stared at me in disbelief, “Graeme, I can’t do that. Why, I’d have to live in Montreal to do that.”
“Uh, yeah. Where were you planning to live?”
Seconds later, he stormed out of my office, promising to write a book exposing the heartlessness of the university in general, and me in particular.
Today, I fill my time time with a blog about the newspapers in New Brunswick – which are the worst I have ever seen. They’re propaganda sheets for the billionaire who owns New Brunswick – J.D. Irving.