Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Rose and thorn for CBC's teachers

Four days of the National last week included mini-docs on four teachers as part of a back-to-school package put on by the CBC. Called "The Real Lives of Canadian Teachers," the CBC has posted its four parts online through The National's website.
First a rose. Sending out producers and crews to follow these four teachers earlier this year deserves some applause. As someone who routinely strives to see more K-12 coverage across all media outside of the usual back-to-school coverage, this was an investment of resources by the CBC that should be complimented.
In a 55-minutes-minus-commercials newscast, each piece grabbed a good 15-20 minutes of air time. Also rare and also to be commended.
Now the thorny bits, though context helps understand them.
This title is above all misleading. This was "The Real Lives of GTA High School Teachers." Given its resources, it's unlikely crews could have been dispatched to other classrooms outside of the GTA or Ontario. But it would have been great to show individuals in other provinces.
It also only showed high school teachers. Which neglects a whole segment of teachers who face their own challenges and rewarding moments but teach K-8. Could access have been an issue, given the younger ages of the students? Maybe, but not an insurmountable one.
Overall I'd still put this series in my recommended viewing pile.