The Robinson Residence for Retired Teachers In Quebec
An Excellent Place for Its Residents to Call Home
by Dave Melanson
Each June the management of the Robinson Residence for Retired Teachers in Quebec holds an Annual Tea for its residents and the Retired Teachers' Association of Montreal. The residence is located about 75 miles outside of Montreal in a town called Cowansville in the beautiful quiet country setting of Quebec's Eastern Townships. The home is owned and run by the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers, the union for English speaking teachers here in the Province of Quebec. Established in the 1960's, the lovely, large white mansion is surrounded by extensive grounds and lovely trees. The home's purpose is to provide a caring, comfortable, and secure environment for the retired teachers who choose to call the Robinson Residence "home."
On Thursday, June 6th, I attended the Annual Tea during my first ever visit to the Robinson Residence. I had decided to donate a copy of my resource manual, "Integration A Rewarding Experience" to their extensive library. With that in mind, I contacted Gary Crandall, a retired principal who sits on the retired teachers' committee and assists at the residence to offer the manual. He then arranged for one of the ladies, Miss Stevenson, a retired teacher from Woodland Elementary School (the very school I attended as a child) to officially accept my resource manual on behalf of the Robinson Residence. She was very pleased to do so and was very eager to meet me. Miss Stevenson told me that she loves to read and keep in touch with how things are in classrooms today. She obviously loved teaching and enjoys having constructive chats with caring friends.
While at the Residence I managed to get a tour of its lovely environment, finding it homey and inviting. The residents have their meals prepared for them and also have cleaning services and volunteers who visit them regularly to ensure that they are never forgotten and always feel valued and cared for. The Residence serves all of the English speaking teachers of the Province of Quebec who wish to move there upon retirement. However, they have recently had to open their doors to non-teachers as there has been a decline in the number of requests from retired teachers.
During the Annual Tea, the Retired Teachers' Association sets up a table to sell homemade jams and jellies, dips for chips, and maple sugar products to help raise money to purchase items for the residence. I enjoyed shopping and purchased some delicious maple sugar and salsa dip to take home with me.
On the day of the Annual Tea, buses leave from the English Montreal School Board to transport retired teachers from Montreal who wish to go out to visit with the residents of Robinson Residence. I was very impressed with the way everyone shared the camaraderie of others from the very honourable profession of teaching. Many retired teachers are very active here in the community in Montreal and give hours of their time tutoring students who need extra help with homework or spending time with handicapped children. Others volunteer as teacher aides in classrooms where such help is needed.
I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to those retired teachers who continue to serve the community in their own special ways. Please remember the retired teachers from your union or association who have given many years of valuable service and still can serve as excellent resources. They have much to offer and share with our community…let's listen and make use of their knowledge and experience.
I would like to invite any teachers who have had a sight impaired or blind child mainstreamed in their classroom to please email me at [email protected] if you would like to be interviewed for my second book. The interviews can be done by email. I am also trying to connect with teachers here in the Montreal area who have taught sight impaired and blind children. So, if you are a teacher in the Montreal area who reads this, please email me.
To enter the June 21, 2002 drawing for a copy of my resource manual, "Integration A Rewarding Experience," write to me ([email protected]) by June 20 with the correct answer to the following question:
In October 1970 Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau passed a law in the Canadian House of Commons to give the military and police in Montreal extra powers. What was the name of that legislation and what was the reason for its passing?
David Melanson, frequent contributor to the Teachers.Net Gazette, has self-published Integration: A Rewarding Experience, a manual for educators on the topic of working with sight-impaired students. As a sight-impaired person whose parents persisted in having their son placed in "regular" (public school) classrooms, David's experiences, perspective, and advice are particularly interesting and helpful. The manual is interesting and worthy of reading even if one does not currently have a sight-impaired student in class.
The cost in the U.S. is $10 plus $2 .45 for postage. In Canada: $15 Canadian plus $1 .45 postage. Money orders are preferred. To order the manual, contact Mr. Melanson by e-mail: [email protected]. Should you have difficulty reaching Dave directly, contact Kathleen Carpenter [email protected] with "Melanson Manual" in the subject line.
To access monthly chats on the topic of working with sight-impaired students, moderated by David Melanson, visit the Teachers.Net Archives.
Sight Impaired and Other Special Needs, May 15, 2002
Working With Sight Impaired Students, April 24, 2002
Sight Impaired Students , January 17, 2002
Sight Impaired Students, December 12, 2001
Working With the Sight Impaired Students, October 23, 2001
Working With the Sight Impaired Students, August 6, 2001
Working With the Sight Impaired Students, July 19, 2001
Working With the Sight Impaired Students, May 7, 2001
Working With the Sight Impaired Students, February 15, 2001
Sight Impaired Students, January 17, 2001
Working With the Sight Impaired Students, December 6, 2000
Working With the Sight Impaired Students, Sept. 21, 2000
Accommodating the Visually Impaired Child, May 2, 2000
Integration Of Visually Impaired And Blind Students Into The Regular Schools, December 8, 1999
I have developed several audio tapes from previous seminars I have given on the topic of mainstreaming and integrating sight impaired children. I am willing to sell these tapes for $10 U.S. each. If there is any school district that is interested in purchasing a tape, please contact me:
Email: [email protected]
702 Riverview Ave
Verdun Quebec Canada H4H 2C1