What teachers are saying

Published November 1, 2011

Canadian public school teachers say they love their profession, but they are also aware of some very serious challenges emerging in the second decade of this century.

The main problems relate to stress, workload, unrealistic demands around new curricula and board/ government initiatives, shrinking resources and hostility/apathy on the part of students, an online survey has revealed.

In March and April of this year, the Ottawa-based Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF) sent an informal online survey to 4,368 educators in the CTF and affiliated organizations, 10 per cent of whom responded.

The poll results, analyzed by the CTF’s research department and published as The Voice of Canadian Teachers on Teaching and Learning, revealed that while teachers love their profession, they note some serious negative aspects emerging in 2011-2012. As for major challenges to the system as a whole, some respondents cite maintaining public education in the face of pressures to make education more like a business. One teacher has this to say about the main task: “Protecting public education from the right wing, charter schools, merit pay and high-stakes testing. Just look to our neighbours to the south to see where we might go if we’re not careful.” Others find new government directives problematic. “Provincial mandates without proper supports, whether in funding or training, are the most significant problem in public schools,” writes one surveyed teacher.


  • Diana Swift

    Diana Swift is an award-winning writer and editor with 30 years’ experience in newspaper and magazine editing and production. In January 2011, she joined the Anglican Journal as a contributing editor.

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