Provincial PC Party leader Tim Hudak recently made a strong statement against student use of cell phones in Ontario classrooms.

Hudak drew attention to an eye-opening Ontario high school class’ social experiment where seven students agreed to leave their cell phones at the front of the classroom during a science class. After the 75-minute period was over, the phones had received 78 text messages

Read more: Tim Hudak says cell phones cause distracted classroom learning

In TVO podcast “The Agenda with Steve Paikin: Austerity and Ontario's Teachers” (March 9, 2012), Professor Cameron Montgomery of The Faculty of Education at The University of Ottawa commented: “Teachers work hard for their money. I think there’s this misconception that teachers have this luxurious life and they get summers off. I’m sorry, it is one of the most stressful jobs out there….

Read more: Teaching is one of the top three stressful jobs
Posted: 5 years, 11 months ago by Chameleon #5
“30 – 50% of new teachers quit in the first three to five years [of teaching]” – this is truly sad! I do know vibrant, smart, creative, young teachers who have left the profession due to stress and work load issues, which is a tragic loss society must acknowledge and address. What these new teachers have told me is that they simply did not know that their teaching workload would take up so much of their personal time on evenings and much of their weekends. ‘Normal’ workweeks of 37.5 hrs/wk do not exist for teachers…any teachers.

AND I do strongly disagree with you Doretta Wilson (Society for Quality Education); this is not the way to weed out “teachers who should not be there” or “who have gone into teaching for the wrong reasons.” When you think about it, completing 5 years of university, accumulating a massive student debt, qualifying for an interview, jumping through all of the hoops in the interview process, starting a teaching career only to leave disheartened after several years is not only hugely tragic on a personal level, but this is also a great loss to our society. How can this be avoided?
Posted: 5 years, 11 months ago by YinYang #4
Teacher working conditions translate directly into student learning conditions. Prof. Cameron’s (U of Ottawa) statement about ‘special’ needs in classrooms is not well understood by most people who are not in education. The numbers of children with ADHD, autism, a wide variety of learning disorders (both identified and unidentified), psychological baggage and behavioural challenges in the regular classroom seems to have increased exponentially over the past decade. Many of these children have difficulty focusing and staying engaged for even short periods of time, which often results in disruptions to the flow of lessons. These disruptive behaviours have become the new ‘normal’ that teachers are faced with everyday. Almost all of these children are not within the one percentile cutoff for EA support, so delivery of the curriculum to all the students becomes a daily challenge to meet the expectations. As well, some classes in my school have upwards of twelve IEP’s, which teachers must prepare/write/implement in addition to their regular workload with no consideration whatsoever for this additional work and every little in-class EA support. I am curious about numbers of IEP’s in other classrooms and how teachers presently cope with these workload challenges. The Drummond recommendation of removing up to 70% of student support personnel and increasing class size is unbelievable. It is apparent that education is a business, not an investment.

On CBC Radio ‘The Current’, the March 5 2012 program called “Public Perception of Teachers During Labour Disputes” featured Professor Nina Bascia from The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education at The University of Toronto. She stated that the media sensationalizes teacher labour dispute issues so teachers/unions must articulate what their issues are in relation to teaching and learning and why it is that they are unhappy with the government ….

Read more: What is ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ about Ontario schools?
Posted: 5 years, 11 months ago by YinYang #6
What’s ‘right’ about Ontario schools is our teachers. Who, other than teachers, would dedicate so much of their personal time after school/work hours, lunch breaks, on weekends or during their holiday/summer breaks to ensure that his/her program/student needs are met? Who, other than teachers, would spend so much of their personal finances on school supplies/resources to enrich their lessons because school supplies are insufficiently meager with not even a taxable deduction for said supplies given? Who, other than teachers, would enrich their communities by volunteering for the jobs that we are not contracted to do such as sports teams, musicals/plays, choirs, fund-raising events, assemblies, school community celebrations, committees etc?

Teachers comfort grieving children, put on band aids, listen to problems, and settle squabbles with smiles and hearts of compassion. Teachers celebrate their students’ successes and grieve the failures. But who, other than teachers, would continue to problem solve so that a student’s failure does not become defeat?

Teachers matter. Teachers matter to their students, to their families and to our society as a whole. Teachers teach because we know that what we do matters!

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