Public Values

Canadian teachers comment on their ability to do their jobs

Teaching requirements remove focus from students.

Canuel: Caring for students predominates teacher beliefs, actions. We tend to forget or ignore this.HALIFAX, NS, July 13, 2012: Teaching the way we aspire to teach: Now and in the future — a joint research report from the Canadian Education Association (CEA) and the Canadian Teachers' Federation (CTF) — paints a national picture of who teachers are and articulates the support they need to teach at their best. The research involved extensive input from over 200 teachers who participated in CEA focus groups across the country and over 4,700 teachers who responded to a CTF online survey.

"Feedback from these focus groups was loud and clear. Teachers above all have a passion for teaching and a commitment to their students," says Ron Canuel, CEA's chief executive officer. "After 35 years in education, I can honestly say that the teacher voices I heard across the country have changed the way I think about teaching and how caring for students predominate their beliefs and actions. As a society, we tend to either forget or ignore this."

  "[Teachers] just want to be given the respect and flexibility they need to make the best decisions possible for their students' academic success."

Focus group feedback exposed a difference between how teachers wanted to teach and how they felt that they were required to teach. Nearly half of teacher survey respondents (49 percent) indicated that they occasionally have opportunities to teach as they aspire to teach (and nine percent indicated that they rarely or never have the opportunity to do so) and 48 percent of respondents indicated that they are only occasionally able to be creative in their teaching practice (with six percent indicating rarely or never).

"What stands out for us in this report is the extent to which teachers thrive amid the myriad of external conditions imposed upon them," says CTF President Paul Taillefer, "and the fact that they just want to be given the respect and flexibility they need to make the best decisions possible for their students' academic success."

This report also defines how provincial and territorial governments, administrators and parents can best support teachers — from developing trusting relationships, policies and programs that increase flexibility in the classroom to assessment policies that provide information useful to adapting learning.

Related individuals, organizations and significant events
Download Teaching the way we aspire to teach: Now and in the future

Links and sources
  New study offers candid glimpse at how Canadian teachers feel about teaching in today's classrooms

Posted: July 19, 2012

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