Quebec teachers’ jobs increasingly stressful

By Patricia Melnyk | Published February 6, 2013 by The Montreal Gazette


Although I believe that the teaching profession is still widely respected in the community, many people are not aware of just how stressful a typical workday can be, especially if a teacher has difficult classes such as those aforementioned. Sadly, these difficult situations are increasingly becoming the reality.

There are people who think that teachers have a “cushy” job because they have two months off in the summer. But these same people might not realize two things: first, that a teacher’s annual salary is pro-rated over a period of 12 months, and second, many teachers spend part of their summer preparing to teach a new subject in the fall, or planning their course material.

The media make frequent mention of the high student dropout rate in Quebec. However, as Mr. Bradley asserts, we also need to start confronting the existence of a similarly high teacher dropout rate (40 per cent dropping out after five years on the job), and talk about what can be done to curtail this parallel crisis.

Interviewing departing teachers more purposefully would help us get a better understanding of why teachers are leaving the field in such high numbers. If we truly want to retain our teachers, we will need to offer not only higher salaries and other perks, but also improved working conditions.

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