Teaching has become a precarious profession, symposium hears

By Janet Bagnall | Published May 3, 2013 by the Montreal Gazette


In Quebec, about 55,000 teachers have permanent positions; 20,000 are on short-term contracts; 16,000 are called in as needed to do replacement work or other tasks. There is a high turnover of teachers in the province, Tardif said.

“In a Montreal high school, in a single year Grade 10 students will be taught math by five or six different teachers. And in underprivileged neighbourhoods, the teacher turnover is very intense.”

Teachers want out, Tardif said. He cited studies showing that half of Quebec teachers have thought of leaving the profession. Twenty-one per cent have already taken time off. According to Quebec Education Department figures, one in four teachers who does not have a permanent position is thinking of leaving in the next five years.

Teaching has become a precarious profession, Tardif said.

“This increasing precarity and the worsening conditions of the work of teaching and the rate of school failure are two sides of the same coin.”

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