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The second annual membership survey of the BC Teachers’ Federation shows that teachers need the support of more qualified educators and more time to successfully meet student needs.

The random-sample survey provides a snapshot of BC teachers’ experiences and highlights their voices on what is necessary to sustain the profession and strengthen BC schools.

The report highlights six key themes:

  1. Despite some improvements to physical and mental health, teachers continue to face challenges related to their well-being.
  2. Teachers are expected to do more with less.
  3. Teachers continue to perceive gaps in meeting student needs, especially for students with disabilities and diverse needs.
  4. Teachers need more people and more time to successfully meet student needs.
  5. Teachers encounter concerning levels of workplace discrimination.
  6. Better working conditions are linked to lower turnover intention.

“BC families deserve better. Parents deserve to know that when they drop off their kids at school, they will receive the full support they need to succeed academically, socially, and emotionally. That’s not possible when teachers are buried in unmanageable workloads and trying to lead increasingly complex classrooms with decreasing support,” BCTF President Clint Johnston said.

The combination of increasing workload and fewer resources is taking a toll on teachers. Survey respondents expressed distress at the gap they see in meeting student needs, especially for students with disabilities and diverse needs. The responses also suggest a link between workload and intentions to leave the profession in the next two years.

Echoing last year’s survey, 15.2% of teachers said it was unlikely they would still be teaching in the BC public education system in two year’s time. Those who strongly disagreed that their workloads were manageable were more likely to say they planned to leave the profession.

“This year’s survey responses reinforce the argument that BC’s teacher shortage must be analyzed as a crisis in working conditions,” Johnston said.

A total of 5,209 members participated, for an overall margin of error for the sample of 1.4%, 19 times out of 20.

Quick facts

  • More than 58% say their overall workload has increased since last year.
  • Fewer than one-quarter felt that students’ academic (23.1%) or social and emotional (22.7%) needs were being “completely” or “very much” met.
  • Only 13% felt students with disabilities and diverse needs are having those needs “completely” or “very much” met.
  • While more than 60% of teachers identified either classroom, specialist, or on-call teachers as the staffing increase that would be most impactful, 39.4% called for more educational assistants.
  • Teachers say the most impactful change to timetabling would be more time to prepare lessons (55.5%).
  • 88.5% of teachers who reported having a manageable workload said it was likely they would still be teaching in two years. In contrast, only 68.4% of those who strongly disagreed that their workload was manageable indicated they would likely still be teaching in two years.

Quotes from teachers

  • “I absolutely adore my class, school, and career, but it doesn’t feel sustainable anymore. I feel as though I am trading my mental health/wellness for my job.”
  • “Teaching students is the easy part. It’s everything else—lack of prep time, no TTOCs, having to teach double classes, lack of admin support, new report cards, and no time to plan for this. All of these areas are leading many to be exhausted, frustrated, and burning out.”
  • “I love my job and I love my kids, but it’s becoming harder to go to work each day when I don’t have the support I need for these students to succeed properly.”
  • “I believe that integration and inclusion can and will work if the Ministry will provide adequate funding and training.”

Learn more
A full copy of the Summary Report can be downloaded here.

To schedule a media interview please contact:
Amy Smart (she/her)
Assistant Director, Media and Public Relations
Direct 604-871-1881 | Toll free 1-800-663-9163

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Category/Topic: News & Updates