Earlier this year the Canadian Teachers’ Federation conducted a survey to gain insight into the obstacles teachers face trying to achieve a work-life balance. The survey found sources of stress for teachers both inside and outside the classroom. In total, 8,096 teachers responded.
Inside the classroom, 95% of teachers felt that they had the “inability to devote desired time to individual students.” While outside of the classroom, 88% expressed they did “not have enough time with own children.” Other school related stresses included: interruptions to teaching by students; student absenteeism; and students’ home life and health related issues.
The five actions recommended to relieve some of these stressors are familiar suggestions. Since I have been in the field of teaching I have heard demands for all of the recommendations given. They include: reduced class sizes; improve support for children with special needs; give more time for planning and preparation; reduce demand of non-teaching related activities; and improve resources. Most of these suggestions require money, and a lot of it. Are these recommendations realistic? How else can we think about promoting better work-life balance for our teachers?
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