Education featured Labour

Overwhelmed. What teachers want.

Kjipuktuk (Halifax) – If you wonder what Nova Scotia teachers are going on about, check out Teachers of Nova Scotia, a blog where teachers write about their job, their fears, their frustrations, and their love of teaching.

I learned a lot.

About administrative burdens, for instance, and what that really means.   

I’m a resource teacher. My job is to support students with needs and their teachers. This year, because of the many required assessments and other documentation, I did not start doing my actual job until mid-October.

Or this.

Every year there is something new added to our overwhelming pile of paperwork that needs to be done to prove that we are doing our jobs to the public.

In other jobs, you show up and do your work. In the teaching profession, you show up, do your work (teaching) and then you go home at night and do more work: marking, planning for the next day, sending out emails, calling parents, completing Individual Program Plans and Program Adaptations, report cards and the like.

About sacrifices.

We buy our own pens and pencils for our students to use, loose leaf, Bristol board, whiteboard markers, even books for our classrooms because there usually isn’t enough money in the budget for that. I have even had to buy my own paper to make handouts for my students.

About that feeling that the job you’re doing is exactly the right one for you.

I love being a teacher. I love the people I work with and watching the students in my classes grow and learn.

That moment he walked across the stage to receive his grade 12 diploma and you remembered when he was in grade 10 you were so worried this day would never happen.

And the worries that you will let your students down.

I dread the delays in feedback that would be caused if I only did marking between 8:30 and 3:20 and not on my break or lunch. I can’t bring myself to think of that worried student (or parent) who emails at 9 or 10pm and just needs two quick lines of what to do next… but will have to wait perhaps days until I can work through the dozens of messages I get in a day…

Check it out.


Visit the Facebook page of the Nova Scotia Parents for Teachers. It is comprised of parents and grandparents of students in the public school system and supports teachers in the current dispute between the Teachers Union and the provincial government.

If you can, please support the Nova Scotia Advocate so that it can continue to cover issues such as poverty, racism, exclusion, workers’ rights and the environment in Nova Scotia.