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All is not well in education!

| Funding and resourcing, Public education

National teacher survey reveals that all is not well in education during the time of COVID.

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation (CTF/FCE) pandemic survey provides a look into how the closure of school buildings and an emergency transition to distance and online learning have affected teachers and students in every province and territory. The responses, from nearly 18,000 teachers from coast to coast to coast, show how current solutions are potentially detrimental to health, safety, and learning.  

“We have vulnerable students who have challenging home lives,” reads one submission. “For some of our students, school is their safe place and where their connections are to feel safe and secure.”

One teacher shared that they “worry about students’ well-being when they never, or seldom, connect on line,” while another said that “the current model only widens the gap between the haves and have nots.” 

The report is available to read here.  

Responding to open and closed questions, teachers shared the reality of teaching and learning since school buildings were closed in March 2020. The findings make it clear that distance and online learning have not only led to a fall in quality education, but have also revealed existing inequities and posed other challenges on teachers, students, and families.  

Notable findings

  • 74% are concerned with the mental health and well-being of their students.
  • 73% have concerns or questions about getting their students what they need to be successful with online instruction.
  • 44% state that they have concerns with their mental health and well-being.

Of the teachers who responded to open-ended questions:

  • 92% say that access to technology and learning materials was a barrier to equitable quality public education.
  • 89% report concerns about student emotional health. Educators note that students are isolated and missing social connections with their classmates and schools, and they are concerned with students returning to school after a period of detachment.
  • 99% have concerns about the return to school buildings discussed anxieties around not knowing the plans, adding that constant changes from Ministries of Education, without proper time and supports to adapt, have taken a toll on their mental health and well-being.

With the participation of the CTF/FCE’s 18 Member Organizations, the survey was completed in English and French between June 1 and June 18, and sought to capture the experiences and observations of the teaching profession during the pandemic. 

The Canadian Teachers’ Federation

Founded in 1920, the Canadian Teachers’ Federation is the national voice for the teaching profession.  As the national alliance of provincial and territorial teacher organizations, the CTF/FCE represents over 300,000 elementary and secondary school teachers across Canada.

Media contact

Andrew King,
Canadian Teachers’ Federation
Mobile: 819-213-7847