For the first time, the theme of the 2016 Annual General Meeting (AGM) flows from that of the Canadian Forum on Public Education (CFPE) which precedes the AGM:

“Public Education: Wellness in our Schools”

While the CFPE provides an overview and generates deep discussions on wellness in Canadian schools from a variety of perspectives within the education community, the AGM provides the political framework in which CTF Member organizations can debate and adopt policy that become the spring board for action and advocacy at the national level.

Across Canada, educators have told us student mental health is their number one concern and they have emphasized that schools need to have more community support and additional resources to help students facing challenges.

Mental health challenges can also affect teachers.

The results of a 2014 CTF national teacher survey on work/life balance, to which 8,000 teachers responded, told us that 8 in 10 teachers believed their stress related to work-life imbalance had increased over the previous five years.

In addition to the daily teaching, marking, planning and tracking student progress, teachers have taken on the duties of front line triage with students who are suffering the effects of poverty, food insecurity, family stress and addictions, and mental health concerns, to name just a few.

All of these factors may lead to teacher burn-out and mental distress.

We look forward to welcoming some 100 CTF Member organizations delegates in Montreal along with our host, the Quebec Provincial Association of Teachers.

Heather Smith