Almost 40 per cent of Langley public school teachers are feeling exhausted a year into the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have just returned from winter break, not even halfway through the year, and I am worried about the pressures on our education system,” said Langley Teachers’ Association president Tanya Kerr.
The local teachers union survey of its members shows that only about 13 per cent say they are okay with about the same amount of energy as pre-pandemic.
Another 22.45 per cent say they are “feeling slightly more tired than last year” while almost 26 per report feeling significantly more tired than last year.
Of the 343 respondents in the union’s recent survey, 38.45 per cent said they were exhausted by the end of the day with the pace and intensity taking a toll.
“We are constantly surveying the membership by using our private LTA Facebook group, hosting virtual meetings for staff representatives, executive committee and school visits,” she explained. “We launched a health and safety survey in September and this latest one in December.”
The latest survey had 343 responses from members teaching kindergarten to Grade 12, and 72 per cent of them are classroom teachers.
“Many of the questions we asked confirmed the issues raised in our joint letter [to Fraser Health], such as lack of physical distancing and mask wearing in schools,” Kerr noted. “Teachers are doing their best and we know this year has been extremely difficult by the number of resignations and members accessing medical leaves.”
Our District has sent home a COVID-19 Early Notification letter to HD Stafford Middle and DW Poppy Secondary school communities today. Thank you to staff, @Fraserhealth for your collaboration and families for your support. Read here: https://t.co/Z6lQYwVsoE #MySD35Community pic.twitter.com/6tFCRtmPDK
— Langley Schools (@LangleySchools) January 11, 2021
The LTA is one of the teachers union locals that signed a letter of concern to Fraser Health late last week (see read more link above).
“The stress is felt across the system from teachers to support staff, custodians to administrators, and let’s not forget about the students,” Kerr said. “In elementary between staggered start and end times, and frequent hand washing teachers have reported a considerable loss in instructional time. The FSAs [Foundation Skills Assessment tests] will only exacerbate this issue at the Grade 4 and 7 levels. The quarter system at secondary has been a challenge, and teachers describe the pace as being too fast for students.”
Is your employer surveying staff wellness?