This week in ECS 200, we were tasked with reading a chapter from Jon Young’s book about “Teachers and the Teaching Profession”. This chapter discussed a lot about teaching as a profession and teachers as professionals and some of the things that come with it.
One of the first things that I noticed this chapter discussed was that teachers should work collaboratively with parents, students and other staff. This collaboration was part of teacher professionalism. In my ECS 100 class and my ECS 100 placement, we have talked a lot about the importance of teachers collaborating with others. In my placement, the school has a flex math program for the older students. This flex math is only possible because the teachers are being collaborative and it benefits all of the students.
The main thing that jumped out to me about this article was its focus on the code of ethics that teachers must follow. I have heard about the code of ethics before in my ECS 100 class and I knew the general idea of what teachers must do. I looked over the Saskatchewan Code of Ethics for teachers to follow and it is much different from the rules teachers had to follow in the early 1900s that Pam showed us in class. Teachers are no longer responsible for creating fires in the morning, sweeping the classroom, or forbidden from going out after certain hours. The Code of Professions now focuses on commitments to the profession, to teaching and learning, and to the community. Teachers are required to “treat each student justly, considerately and appropriately in accordance with the beliefs of the profession”.
I know that following the Code of Professions is important for teachers to follow inside of the classroom, but it is also important for teachers to follow it during their daily private life because they are still teachers.
Teachers are part of unions in Saskatchewan and I knew about collective agreements in the past but I did not realize how much they affected me when I was in school. When I was in elementary school, the teachers were doing a “work to rule” where they withdrew from coaching and other extracurricular activities. I also remember the teachers taking part in a strike to fight for better salaries when I was ending my elementary years. I always thought collective bargaining only focused on salaries and benefits, but from reading this chapter I learnt that collective agreements can also be about the working conditions for teachers, such as the maximum class size and the amount of preparation time is given to a teacher.
Collective bargaining and agreements are part of the teaching profession and it is unlikely that strikes and lockouts will go away. I am concerned with what I can do as a future teacher during strikes to ensure that they have the lowest negative influence on my student’s learning.
Thank you for reading my blog post!
Young, J. C. (2007). In Levin B., Wallin D. C. (. C. and Levin B. R. (Eds.), Understanding canadian schools : An introduction to educational administration (4th ed.. ed.). Toronto: Toronto : Thomson/Nelson