Comfortable, fairly treated teachers in well-equipped schools teach well while those poorly treated don’t.
It’s Open House season for schools as they try to maintain or, ideally, increase their enrollment for next year. Selecting a school for your child can be a complex endeavor. But there is an important aspect to consider that may not cross your mind, one that potentially affects any school anywhere – a relatively secure teaching environment.
There are two main categories of schools; public and private. The public schools are paid for by tax dollars and offer an affordable quality education. Countless thousands have gone through the public school system and gone on to be very successful professionals. Teachers and staff in these schools are usually unionized which provides a degree of security that enables them to concentrate on teaching.
It is important to note that there are two “unofficial” sub-categories of private schools. There are those long-established institutions that, for a sizable annual tuition, provide a top-notch education. A main ingredient of this high-quality education is excellent teachers working in a professional environment that allows them to do what they do best – educate your kids. These older private schools are in the business of first-rate education.
The “other” category of private schools tend to be newer; they also charge a significant annual tuition albeit less than the older schools. Thy offer parents a means of sending their kids to private schools at a reduced price. These schools are in the business of, well, business.
But no matter how many smart boards a school has, if teachers are coming and going as if through a revolving door your child won’t fully benefit from the computers.
Teachers at these schools are often poorly treated professionally and almost always vastly underpaid. With no security (i.e. no union) the school administrators routinely use teaching staff for a variety of jobs, from secretarial duties to cafeteria and janitorial tasks. What this often results in is a teaching staff that is constantly on the look-out for a more professional educational environment in which to work. With an overabundance of teachers currently, these schools are able to easily replace any unhappy staff. As for these teachers moving to the public system, in Canada a glut of available teachers and a notoriously nepotistic hiring policy in the public system makes this a difficult move.
If you are new to an area and looking for a school, aside from the standard research, I would suggest you check to see if the school you are considering runs ongoing advertisements for teachers. The turnover at these schools is, not surprisingly, very high so some of them just leave an open ad running on various websites. Another thing to consider is whether or not the teachers are members of a union – you might not want to ask the administration this one, they tend not to like the word “union” as they make it harder to abuse your staff.
What this often results in is a teaching staff that is constantly on the look-out for a more professional educational environment in which to work.
Don’t be fooled by bells and whistles. Some of these schools make a point of appearing to be state of the art when it comes to technology. But no matter how many smart boards a school has, if teachers are coming and going as if through a revolving door your child won’t fully benefit from the computers.
Comfortable, fairly treated teachers in well-equipped schools teach well while those poorly treated don’t. High absenteeism, constantly looking for something better and a general feeling of frustration do not add up to a healthy teaching and learning environment.
Today’s Daily Post is: Learning Style. I thought this post from last autumn fit the bill.