FILE – A physical distancing sign is seen during a media tour of Hastings Elementary school in Vancouver on September 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

FILE – A physical distancing sign is seen during a media tour of Hastings Elementary school in Vancouver on September 2, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

34% of teachers say they’d look to an early career exit over COVID response: BCTF survey

Pandemic has increased workload for the majority of teachers

A survey carried out by the B.C. Teachers’ Federation has found that more than half of their members do not feel safe in schools.

The survey, released on Wednesday, came just one day before the province was scheduled to make an announcement regarding schools.

Of the 3,750 teachers who took part in the survey, 57.8 per cent said they do not feel safe woking in person, while 61 per cent report that health and safety measures in schools are “not adequate.”

Masks, a point of contention between teachers and health officials since schools reopened in September, were popular among BCTF members. The survey found that 86.9 per cent of teachers believe all adults in school should have to wear a face covering, while 79.9 per cent believe students should have to wear a face covering all or most of the time.

Support for mask wearing was highest in the Fraser Health region, an area hit hard by school outbreaks and closures as a result.

Teachers also called for smaller class sizes to improve physical distancing in schools, as 96.4 per cent of in-person teachers said they’re often in close physical proximity to other people. The survey found only 18.5 per cent of teachers feel that class sizes are small enough to allow physical distancing.

For situations where physical distancing is not possible, 65 per cent of teachers said they wanted plexiglass barriers, similar to what has been set up in grocery stores.

Virus fears were not the only ones reported in the union’s survey. It found that 72.8 per cent of teachers had their workload increased due to the pandemic, and that 34 per cent said COVID-19 made it more likely that they will leave teaching in the next two years. Female teachers were more likely than male teachers to report both a high workload and to think they would leave teaching in the next two years.

More to come.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

CoronavirusEducationSchools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A nurse performs a test on a patient at a drive-in COVID-19 clinic in Montreal, on Wednesday, October 21, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Interior Health reports 16 new COVID-19 cases

423 cases remain active in the region

The City of Penticton is redirecting $150,000 for emergency repair work on Penticton Creek. (Western News File)
Grant delays force Penticton to redirect funds for emergency creek repairs

Council approved redirecting $150K to do repairs before the spring melt

Penticton City Hall. (File photo)
Penticton council ups construction costs

Council approved an interim increase of 25 per cent to all of the city’s development cost charges

A town was constructed on the side of a mountain top in Hedley to extract 7.1 tonnes of gold. (Mascotmine.com photo)
Hedley’s Mascot Mine gets $800,000 lift from COVID relief program

Grant will enable the historic mine to open again for tourists

Pathways Addictions Centre is in jeopardy of closing after Interior Health has pulled all its funding and will be taking over addiction services ‘in house’ as up May 31. (Facebook)
Future of Penticton addictions centre in jeopardy after Interior Health pulls funding

Pathways has been in Penticton for over 20 years and has 10 staff, serving around 1,000 people

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. has cleared the Lumby RCMP of any wrongdoing after a missing person was found deceased in December 2020. (IIO photo)
Police watchdog says North Okanagan RCMP played no role in missing person’s death

The body was found by a family member shortly after the RCMP suspended their search

The images are of Bald Eagles feeding.
Photos: Birds of prey

Princeton photographer captures compelling photos of a Bald Eagle breakfast

HOPE Okanagan’s Stay at Home Gala will raise funds to help serve Kelowna and Vernon’s vulnerable. (HOPE Okanagan)
Non-profit hosts virtual gala to support Okanagan’s vulnerable

HOPE Okanagan wants to raise awareness and support for those struggling in the streets

Older rental apartments are prime candidates for renovations, and could result in lost affordable housing stock. (Zoë Ducklow photo)
B.C.’s renoviction overhaul a good start, but won’t preserve affordable stock, lawyer says

And still no protection for people who can’t pay rent due to COVID-19

An off-duty Vernon Taxi driver got a 24-hour licence suspension, vehicle towed, after failing a standardized field sobriety test around 1:40 a.m. Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (John E Green - Facebook)
Vernon Taxi towed after driver suspected impaired

Off-duty cab towed from McDonald’s drive-thru early Tuesday morning

Kamloops This Week
Cause of Kamloops landfill fire may never be known

Fire investigators are dealing with too much destruction in too large an area

(Photo by Marissa Baecker/Shoot the Breeze)
B.C. WHL teams to hit the ice with Kelowna, Kamloops hub cities

Kelowna, Kamloops centres chosen to host B.C. WHL teams for 24-game regular season

Most Read