Fri. Mar 1st, 2024

Teachers on strike are considering leaving the profession | Strikes in the sector public in Quebec

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The FAE has been on strike for four weeks and several teachers on the picket lines are considering a career reorientation. (Archive photo)

  • Sandrine Côté (View profile)Sandrine Côté

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Difficult working conditions, increased psychological distress and lack of appreciation… Exasperated, teachers from the Autonomous Education Federation (FAE) and the Common Front on strike are considering a career change. Hundreds of them will participate in online training on Monday to help them reorient themselves or find extra work during the walkout.

This free training, entitled Building a future beyond education, will be offered live by Maude Trépanier, a former teacher who resigned last March after 25 years in the public network.

In 48 hours, it collected nearly 900 registrations and more than 5,000 people showed interest in the announcement of this training on Facebook.

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I'm going to talk about the knowledge we have as teachers that is transferable. I was thinking of doing this only for my friends who are redoing their CVs and who didn't really know where [to apply]. […] But it went viral, actually. I lost control.

A quote from Maude Trépanier, ex-teacher

Without strike funds, some teachers are looking to make ends meet, explains Ms. Trépanier. But others want to leave the boat altogether. The strike gave them the incentive to say: "I've had enough of being despised, I'm starting something else," she illustrates.

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Maude Trépanier launched into entrepreneurship after leaving teaching.

Strikes in the public sector in Quebec

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It breaks my heart to see how many people are thinking of leaving [the profession], says Ms. Trépanier, but many of them can no longer bear the psychological fatigue caused by this profession, insists -elle.

We shout it everywhere, on every platform, through social networks, the media, etc. But we are not heard. […] Individually, we feel that there is a break and that we can no longer support the cause of [teaching].

A quote from Maude Trépanier, ex-teacher

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This reorientation movement worries those involved in the public school network, already hit by a wave of resignations in recent years. According to a study commissioned by the Ministry of Education in 2014, one in two teachers leaves the profession during the first five years of practice.

Since the start of the FAE strike, which has now lasted four weeks, we have had one to two resignations per school, all staff combined, indicates Kathleen Legault, president of the Montreal Association of School Directors. x27;school establishment.

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Kathleen Legault is president of the Montreal Association of School Directors.

Often, it is precarious [part-time] staff who have found other employment. So, for the moment, it's not so worrying, but we know that if the agreement [with the government] is not satisfactory for the teachers, there are others who will not be satisfied with it. others who will leave, she warns.

Several teachers on the picket lines have the impression that the government is not serious and that their profession is not recognized at its true value, she adds.

Many ask themselves: "What else can I do with my four-year degree?" […] This is really worrying, because we are already short of staff in our schools and we cannot afford to lose qualified and experienced teachers.

A quote from Kathleen Legault, president of the x27;Montreal Association of School Directors

According to Simon Viviers, full professor at the School of Counseling and Orientation at Laval University, we are currently witnessing professional desertion. He attributes this phenomenon to the lack of resources to help students in difficulty, to violence and non-respect in schools and to the precariousness of the profession, among others.

According to preliminary data from an INSPQ survey, 62% of teachers in the primary and secondary school network experience psychological distress, he adds.

While some leave the profession for good, other teachers adapt to stress through silent resignation, notes Mr. Viviers. We begin to adopt withdrawal strategies […], we disinvest in our work and we do as little as possible, he explains.

With information from Gabrielle Proulx

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