On average, teachers are working approximately 48 hours a week, including weekends, during the busy school year, according to a new study.
The report, a first of its kind in Canada, tracked hours spent before and after school, as well as weekends. More than 1500 teachers from across the province, teaching all grade levels, participated in the survey.
The survey results show that teachers work an average of 48 hours during a typical week, during the school year. This excludes weeks such as Christmas and spring break, as well as the final week of June when school calendars are shortened. The study examines time spent on instruction (which makes up 50% of teachers’ time) as well as time spent on educational supports, such as planning, administration, grading assignments, communicating with parents and extra-curricular activities.
“This confirms what Albertans already know, that teachers are professionals who dedicate their time and energy to our future generations. This survey will help inform discussions with education partners as we move forward.”
The survey identified workload issues such as an increase in the number of high-needs students in the classroom, as well as increased expectations from parents and the community.
“This is rich data that confirms the complexity of teachers’ practice. Clear concerns arise about how teachers are being distracted from their core work with students, and we will need to have discussions about conditions that impact the classroom experience.”
“The survey reflects the reality that learning environments have become more complex. It is critically important that teaching staff have adequate supports. Locally elected school boards work with their communities – including staff, students and parents – to achieve these outcomes.”
The survey, administered by R.A. Malatest and Associates, was commissioned as part of the 2013 Assurance for Students Act, which established collective agreements for teachers in Alberta through to August 2016. An advisory committee consisting of representatives from the Government of Alberta, ATA, and Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) partnered on this project. The cost of the survey was approximately $500,000, paid for by the Government of Alberta.