As the summer vacation approaches, educators worry about the continuing “consequences” of the pandemic school
School education under pressure: CBC News sent a questionnaire to thousands of education professionals to understand how they and their students performed in this extraordinary school year. Nearly 9,500 educators responded.
With only a few weeks before the summer vacation, many Canadian educators said that their teaching is lagging behind, and they are worried about the long-term impact on students’ learning when the first school year of the COVID-19 pandemic is full of unpredictability and anxiety. .
CBC News sent a questionnaire to the public email addresses of more than 50,000 educators in nearly 200 school districts in eight provinces. The goal is to find out how educators and students adapt to all the changes caused by the pandemic, from wearing masks and other public health rules, to compact high school curricula, and suddenly moving to distance learning.
Nearly 9,500 people responded, including teachers, support staff, principals and other school staff who serve primary and secondary school students. They provided feedback on a range of topics, from students who reached their learning goals to absenteeism to mandatory vaccination.
Nearly three-quarters of the responding teachers stated that they are behind schedule in terms of curriculum arrangements. Approximately 55% said that compared with non-pandemic years, fewer students will reach their learning goals this year.
“Completing the course is already a challenge before completing the COVID, and it has been magnified by more than 10 times,” said Ramandeep Sangha, a high school teacher in Surrey, British Columbia, who has been particularly hard hit by the pandemic.
“[Teachers are] Tired of constantly thinking when new situations arise. To be honest, new things happen all the time.We have [COVID-19] Exposure, now I am just numb to them. “
According to Sangha, under changing school conditions, many teachers are striving to complete courses and teach effectively, while paying close attention to the mental health of students.
She said: “I often feel defeated. This year I often have a nervous breakdown and cry many times.” “Not only the teachers, but the students are exhausted emotionally, physically and mentally.”
Approximately 70% of teacher respondents indicated that they believe that some students will not catch up in academics.
About 90% of them said they believe that the challenges of this pandemic school year will have a psychological impact on some students.
At the same time, for administrators, how will it affect teachers this year? More than 80% of principals and vice principals who answered the questionnaire said that they are very worried about teacher burnout.
“They have no basic skills”
Jim Fare knows the value of every concept that students learn in class, including the way physics is applied in real life or the application of complex mathematical skills in future courses. He said that his physics and calculus courses are challenging under normal circumstances, but when you hierarchically arrange students to allocate time between face-to-face classes and online classes, and a concise learning model, it will be much more difficult.
In order to reduce face-to-face communication with students, many regions have adopted a new annual division system. The entire time frame is concise: Although only a few courses are selected at a time, the daily class hours are longer.This cycle repeats many times, depending on whether the school Replaced their full-year or semester system with a semester, semester or academic year system.
Fair, a high school teacher in Kitchener, Ontario, said: “They have seen me for 22 days and they have to pick up everything that usually takes five months to learn.”
“These children have to give me 3.5 hours a day, four or five hours at most. A subject. Imagine that you are a child, and for this child, stones are not easy. How many hours do I need to study you every day? tired.”
As teachers were forced to cut, simplify or accelerate course units to fit these tight time frames, Fare said that he noticed that more students did not master the skills and knowledge they needed, which triggered his continued development of “education” “Deficit” concerns. “
“Children have no basic algebra skills or early knowledge of mathematics, so they can easily master calculus… Have you ever heard of muscle memory for doing exercise? Well, it has not been transformed into intellectual muscle memory. But Because they don’t have the same approach,” he said.
In Calgary, all schools have once again turned to distance learning. High school teacher Peter Zajiczek also said that mathematics is particularly challenging for effective online teaching.
He said: “I can’t get close to their shoulders while they are doing things, because there you will find all these small mistakes and misunderstandings.”
“I think we will suffer from such consequences in the next five to six years.”
Watch | Teachers worry about how the pandemic year will affect future learning:
Todd Cunningham, a child psychologist, said that the answers to the questionnaire were not surprising. He said it was consistent with what he had seen in a clinical setting, in which, The students share mental health and academic challenges.
“Everyone’s content knowledge will be reduced…. Everyone must realize [students will need] Review key concepts to ensure that everyone has core knowledge. “Cunningham said he is also an associate professor at the University of Toronto.
He is particularly concerned about the impact on academic skills, such as reading and understanding vocabulary, expressing ideas in writing, and solving problems using mathematics. He said that these skills require constant practice to develop.
“If my reading has not made progress this year, now I should be able to study in grade 9 or 10, but I am still in grade 7. It will become more difficult for me to participate in the learning that I should be doing.”
Pandemic education “definitely caused losses”
High school student Jordan Mutabazi said that he knew he would be at a disadvantage this year, because he was cut off from his pre-calculus class in grade 11 when he was in online classes earlier during the pandemic. Will enter the era of calculus.
In addition to curtailing courses, the 17-year-old student from Halifax also found it difficult to adapt to the intensive course of two classes and three hours a day to cope with school restrictions. The most recent one was in Nova Scotia. Return to school to conduct online courses amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
“[School] Mutabazi said: “This is very different from my previous habits. If the previous class is the same as before, my performance in the class may not be as good as before.”
Bridget Salamon, a high school student in Saskatoon, said the turbulent school experience during the pandemic is harmful to students’ mental health. She also said that she is worried about whether those who continue to receive tertiary education will retain the knowledge and skills they need.
She said: “It must have caused a loss… the epidemic and the crazy workload of the school, and that we didn’t learn everything that we should have, it’s a fact.”
“As a grade 12 student, knowing that you haven’t graduated this year, knowing that I’m going to say goodbye to all these teachers, is this my gift?”
CBC News sent the questionnaire to the email addresses of 52,351 school employees in nearly 200 school districts in eight provinces. The email address was crawled from the school’s publicly listed website. The questionnaire was sent using SurveyMonkey.
The CBC News section selects provinces and school districts based on the availability of email addresses. Therefore, this questionnaire is not a representative survey of Canadian educators. No question is mandatory, and not all respondents answered all questions.
The number of people who filled out the questionnaire was 9,441.
To share your experience in the education system and any story tips during COVID-19, please send us an email: [email protected]
Documents from the CBC Investigation Department: Lucy Edwardson, Paula Duhacek, Diana Sumanak Johnson and Nigel Hunter. Data analysis, code and graphs by Roberto Rocha and Dexter McMillan.