Media Releases

Re:       Positive Impact on Teacher Wellness from STIP Report Card Days 2016-2017

Yellowknife, NT (September 26, 2017) – At the end of each school year the Northwest Territories Teachers’ Association (NWTTA) surveys our membership asking the teachers of the NWT to provide us with a report card of sorts – asking them to rate our successes on current priorities we worked on for them, what challenges they are currently facing to help set priorities for the following year and to get a general sense of where our time and energy needs to be focused.

During the last sitting of the NWT Legislative Assembly, the NWTTA with its membership, worked towards fulfilling the STIP (Strengthening Teacher Instructional Practices) Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) it had reached in the current collective agreements. The two primary goals of this MOU: to improve student achievement, and to improve teacher wellness and reduce workload. This culminated in the successful vote for Bill 16 on June 1, 2017 in the Legislative Assembly, updating the NWT Education Act.

With the STIP MOU in its first year providing three days to complete report cards during the 2016-2017 school year now behind them, we added a new question this year’s survey of our membership:

During the current 2016-2017 school year, the STIP (Strengthening Teacher Instructional Practices) Memorandum of Understanding provided three (3) days without students present to complete report cards and professional duties. What impact did these three (3) days have on your Wellness and Workload?

The five answer choices were:

  • Significant Improvement
  • Moderate Improvement
  • Slight Improvement
  • No Impact
  • Negative Impact

As you can see in the graph with percentages included, 89% of the respondents selected Slight to Significant Improvement. The 10% No Impact respondents were members whose role does not include writing report cards: guidance counsellors, administrators, district/DEC coordinators.

We also provided our members the opportunity to provide anecdotal comments which are included below.

It was amazing. These days helped to alleviate some of the stresses that teachers experience with our large workloads. This time has given teachers the opportunity and time to better plan for the students and to complete some of our professional duties (report cards and marking.) It has significantly improved teacher wellness.

I am quite involved with extra curricular activities and these days helped me balance both my workload and my own personal health needs.

Time to work on the clock is an amazing thing! Teachers always have a running "to do" list, often crossing off one thing means adding three more to do! Much appreciated and valued!

Amazing to be able to work on them not only after school hours! THANK YOU!

More time to mark helps balance other planning time and personal life

It gave the teacher time to complete their assessments, report cards and collaborate with the school team.

I am writing to express my appreciation for the work that you did in negotiating STIP time. While I know that it was a struggle, it's early, and we'll have many lessons to learn from it as we progress through our year, it appears that it has made a difference in the climate of the school as we prepared for this week. I know that ECE will never be able to measure school climate, but, for me, after 33 years, the pace was definitely more conducive to staff working together.

Teachers loved having the time, free of interruption, to get their reports done.

This is very overdue. I feel these hours have helped me balance my home and work worlds. Bravo!

Thank you. It helped me have a home life.

I didn't lose an entire weekend to report card writing!!!

It was so nice to have extra time to work on report cards,

STIP changed my life! I normally have to write exams, mark exams, write report card comments and contact parents outside of the school day. I have my life back and my wellness has improved dramatically. STIP is a game changer for wellness in the teaching profession.

Teachers still had to do extra outside that day but it was good to work on report cards at 1 pm not 1 am.

We used these days for report card writing. Teachers appreciated this greatly.

I felt that without this I would have been working many nights. This day to work without students took a bit of the load off.

For once, I did not work until 1:00 every morning during a 2 week stretch to write reports.

YES! IMAGINE ‐ having a day AT WORK to ‐ shocker of all shockers ‐ DO YOUR WORK. Fabulous. Thank you.

No interruptions and more collaboration

I am a mother of 4 and finding extra time above the extra time I already put in to volunteering/planning/marking meant I didn't have to be away from home for an entire weekend.

Took a lot of pressure off my shoulders.

Teachers were so very grateful for this time to complete report cards ‐ lessened the "pressure"!

it gave us some time to work during the work day instead of spending weekend and nights doing report cards and ssp's

We actually could spend time with our family over the weekends.

Gave me time to mark all late assignments

This was excellent for my report card writing, I did not have to rush through my comments on my own time at home after the kids go to bed. I was not as stressed in previous years during report cards and my reports where much more informative and well written.

needed and used this time!

These days were used for completing report cards. The time was VERY valuable and well used. Although I was not able to complete everything on those days, that time was invaluable and allowed me to do my job with significantly less stress and lower burden.

Very helpful to reduce stress regarding report card preparation

It's re‐energizing and gave me the chance to reflect on areas that requires further learning activities and sharing.

Ample time to think out practice and plan was availed.

My stress level was lowered by a significant amount. I felt able to release a quality evaluation, which was not the case during previous years.

These are time consuming activities. Allowed for proper time to complete.

No undue pressure on getting the report cards done. Enough time to work on it.

Gives us time to reflect, collaborate and share teaching methods.

I am a huge fan of these days. Uninterrupted time to work on report cards and other assessments was amazing.

I was able to plan ahead and have more things prepared for the week.

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Although I spend about 16 hours writing each round of report cards, this has made the situation much more manageable. Unfortunately, our high school teachers are on a quarterly, rather than trimester system. They did not benefit (to the extent that I did) from the first two report card days as a result.

These days reduced the amount of personal time used to create and edit the report cards.

I was able to get a lot done in my class that I would have had to come in on the weekend

Nice to have time to work on what is needed.

It was great to have that day to work on report cards and other admin tasks.

It is nice to have those days in order to be concerned about doing less school work at home.

It's so nice to have a day that no one is planning how to allocate your time. On these days I managed to get a lot of work completed, they're fantastic.

Getting important work done during the work day, that often has to be done during the weekends!

It helped with stress, I felt I had time to breathe.

I feel that I could really get a good handle on reporting. I didn't feel pressure to be pulled in other directions. My work was completed more efficiently and with greater thought.

It is my first year as an educator and I cannot state how much having these days to work on report cards have on my ability to complete these reports in the time frames or due dates they are due.

It gave us more time to work specifically on report cards and students' academic activities.

This has been an improvement with work load for teachers!!!

Having time to complete them, provided a support for the teachers so they did not have to work weekends on the reports and planning

A day was nice, a breather, to get everything done on school time instead of my own time.

I had adequate time to write my report cards. I had more work life balance and was therefore more rested while teaching. Which makes a big difference for me and my students the week that report cards are due.

Staff seemed much more relaxed and the time was used productively.

It's just amazing that I haven't had to take as much home to do with regards to report card writing and grading.

Having this extra time to complete the report cards has boosted morale in the school.

the extra time was very helpful

less end of the year stress, more mental alertness while writing report cards, overall happiness

Due to more time, I didn't get sick!

I felt SO GOOD to have those days to work on my report cards. My report cards take me 30+ hours so this was very helpful!

Having time to write report cards did lessen the amount of home time I had to use.

I didn't have to do the report cards on my time this year.

It is nice to have time to do the administration side of this job!

teachers were very grateful for the day

It’s nice to be relieved of some of the stress that teachers face day to day. Being able to sit and concentrate in one area is amazing.

It gave time for collaboration

Teachers could write report cards during the work day and didn't have to do it in the evening and weekend.

Helped get things in order.

additional time to make meaningful comments about the individual students strengths and weaknesses

Report cards were completed during the school day rather than on the weekend and personal time.

First year I was not working on report cards until 2:00am.

 

NWTTA President Fraser Oliver has sent letters to all Members of the Legislative Assembly sharing these positive results and expressed his appreciation for their work making a positive difference in the Wellness of NWT teachers.

 

For further information or to arrange an interview with NWTTA President Fraser Oliver, contact André Corbeil, Finance & Communications Officer, Northwest Territories Teachers’ Association; Phone: 867-873-5711; Email: andre.corbeil@nwtta.nt.ca

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