FC Youth News
Education Takes a Back SeatOctober 3, 2018
Hey FC Parents & Kids,
Found this article in the morning paper today. A very sobering reality that should not surprise us, but that we need to just understand. In many ways, this mirrors what’s happening to our doctors and police officers.
I’m limited in what I can do at our schools, but not at FightClub! My main focus is your child’s growth and development – Period.
As parents, we need to be aware of and understand the changing educational environment our kids are facing. Far too many parents focus on certain sports, clubs or activities. All those should be secondary to getting your kids in front of a true teacher! This is more important than the sport, club or activity. Finding true teachers is very hard, personally, I have found only two in my lifetime. When I walk into FightClub I truly want to share myself with everyone. I’m sure many of you have noticed this and I thank you for being a part of this special place.
Please share this article with other parents so that we all understand what we are facing as our fast pace society rushes forward.
Education takes back seat for principals overwhelmed by managing schools
Ontario principals do so much administrative work, such as managing the school building and staff, it is a “challenge” to find time to improve student learning, according to a report released Wednesday.
The findings are based on a survey of 1,244 principals from publicly-funded schools by research and advocacy group people for education. Among the more “startling” figures, says executive director Annie Kidder, was when principals ranked the amount of time spent on various tasks, including managing facilities, staff and individual student issues.
Just 9 per cent of elementary principals, and 13 per cent of secondary principals, said the most time-consuming task was supporting professional learning and improving the instructional program. By comparison, 22 per cent of elementary principals said managing the facilities, and 27 per cent of high school principals said managing staff, took up most of their time, according to the report, now being reviewed by the Ministry of Education.
“One would hope that principals would say the task on which they spend the most time would be leading the instructional program, and it is not that,” Kidder told the Star. “When principals talk to us about the competing priorities, their concern is that the management tasks end up overtaking the learning tasks.”
She says principals are “hamstrung” by having to focus on managerial issues and not educational ones. One solution is adding more vice-principals — most high schools have them, but just 45 per cent of elementary schools do. The report, which expands upon the survey that was released in June, notes that vice-principals help out with managerial duties, allowing principals to spend more time on the instructional program and school improvement planning.
Also, 11 per cent of elementary principals, and 18 per cent of high school principals, said most of their time is spent addressing the needs of individual students, such as behavioural and mental health issues. They say there aren’t enough mental health resources in schools, such as social workers, psychologists and guidance counsellors.
“They’re sort of putting out fires in terms of individual student issues, rather than leading the instructional program,” says Kidder. “They need more staff support.”
That’s why the group is calling on the Ministry of Education to meet with principals’ councils to address these challenges and consider providing schools with more resources and administrative staff.
“The ministry will continue to work with its partners to hear recommendations on how the province can support principals and vice-principals,” says ministry spokesperson Heather Irwin.
In March, the then-Liberal government in Ontario announced $181 million in funding, over four years, to hire more mental health workers in high schools, but it’s unclear if that money will be distributed by the current Progressive Conservatives.