Constructions of Teacher Professionalism

3 things I learned

  1. Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation

STF is a professional organization consists of teachers employed in Pre K – G 12 schools across Canada. STF works to ensure the responsibilities, rights and benefits for teachers. It also plays a critical role in assuring a voice for teachers, while providing various opportunities for teachers to conduct researches, as well as other professional developments.

 

  1. Salary grid

Salary grid is a table that tells a range of salary that a person could earn in a year. Salary grid changes annually. Also, I learned that salary can be varied by individual’s circumstances, including the number of degrees/certificates/diplomas, number of credit hours an individual has earned, length of the actual teaching period, as well as other factors. There are two indicators: Class and Step. Class would be differentiated according to the degrees or credit hours that an individual earned, whereas Step would be decided based on the years of teaching experience. For example, according to the most recent salary grid (effective September 1st, 2016 to August 31st, 2017), if I were to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Education and hired at a school as a full time first year teacher, I would be classified as Class 4 with Step 1, which indicates 55474 per year. It can be increased as a person earns more credits or teaching experiences. And of course, it would be different by province.

 

  1. Benefits

There are variety of benefits ensured for teachers, including health benefits, dental plan, disability plan, life insurance, pension plan, etc. Among them, what really attracted me was the fact that health benefit could cover out-of-country cases. I’m sure this doesn’t mean that it can cover every cost, or every case, however as a person who would like to experience teaching abroad, I thought that this would be really beneficial to me.

 

2 connections

1 . While exploring the STF website, I was reminded of the SK curriculum and the decision-makers of the curriculum. From a different class this semester, I learned that there are certain groups who gets to exercise power in formalizing curriculum; government officials, principals, senior administrators, post-secondary staffs, elected local authorities, and teachers, and the group is organized by the ministry of education. Knowing this fact saddened me because I realized that the actual people who get impacted mostly have the least voice in this process: students. Then, as I get to know about STF and it is made up of the teachers in field, or who have experienced in filed, I thought that if these people can step in more, they could express issues from the point of view of the field, hence the students and teachers could receive/work with a better quality of education system. Hence, it made me wonder if STF gets voice in the process of formalizing/revising the curriculum? If yes, in what part of process and how powerful would it be?

 

  1. The other connection I made has to do with Saskatchewan Professional Development Unit (SPDU). Although I grew up in a different country, I remember that many of my teachers would be engaged in research related to their field, go to educational conferences and trainings during summer/winter vacations. I have a feeling that it would not be too different in SK’s case, and I think that SPDU – and other supports STF provides – is absolutely helpful and useful resource for teachers, and to extent, students too, as teacher’s professional development would benefit the students in the end.

 

Question

Does STF get to have a voice in the process of formalizing/revising SK curriculum? If yes, how powerful it can be?

 


Reference

Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation available at: https://www.stf.sk.ca

 

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