A Research Action Paper on the Stressors, Levels of Job Satisfaction and Levels of Self-Competency among Teachers-On-Call in the Greater Vancouver Regional District
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In this study the authors developed and presented a survey questionnaire to teachers-on-call (TOC) with less than 8 years’ experience in the Greater Vancouver area. A total of 22 participants completed the survey. The questionnaire was designed to explore the views of new teachers in regard to perceived sources of stress, self-competency and job satisfaction. Open-ended questions were utilized to provide participants with the opportunity to present personalized reflective accounts. A literature review of the current issues facing new teachers was presented in order to provide context for research findings. Qualitative and quantitative data was synthesized with existing research literature in order to present recommendations for district and school support mechanisms. Among the other factors, induction and mentorship programs were discussed in closer detail and recommended to beginning teachers as a method of bridging novice and experienced teachers into a partnership of mentoring. Key results from the survey concluded that major sources of stress for TOCs include workload, job opportunities and personal finances. Reasons for this involve the instability and inconsistency of TOC call outs and the difficulties in climbing the seniority ladder in order to be considered for temporary and continuing contracts. Recommendations and suggested by TOC participants largely revolved around the need for district support such as providing induction/orientation and mentorship programs. School districts should also consider providing TOCs professional development, health benefits and holiday pay as TOCs are left with no opportunities to collect income during professional development days, holidays or school breaks. Also a concern for TOCs was the lack of performance feedback and the lack of forums available for TOCs to voice their concerns and opinions.