Cyberbullying concerns teachers



    TORONTO, Aug. 28 /CNW/ - Eighty-four per cent of Ontario teachers say
they have been the subject of comment by cyberbullies who use e-mail and the
Internet to criticize their teachers' appearance and grading skills, spread
harmful gossip and even make threats of physical harm.
    Ontario teachers responding to the annual survey of members conducted by
the Ontario College of Teachers magazine Professionally Speaking say that
schools and boards need to do more to counteract the trend.
    The incidence of cyberbullying among French-speaking teachers is even
greater - 93 per cent of Ontario's French secondary school teachers have been
the subject of electronic comment.
    The magazine's fifth annual survey of the State of the Teaching
Profession, released today, probed teachers' opinions on a range of issues
covering career satisfaction, classroom quality, teacher supply and
cyberbullying.
    "Teachers are overwhelmingly aware of the issue of cyberbullying," said
Council Chair Don Cattani. "The results of the survey support and corroborate
initiatives undertaken by the Minister of Education, teacher federations and
principal associations to educate teachers in this regard."
    Teachers believe that cyber harassment decreases classroom quality,
affects job satisfaction among teachers and leads to poor student performance.
    Most teachers think schools and boards should be doing more to protect
teachers and students from cyberbullying. Forty-one per cent favour calling in
the police.
    Teachers indicate they are cautious about using e-mail to communicate
with students, with only three per cent saying they use it on a regular basis
in communicating with students and 11 per cent in communicating with parents.
    Teachers' commitment to the profession is the highest it's been since the
survey began. Nearly 80 per cent say they'll still be in teaching five years
from now, up from 65 per cent in 2003. Among younger teachers - 18 to 34 years
old - 97 per cent plan to still be teaching in five years.
    Teachers have expressed great confidence in their school and the
education system in past years. This year more than seven out of 10 said they
were satisfied with their own performance, with that of their school or with
the teaching profession overall.
    Over 50 per cent said they were satisfied or very satisfied with the
quality of the education system in Ontario, with another 37 per cent saying
they were moderately satisfied.
    Teachers are split evenly on whether classroom quality has improved,
stayed the same or declined. About two out of three believe the implementation
of smaller classes at the primary level is having a positive effect.
    Asked to rate the seriousness of a number of challenges to the education
system, teachers said that standardized testing, the condition of school
facilities and school safety were the most serious challenges facing
education.
    COMPAS, Inc., a public opinion and market research firm, conducted the
survey. Statistically, the sample is considered accurate to within         
3.5 percentage points 19 times out of 20.
    See the full survey at State of the Teaching Profession 2007.



    Background for 2007 State of the Teaching Profession in Ontario Survey

    About the Survey

    The College's quarterly magazine Professionally Speaking commissioned
this, the College's fifth annual survey of members. Survey results appear in
the magazine's September 2007 issue.
    COMPAS, Inc., a public opinion and customer research firm, conducted the
survey by telephone during a two-week period in July.

    
    Respondents

    Respondents are representative of the 210,000 College members in good
    standing.

    Elementary teachers                                          51 per cent

    Secondary teachers                                           31 per cent

    Occasional teacher                                            8 per cent

    Principal/vice principal                                      4 per cent

    Faculty of education staff
     or faculty, supervisory officers
     and directors of education                                   2 per cent


    Survey Methodology

    COMPAS interviewed 1,000 members of the College, randomly selected by
computer.
    Results are considered accurate to within 3.1 percentage points 19 times
out of 20 for all teachers and 6.2 percentage points 19 times out of 20 for
French-language teachers.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Responses

    On cyberbullying:

    -   84 per cent of all teachers have experienced cyberbullying.
    -   93 per cent of francophone secondary teachers have experienced
        cyberbullying.
    -   e-mail and chatrooms are the main vehicles for cyberbullying.
    -   41 per cent of all teachers believe the school/board should report
        most or all cyberbullying to the police.
    -   43 per cent of teachers believe student-to-student cyberbullying
        should be reported to the police - only 28 per cent of
        French-speaking teachers believe so.
    -   10 per cent of French-speaking teachers believe cyberbullying might
        prompt teachers to leave the profession prematurely compared to
        20 per cent of teachers overall.

    On electronic communication:

    -   49 per cent of teachers say their school or board has well understood
        policies on student use of e-communication.
    -   21 per cent of teachers say their school or board has well understood
        policies of teacher-student e-mail communication.
    -   83 per cent of teachers never communicate with their students via
        e-mail.

    On career satisfaction:

    -   83 per cent of teachers are satisfied or very satisfied with their
        teaching career, down from 87 per cent in 2006.
    -   78 per cent are satisfied or very satisfied with the job they are
        doing.
    -   70 per cent are satisfied or very satisfied with their school.
    -   73 per cent are satisfied or very satisfied with the teaching
        profession as a whole.
    -   54 per cent are satisfied or very satisfied with the quality of
        Ontario's education system.

    On classroom quality:

    -   31 per cent of teachers say classroom quality is better than it was
        five years ago.
    -   31 per cent say it has remained the same; 31 per cent say it's worse.
    -   66 per cent of teachers say caps on primary class sizes have or
        probably have been implemented.
    -   68 per cent of teachers overall say caps on primary class sizes have
        had positive effects on the quality of teaching; among French-
        speaking teachers the figure is 85 per cent.

    On teacher oversupply:

    -   25 per cent of teachers say oversupply is a serious or very serious
        issue.
    -   67 per cent of teachers are aware of the issue; among French-speaking
        teachers, only 35 per cent are aware.
    -   among French-speaking teachers, 37 per cent say oversupply is serious
        or very serious.
    -   14 per cent would support or strongly support a targeted enrolment
        strategy at faculties of education.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Why does the College magazine conduct this annual survey?

    -   To accurately gauge the opinion of College members on education
        issues.
    -   To bring issues to the attention of the entire membership, the
        provincial government, other education stakeholders and the public.
    -   To stimulate further discussion within the education system.
    -   To encourage and explore common approaches among education's
        stakeholders to address concerns and strengthen the teaching
        profession.
    

    The Ontario College of Teachers licenses, governs and regulates the
profession of teaching in the public interest. It sets standards of practice
and ethical standards, conducts disciplinary hearings and accredits teacher
education programs affecting its 210,000 members in publicly funded schools
and institutions across Ontario. The College is the largest self-regulatory
body in Canada.





For further information:

For further information: Brian Jamieson, Senior Communications Officer,
(416) 961-8800 x 655, bjamieson@oct.ca; Lois Browne, Senior Communications
Officer, (416) 961-8800 x 620, lbrowne@oct.ca


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