I am a professor at George Brown College
What would job security and better working conditions mean to you?
It would mean that I would not be living in a constant state of anxiety and precarity. It would help provide some consistency to my career and allow me to plan better for my courses, term to term. It would mean having better work-life balance. There are times as a contract worker I feel that I am at risk of burning out. Ultimately, it would help to know that I am a valued member of my college community, someone who is worth investing in.
I have been a contract worker for 7 years, and I know many colleagues in similar situations to myself. It pains me that this is the reality that exists for so many hard working teachers in the college. This has significant psychological impacts--it creates anxiety, isolation, competition and alienation. It promotes an 'us' versus 'them' mentality in a vastly inequitable, multi-tiered system.
Why do you love your job?
I am passionate about creating meaningful learning experiences that I see come alive in the classroom. I love hearing from my learners that I have played an important role in their academic journey. I love that I am able to be creative in my work, share stories and work with others who are excited about the possibilities of education.
Tell us about your proudest moment:
Having one of my students nominated to be the representative to speak during convocation ceremonies for his graduating class. To hear about the adversities he overcame, and how he thanked the program, and specifically the faculty for supporting him on his journey through tears, has been such a great reminder of the role we play in our students lives. Hearing that you have made a significant impact on another person’s life is always a proud moment as a teacher.
What are the challenges you face in your work?
As a contract worker, the main challenge I face is job security. Every term I wonder whether I will have enough courses offered the next term to provide for my family. It is hard to budget when you are unsure what your income will be term to term. I don’t have the same benefits and professional development opportunities as some of my full-time colleagues, which is disheartening. And lastly, I sometimes do not feel supported or valued in my role.