Theme 1 - the impact of lack of easy access to a home economics-equivalent degree
I think there are people out there in education who want to be teachers but still don’t know [about home ec]. I don’t know if they know you can go to university and study home ec.
A s a young home ec teacher I see a lot of my colleagues are older than me and I worry that they’re going to be retiring, going on mat leave, people are leaving for different reasons, and there isn’t anyone coming into the profession. (teacher with 3 years experience)
My main challenge is the diversity in the classroom and classes with multi levels of ability . (teacher with 35 years of experience)
Larger classes and class composition have made the job more challenging. The integration of ESL and resource room students (some with and some without classroom assistants) makes teaching more difficult. (teacher with 25 years of experience)
What are your worries about home economics?Class sizes. If classes get larger can I still teach the way I do now? (teacher with 23 years of experience)
Budgets. If boards don’t fund and we can’t charge fees, how can we continue . (teacher with 35 years of experience )
Budgets are always a concern. So far our district has been pretty good about covering what was lost when fees were abolished but you never know what might happen in the future. (teacher with 25 years of experience)
Cut backs in financing the program and not allowing programs to naturally grow as the demand from the students is there, for most courses. (teacher with 8 years of experience )
• I've tried to fill 3 home ed jobs in the past last year. I had one qualified applicant for the lot. They were almost as tough to fill as tech ed jobs. However, we were willing to live with an unqualified foods teacher, where we would cancel a metalwork course if we had no qualified teacher. I foresee a big shortage coming up soon.... (school district in South Central BC)
We have found it nearly impossible to find qualified applicants for Home Ec positions. Where we have had interest the applicants are nearly always from out of province. We aren't anticipating a shortage - its already here! (school district in Northern BC)
We no longer have any qualified [home economics teachers] on our TOC list and have 2 jobs to fill for Sept 2009 . (school district in the Okanagan)
18. Does your school double book rooms in Home Economics (i.e. book 2 foods classes in one room and expect the teachers to alternate use?) Do you want this to be a yes/no answer and that's it or do you want to find out how often this occurs? If it is the latter then I think you will want to follow up with some kind of question but I am not sure how to ask this (for example if you are a semestered school with two foods labs then you can have 16 blocks of foods in one year -- if you have 21 blocks then that means that 5 classes have to be put back to back with 5 other classes -- so do we want to know that there are 5 extra courses running or do we want to know that 10 classes will be sharing one foods lab and a classroom??? Do you see what I mean?? I see your point. Would the question then be: If the answer is yes, how many blocks does this happen a year?
I think our intent was to just get an indication of the use of home ec rooms - are there enough resources in your school? We didn't need a great amount of detail. JG I think this question can be deleted and 19 below expanded. GS
We have learned that seeing ourselves as producers of research gives a sense of empowerment. The issues addressed in this research have been festering for years but this is the first time that any action has been taken. The sense that this teacher inquiry can really make a difference inspires us to continue.