P.E.I. needs more PD days: Ghiz

Teresa Wright
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Teachers in Prince Edward Island need more PD days as part of a solution to improve student outcomes, says Premier Robert Ghiz.

During his annual State of the Province speech in Charlottetown Monday, Ghiz took the opportunity to address P.E.I.’s poor results in the recent Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) report.

Ghiz defended the direction his government has taken in education, stressing his belief that initiatives put in place over the last few years will improve outcomes in the future.

“We are on the right track, but we need to make sure we make evidence-based decisions,” Ghiz said.

“You will see improvements in those numbers into the future.”

P.E.I. students scored last in the country in the PISA results, which were released last month. The province was also repeatedly highlighted for coming in below the OECD average in all three areas of testing - math, reading and science.

During his speech, Ghiz pointed to a study conducted in 2006 after previous PISA results yielded similarly poor scores.

He said the province has since been implementing many of the recommendations of that 2006 study, including adding more PD days, adopting common assessments and implementing early interventions.

These are all initiatives that provinces, such as Quebec and Alberta that scored highest in the PISA report, have already put in place.

Ghiz said he once was opposed to adding more professional development days.

“I remember I used to say, ‘We don’t need more PD days, we need the teachers in the classroom.’ Well folks, I was wrong on that one.”

Now he believes they are crucial for teachers and school administrators to receive the training and resources they need to help students achieve better outcomes, he told the crowd of Rotarians and politicians.

“We’ve added three PD days this year. We’re going to add more into the future, because we need to give our teachers the necessary tools.”

He said he knows this is not a popular concept, but rhymed off numerous unpopular decisions he has made since taking office in 2007, including bringing in the HST, reforming public sector pensions and changing the structure of rural hospitals.

“I did not run (for office) for the status quo, I did not run to cruise along, I ran to make changes to improve our province,” Ghiz said.

“We’ve made some tough decisions, but I believe we’ve made the right decisions, maybe not the popular decisions, but there’s going to be more to do over the next number of years.”

Ghiz also defended the common assessments done every year, which often draw criticism from teachers groups. He said they are necessary to track progress and identify gaps.

He also pointed to investments his government has made in early childhood education – bringing kindergarten into the school system and establishing a provincial early childhood development curriculum.

Together these initiatives will see P.E.I.’s students improve in international testing and better prepare them for success, Ghiz said.

“We need to make sure that we put the necessary measures in place for them to be able to thrive into the future, and you will see improvements in those numbers into the future.”

In the meantime, Ghiz said he expects 2014 to be a banner year for P.E.I. as the province prepares to celebrate its important anniversary.

“Because of a wonderful thing called the constitution and because of a meeting that took place here in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, we are an equal partner in Confederation,” Ghiz said.

“Let’s take advantage of that, let’s educate our kids the best we can, let’s give our businesses the opportunity to grow and thrive and let’s make sure that 150 years from now Canada and Prince Edward Island are in a better situation.” 

 

twright@theguardian.pe.ca

Twitter.com/GuardianTeresa

Organizations: PISA, OECD

Geographic location: Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown, Quebec Alberta Canada

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Recent comments

  • Marla Clinton
    January 16, 2014 - 08:51

    I do not mind stating my name and full name. I can't believe what I am reading. I am referring to the assinine comments that people are making towards the teachers that teach YOUR children!. This is a PRIME EXAMPLE that NO ONE HAS COMMON SENSE. So here it is folks, if any parents out there knows the show Bubble Guppies, I will treat all like 5 year old that are just learning about the real world. It is very obvious here that everyones persona of a teacher is those out of a movie. Teacher goes to work, and then goes home end of day!. WRONG!. As I referred to Bubble Guppies, " Lets think about it, what does a teacher do". 1. They go to school each morning. And, no they do not go when your child goes. Some teachers are at school 2 -3 hours before school starts depending on their day. 2. Teachers have breaks, recess and lunch, I have seen some teachers skipping this do get things done for their afternoon classes. 3. After school, THEY DO NOT GO HOME WHEN YOUR CHILD DOES!......... Some teachers stay til 5 or after. Depending on if there are after school programs, that said teacher has to stay behind then clean up afterwards. 4. Teachers goes home, some teachers do not get supper when they get home, because a teachers work is brought home to prepare for the next day, I know some teachers dont get to eat supper til 8 ish. AND some don't eat at all. So just think of what I said. Teachers are parents as well, and they are missing out on suppers, some may have to miss out on things that are happening in THEIR CHILDS LIFE, BECAUSE THEY ARE EDUCATING YOUR CHILD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!.... So all of you that think a teachers life, is peaches and roses, rainbows and sunshine, YOU ARE ALL WRONG, and need to educate yourself. I am not a teacher by far, never went to university, but what I do have is common sense, and know how to use my brain!!!!!!!! PD days are, professional development days. Where the teacher is learning, yes teachers still learn after university. Technology is advancing everyday, and technology helps in teaching your child, and each teacher has to learn to be able to teach your child properly. So a new program comes out, we are suppose to leave the teacher and students to fend for themselves to learn that program. Come on people!!!!!!.... One teacher said, it best. Absence!!. Which is very hard, and frustrating for a teacher. They have deadlines they have to meet as well. And if students are taking time off themselves for hockey, or some parents I know for a fact just give into their child, because he /she doesn't want to go school that day!. Then they have to make sure that the child is update with what they missed out on. SLEEP, Some teachers to do get that luxury!. Staying up all ours of the night most nights to prepare for the next day, replaying over and over the day they had, that child that wouldn't listen, the one that back talked them. The said bully they dealt with that day, a very sad situation that happened with a child/ Some teachers as you may not know because some parents have their head so far up their a$$ to realize that a teacher becomes a second parent to your child from Kindergarten to Grade 12. So I ask you all to really think about what I just said, and instead of bashing every teacher on the Island, I would be SAYING THANK YOU P.S- Next time you think a PD is for a teacher to laze around. I would think about that before that thought enters your brain. They are not in Moncton shopping, maybe in their dreams while they are in workshops and meetings all day!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Mr Man
      January 17, 2014 - 13:46

      Actually not all teachers get those breaks you mentioned.. There is morning, recess, lunch, and afternoon supervision.. So in addition to all their duties you mentioned there is more... Not to mention after school weekly staff meetings. Extra curricular school functions, teacher - parent night, report cards (take a lot of thought an effort)

  • Melanie
    January 15, 2014 - 21:23

    I won't bother attempting to change the views of those people who jealously demand teachers work without pay. I've learned it's nearly impossible to alter an ignorant mind. I will, however offer A very realistic solution to the problem of students missing school days due to PD. The answer is clear – hire certified substitute teachers to come into the classroom on these days. Many people will say that a day with a substitute teacher is a wasted day. This is simply not true. Ask any teacher and they will tell you they have a go-to sub that they feel very confident about having in their classroom. Teachers get their training, substitutes get needed work, and students remain in the classroom. Problem solved.

    • Mr Man
      January 16, 2014 - 02:06

      In theory this seems great, but in reality it takes more work for a teacher to plan for a sub than to work themselves. Ask a teacher about it.

  • Ghiz is a brilliant politician
    January 15, 2014 - 11:45

    How cleverly Ghiz misdirected this discussion to "PD days"! While he said the words "evidence based decisions", he presented no evidence that PD days are actually the cause of PEI's poor performance. PEI, and 3 other worst-scoring provinces, use the same curriculum. To what extent is that a causal factor? Improving teacher effectiveness is of course desirable, but improving delivery of a poor curriculum hardly makes sense. Without seeing the "evidence" that Ghiz sees, we are all left in the dark. Mr Ghiz, please, show us your evidence, and relate to us your reasoning about how you reached your conclusions. "Evidence" is hardly authoritative if you keep it to yourself.

  • Teacher
    January 15, 2014 - 10:08

    What we need to look at in this province are values regarding education. I have 80 students this term, and 35 of them have missed more than 10 days of school so far. So often the reasons for absences show that the family doesn't value education: shopping, hockey, driveway not shoveled, etc, etc. Students also come in with notes from parents to "excuse" them from not doing their homework because they were tired, or had other "more important" things to do. When parents have these attitudes, what are they teaching their children? Students miss a week to go to the Dominican Republic for "their vacation" then miss two days when they come back because they are catching up on sleep. Maybe instead of looking at why classes are canceled, we should look at why students are not here/not doing their work when there IS school. Families should take their vacations during breaks from school. It is actually illegal to not send your child to school when he/she is well. Perhaps our tax dollars could be spent educating parents on the value of their children attending school regularly. What will happen when these students are in the work force with these values? Soon, it will be the problem of their employer....but maybe mommy will send a note to say Johnny had hockey last night and must be excused from presenting his annual report to the board.

    • That Guy From PEI
      January 15, 2014 - 11:29

      BANG ON!!!!!!!! This is a HUGE problem.

  • are you kidding me?
    January 15, 2014 - 08:47

    I do hope he isn't serious. MORE PD days? I have no problem with PD, as long as it takes place on March Break, during the summer, or any other day that is a scheduled break for students already. PD should not be at the expense of the already depleted classroom hours. More days off disrupt the rhythm of the students, the families, and I don't think it helps.

  • Lainey
    January 15, 2014 - 00:48

    I can't believe the outrageous comments about this article. Teachers don't teach in the summer, March break and Christmas break because that is when your children have time off. Are you suggesting that children go to school for more weeks of the year? If so, talk to your legistlator and have the law about instructional days changed. I'm sure teachers would have no problem doing their PD during the bigger holidays (since that's when a big chunk of it already happens), provided they were being paid for it. Would YOU do extra training on your own time and dime for your job? Would you be willing to go to a doctor/lawyer/accountant that was using theories and techniques from when they were in University 5-30 years ago? No, you wouldn't. So think about what you're saying before you make an uninformed and unthoughtful comment. The education of children is worth the investment in teacher education.

  • That Guy From PEI
    January 14, 2014 - 22:17

    @Hey pei guy Seems I struck a nerve in this whole conversation. If I challenge peoples' core values and misinterpretations of Island teachers to the point they feel the need to personally attack me on a spelling error, that's cool. At least I had something worthwhile to say. Man, if I had time on my hands to personally attack someone on their spelling errors.... Come back back when you have something meaningful to say, other wise "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the problem"

    • Teacher
      January 15, 2014 - 18:58

      I think what is happening here is you are insinuating that ALL parents need to get off their electronics, and be active in their children's lives and be proactive in their children's learning. I do take offence to that as I too have read 4 children's books to two kids, and listened to another of my children read 4 chapters of a book. Also have helped with homework, played a board game, and listened to a child practice piano. Active? I think most parents ARE active in their child's lives. Please stop basing all comments on here as lack of parenting.

  • Hey pei guy
    January 14, 2014 - 21:03

    That guy from PEI tells us he's only going to tell us how uneducated we unwashed masses are once. However, as of 9:55 tonight he's tried to enlighten us 6 times. Given his staunch defence of teachers ad PD days it looks like he might be a teacher except that even with spellcheck or autocorrect his posts are full of errors. He doesn't even spell "from" correctly. And obviously he can't count. Does he actually expect us to take anything he says seriously?

    • That Guy From PEI
      January 14, 2014 - 22:08

      Not a teacher, don't really care if you believe me or not on that one. In simply telling the truth with facts, which might be difficult for you - I understand. Your personal attacks don't bother me :) It's tricky when I'm trying to reply to so many comments in a short time... I read three books to my child tonight and played lots of music for him to stimulate his little mind. What did you do???

  • Peter
    January 14, 2014 - 18:50

    Outrageous. Perhaps if the hiring criteria included not only a baccalaureate degree in education combined with experience as a "jock" as qualifications for school administrators, the education system would be stronger.

    • That Guy From PEI
      January 14, 2014 - 19:18

      I've never heard of this degree you speak of? I'm hoping you could clarify your statement...

  • CAPTAIN CANUCK
    January 14, 2014 - 15:36

    PD days is nothing more saying teachers are not ready to be teachers. You don't become teacher, then learn to be one. Time was you went to school to become a teacher, then you taught.

    • That Guy Feom PEI
      January 14, 2014 - 19:15

      Teaching evolves.... All the time. But some people don't realize that because they don't bother spending anytime stimuting their kids or going to parent-teacher interviews. But, you are right.... (If I understand you correctly) "Teachers go to school to become teachers, then they teach" No disputing that statement)

  • Garth Staples
    January 14, 2014 - 15:06

    The current credentials require two degrees to teach grade five arithmetic. How funny is that? This former teacher upgraded by attending SUMMER SCHOOL on his own time, not the students' time. The system is badly broken because attitudes are wrong and the Union is directing policy. How sad.

  • TEACH OR DON'T TEACH
    January 14, 2014 - 14:38

    I you don't want to teach and feel you need more time for youreself then leave and let others teach. PD is a short for banking, shopping etc. Teachers are paid for 12 months and used to do PD in the summer months. Now they want over two months off to do nothing. I know of anyone other trade that get over 8 weeks off in a row. No wonder we have kids GRADUATING grade 12 and cannot read their diploma.

    • Teacher
      January 14, 2014 - 23:31

      It's 9 weeks off in the summer, it's unpaid, and no we can't apply for EI. Want to sign up?

  • are you kidding me?
    January 14, 2014 - 14:02

    I do hope he isn't serious. MORE PD days? I have no problem with PD, as long as it takes place on March Break, during the summer, or any other day that is a scheduled break for students already. PD should not be at the expense of the already depleted classroom hours. More days off disrupt the rhythm of the students, the families, and I don't think it helps.

    • Me
      January 14, 2014 - 22:59

      You are a moron. Are you aware that in Fort McMurray Alberta, where the nations highest test scores are, they have PD days every Friday afternoon? Perhaps mimicking the winning system is best?

  • Sue
    January 14, 2014 - 13:31

    It wouldn't matter if students attended school year round ,if the results are going to be the same.What is being taught and how effective the teaching methods are implanting those changes will determine the outcome

  • Here Here
    January 14, 2014 - 12:36

    PD days? Get the teachers trained a week earlier at the end of the summer or have the training during March Break. If the training helps do it. Put resources into the classroom. Teachers aids are drastically lacking in numbers and the teachers are required to deal with special needs kids while trying to teach. Can't be done and expect to have good results as well. IT advancements in the classrooms...... what a joke! Electronic whiteboards bought, announcements made, pictures in the paper, never properly hooked up or monitored or maintenanced. Why isn't that in the paper. Teachers speak up! Tell what is wrong so it can be fixed.

  • Fed up
    January 14, 2014 - 12:07

    Wow! Who is Ghiz trying to get votes from now? Teachers? It's a wonder WE ever learned to read and write. OUR teachers never had even ONE PD day!! Someone who has taught for years? They do NOT need more " personal development" .... They are supposed to be worrying about what our CHILDREN need!! Just check spelling and Grammar of our high school students,...never taught properly. Teachers too busy with gym, music, field trips, and numerous PD Days!

    • That Guy From PEI
      January 14, 2014 - 19:23

      If the world had more music and arts both in school system and as employees (France, Quebec,etc) the world might be a better place. What is a problem is ill-informed, uneducated opinions about professionals. Maybe that's where your teachers failed.... In teaching the 'critical thinking' portion of the curriculum.

  • Not surprised
    January 14, 2014 - 11:19

    Read every post and it seems all anyone wants to talk about is PD days and the teachers and how much they work or don't work. Maybe if parents became a bit more accountable for their children's learning, we'd all be better off. You think all of the learning is done in the classroom. Get off your ipad, iphone or chat line and sit down with your kid and help them out.

  • SLIPPY
    January 14, 2014 - 11:09

    I find it hard to imagine our teachers do not already have the ability to teach our children quite well, and I don't think learning the latest "techniques" are going to fix the problem, as long as they do not have the time to implement what they would already like to be doing. Too many children per class makes it difficult to teach what they could already be teaching. Adding a few new tricks, and less time to do them is not going to fix the problem.

    • That Guy From PEI
      January 14, 2014 - 19:26

      And the 'Slippy' is product of proper teaching from back in the day?

    • Slippy
      January 15, 2014 - 08:24

      That guy, So, are you telling me that the teachers, as they are now, can not possibly teach anything to our children? Keep the classrooms overcrowded, but give a few more pd days, that makes more sense. I know teachers who have picked up ideas during a pd day, but no time whatsoever to implement them

    • SLIPPY
      January 15, 2014 - 11:38

      That guy, no where did I state that things were better, "back in the day" my point is that PD days are not the solution to our education problems, any more than just adding new technology is. Whether a teacher uses pencil and paper or tablet to show math equations, if they have too many children in a class to ensure everyone gets it, using the latest fancy pencil is irrelevant.

  • J
    January 14, 2014 - 11:02

    I don't think teachers want more PD days but the PD days they have are necessary to keep up with the ever changing demands of the students as well as new programs. I'm afraid that many people commenting on here haven't been in a classroom for years and have no idea how things have changed in recent years particularly in regards to class make -up. Again, teachers aren't asking for more PD days, it's politicians looking for a quick fix.

  • Tammy
    January 14, 2014 - 10:39

    So more PD days okay if they feel they are benificial for teaching our children than fine but the government needs to seriously revisit the amount of kids in each class. How can the teachers be expected to teach effectively if the classes have too many kids. Hire some more teachers to lower the class sizes. The teachers are overwhelmed by class sizes, in the elementary schools especially. I do my kids homework with them every night. And I do my part to teach my kids as best I can but teachers play a vital role in this. Ask them what they truly need I know they will agree with what I am saying.

  • Lest we forget
    January 14, 2014 - 10:21

    On CBC this fellow and some rich guy are talking big about the HST. Ghiz seems like he is doing really well. Persoanlly. What comfort millions in purloined PNP can provide, eh?

  • That Guy From PEI
    January 14, 2014 - 10:14

    You bunch of crazy people!! Here's some facts, and I really don't care if you read them or not. I'm only commenting this once so listen up... In Finland, the BEST education system in the world, the pay their teachers as much as there doctors and approach education from a holistic sense not "English and Math" Second, maybe I'm crazy, but Teachers learn also and need breaks from teaching 30 kids at a time. Personally, this would drive me completely insane but they do it day after day as the LOWEST paid teachers in Canada. Third, the did not get 2 weeks off at Christmas (that's my math kicking in) It was 8 working days. Now if we compared Teachers to a seasonal jog such as flagging, (because lots of people are jealous that Teachers are not working during summer hours) Would Flagger employees go for training during the Winter for free? I think not. Neither should teachers. Their pay is skimmed throughout the year so they can be paid back that money for the summer. Hmmm, maybe they should stop this practice and just draw EI like everyone else. Thank a Teacher for saving your tax dollars. According to some people, getting every weekend off is almost unheard of. But, it happens... A lot. Teachers are no different. Put more help in classrooms for teachers like EA's and please introduce meditation, more music and art and trades. Put in more resources for kids in Kindergarten and Grade 1,2,3 for all the parents who don't stimulate them enough in the every years. Truth hurts, I know. PD days are essential, but bring world renowned education experts, not Joe blow from wherever. I hear that time and time again. Bring literacy experts, inspire people to learn!! Heres a little tip to save a lot time and money in the school system.... Read to your kid..... Spend less time on your phone...... And help them with their homework.... Heck, even if they don't have any, practice with them. It's not so much loving the building of a boat that is important, it's more of finding a love for the sea. Peace

    • stompintom
      January 14, 2014 - 17:50

      Well said "That guy from PEI"!

  • how it is...
    January 14, 2014 - 10:01

    Why can't they have extra PD days on a Saturday? I'm a salaried employee and I have to work evenings and occasionally come in on weekends. No reason teachers can't... Also, some of us have to work year round...

    • That Guy From PEI
      January 14, 2014 - 19:31

      Really?? So teachers working 90 minutes after school is out, then coming home and working 2-3 hours every night and probably 4 hours on a Sunday afternoon is not good enough for you???? Give me a break or go get a B.eD

  • yolanda
    January 14, 2014 - 09:50

    unfortunately the Premier is once again jumping on a band wagon, - with the added benefit, of course, of securing the votes of a whole profession and their families, --there is method in his madness, --

  • yolanda
    January 14, 2014 - 09:46

    unfortunately the Premier is once again jumping on a band wagon, - with the added benefit, of course, of securing the votes of a whole profession and their families, --there is method in his madness, --

  • Peter Llewellyn
    January 14, 2014 - 09:26

    Wow, Robert Ghiz and Mike Redman have the same position on education ---- Lets look at “Roberts” position today (Using the title Premier would convey taking responsibility) Robert “We are on the right track, but we need to make sure we make evidence-based decisions,” Ghiz said. All of the evidence based tests for the last 10 years are showing we are on the wrong track; so we created our own standard tests based on local “Teacher” input and scoring. These tests are explained on the Dept. of education site and are based on our local curriculum and use the grade “Met standards” which gives no help to make evidence based decisions Robert “You will see improvements in those numbers into the future.” Why, we continue to do the same thing and expect a different result. He uses the word “Numbers” instead of students, what is going to happen to the students already getting a substandard education? Robert “We’ve added three PD days this year. We’re going to add more into the future, because we need to give our teachers the necessary tools.” There are no requirements that PD days be even used to address problems like literacy, numeracy etc. One island school used a PD teacher day for Hot Yoga. Yes hot yoga. The question is what are the PD days going to be used for, how will the results be measured especially since Robert touts evidence based decision making Robert on 2014 “Let’s take advantage of that, let’s educate our kids the best we can, let’s give our businesses the opportunity to grow and thrive and let’s make sure that 150 years from now Canada and Prince Edward Island are in a better situation.” This last quote is the saddest of all “Lets educate our kids THE BEST WE CAN, let’s GIVE OUR BUSINESSES THE OPPORTUNITY TO GROW AND THRIVE” I call the emperor naked. We are not making evidence based decisions within the Dept of education. The evidence actually seems to be pointing to the idea that educators should be removed from the key decision making process of revamping our education on PEI and a third party non education based consultant be brought in to look at the facts on the effectiveness of the education being delivered to our children

  • A Frustrated Islander
    January 14, 2014 - 09:11

    Robert Ghiz should go stick his head back in the sand. Ask any teacher on this Island and they will tell you that they do not want more PD days. More PD days will not solve this problem. This is a societal problem that will not be fixed until all parties involved do their part. We have a generation of entitled, enabled children who do not want to do any work, but want all the rewards. Parents need to start doing their job of parenting at home so teachers can do their job of teaching…and students need to start taking some responsibility as well! Until this happens, all the PD days in the world will change nothing.

  • Patty
    January 14, 2014 - 09:11

    I thought the letter in The Guardian last week spelled out many of our issues. That being that our curriculum should be changed to mimic those provinces that lead in educational outcomes combined with more instructional days. PEI has the shortest school year and the worst results. Folks need to bombard the Dept of Ed with concerns of what is going on here !! These kids are OUR future.....a good education is a solid foundation for any path they are going to choose. Maybe we should look at our set up and pay our teachers year long ( they currently deduct from their 10 month salary to cover the summer ) & place greater expectations on their preparedness for the school year in the time the children are not in school....?

  • A former teacher
    January 14, 2014 - 08:57

    As a former teacher for 32 years who attended every PD day; I sure hope that they have improved drastically, or it is a complete waste of time!!! I felt at the time; along with many other teachers, that my time would have been much better spent in the classroom!!

  • Robert Wood
    January 14, 2014 - 08:47

    This is ridiculous. Why not have PD during the summer? One day each week even??

  • Kathy
    January 14, 2014 - 08:43

    Why can't the teachers do their pd days in the summer when there is no school...what other profession gives you every weekend off,2 weeks at Christmas,March break and all summer..do the pd days then when it isn't such an inconvenience for parents...

    • Mr Man
      January 14, 2014 - 23:57

      I've never heard a more jealous person in my life. You absolutely sicken me to the core. Do you think you could manage a classroom, answer to parents, plan in the evenings, get an undergrad plus an education degree? Show some respect you disgusting excuse for a human.

  • totally nuts
    January 14, 2014 - 08:30

    This is totally nuts. Why can't teachers have all their pd days during their 2 months off through July & August. There was a time no one ever heard of pd days. I am beginning to wonder if extra pd days basically means teachers are not fully qualified to teach when they come out of university.

  • AL
    January 14, 2014 - 08:13

    I can't wait for all the riff-raff to come out of the wood work over this one...all those that feel the school system is their built in babysitter!

  • jermehia
    January 14, 2014 - 08:07

    They have 2 months they can use for all the PD days they want. July and August.

  • Fred T
    January 14, 2014 - 07:39

    Why not have PD days in the Summer? Seriously, I appreciate what teachers do but our kids are falling behind and the solution is for fewer school days? There is no reason whatsoever that teachers can't sacrifice a few extra days of their Summer vacation.

  • A frustrated person
    January 14, 2014 - 07:37

    Robert Ghiz should go stick his head back in the sand. Ask any teacher on this Island and they will tell you that they do not want more PD days. More PD days will not solve this problem. This is a societal problem that will not be fixed until all parties involved do their part. We have a generation of entitled, enabled children who do not want to do any work, but want all the rewards. Parents need to start doing their job of parenting at home so teachers can do their job of teaching…and students need to start taking some responsibility as well! Until this happens, all the PD days in the world will change nothing.

  • therod
    January 14, 2014 - 07:17

    Academic performance down? Solution...give the kids more days out of the classroom! Brilliant idea.

  • cromwell
    January 14, 2014 - 07:03

    Given the large number of 'snow days' that have resulted in school closures, perhaps the teachers could use these as additional PD days. This, of course, assumes that teachers actually make the effort to get to school on these days. Ghiz continues to demonstrate his incompetence. This gem closely on the heels of providing French-language services for 3% of the Island population.

  • peimom
    January 14, 2014 - 07:01

    The teachers should have to do all their "learning days" in the summer! I am a professional and do not get time off work so I can educate myself. I do it on my time off, just like every professional. Why should they have the entire summer off when most of them obviously need these "PD" days. If Rob thinks the teachers need these days so our children will get proper teaching the they should hire teachers that know how to teach with or without PD days! Give me a break...children do bad in school so lets teach the teachers and give the children the day off! I thought that is why they went to university? Give me a break...do the math! It doesn't take a genius to figure this one out....

    • Annoyed
      January 14, 2014 - 09:15

      You guys do realize that teachers don't get paid for xmas, march break and the summer Right!!! They take about 80% of their normal pay each pay period and then the other 20% goes to paying for the extra time off. I wonder how many people would love to be told to go to work and not get paid for it. That is what everyone here is asking the teachers to do. I know most teachers put in way more then the 8 work day most people here complaining do. Maybe, all the complainers should go to school and get the dream teaching job they seem to want.

    • Annoyed
      January 14, 2014 - 10:04

      You guys do realize that teachers don't get paid for xmas, march break and the summer Right!!! They take about 80% of their normal pay each pay period and then the other 20% goes to paying for the extra time off. I wonder how many people would love to be told to go to work and not get paid for it. That is what everyone here is asking the teachers to do. I know most teachers put in way more then the 8 work day most people here complaining do. Maybe, all the complainers should go to school and get the dream teaching job they seem to want.

  • Chris
    January 14, 2014 - 07:00

    This is not rocket science....someone should read Malcom Gladwell's book 'Outliers' to figure out what needs to be done....more PD days sure ain't it! So sad......

  • Fjdbr
    January 14, 2014 - 06:59

    I've talked to a few teachers in Ch'town. Every single one of the, does not want more PD days. They said this actually adds to the problems students have. Please listen to your educators first Mr. Ghiz!

  • self employed parent
    January 14, 2014 - 06:48

    im all for professional development. I have to in my own profession. Only difference is I do it on weekends or miss a days pay to take the course. These days should be in the summer so students don't miss out on crucial instructional time.

  • educator educate yourself
    January 14, 2014 - 06:44

    Seems to me that if I wanted to improve my job performance by re educating myself and keeping up with changes in my field of work - I would be doing it in my own time with my own money. Nice that teachers will get free educational upgrades while being paid regular salary.

  • Donnie
    January 14, 2014 - 06:43

    Well now that we've puckered up to the buttocks of the Teacher's Union at the expense of the children, on with the election!

    • Seriously??
      January 14, 2014 - 10:01

      Ask a teacher...they don't want these PD days.

  • educator educate yourself
    January 14, 2014 - 06:41

    Seems to me that if I wanted to improve my job performance by re educating myself and keeping up with changes in my field of work - I would be doing it in my own time with my own money. Nice that teachers will get free educational upgrades while being paid regular salary.

  • jeez
    January 14, 2014 - 06:36

    Jeez, more PD days? There seems to be enough as it is!! The education system has certainly changed a great deal in the last 10 years or so. From the perspective of the public it is hard to understand how students require more days off. One question I have is why is it these PD days cannot be scheduled in late August or during March break? Other professions do not receive summer vacations or March Breaks!! I know teachers take a lot of the blame which is not fair but its hard to have sympathy for individuals who have pretty much 3 full months off (when you consider xmas vacation, holidays, march break, etc) in the calender year. I recently explained this to a full time teacher on PEI and they responded by indicating its not in their contract to do that. Well, why can't this factor be added to the upcoming contract? I work within the health profession and I do not receive multiple days off for conferences or lectures. If I wish to attend such events, I do so on weekends or evenings.

    • Mr Man
      January 14, 2014 - 23:52

      I think 3 months off per year is the minimum any person should have. What is the point of living if all you do is work?

  • La
    January 14, 2014 - 06:35

    Unbelievable. I don't know, but I knoow many VERY WELL EDUCATED and SMART people who, when we were in school, did not have our educators have PD days. Of the teachers whom I personally know, half of them do not even take part in the full PD days they have now!

    • joe
      January 14, 2014 - 19:32

      *know

  • J
    January 14, 2014 - 06:31

    I don't think teachers need nor want more PD days. What they need is more help in dealing with classroom composition and the materials to do the job properly. New programs are regularly rolled out with great fanfare but often fail to include the resources that go along with the program or when these resources have been exhausted they are not replaced. Recently in a classroom students were using a class set of novels and nearly every book was falling apart, the students were discouraged and unable to follow along. In another situation, teachers from two grade levels were pulled out of the classes for a full day to make materials for use in their classrooms. Necessary program materials need to be regularly updated and replaced for student use in order for students to succeed.

  • vick
    January 14, 2014 - 06:16

    You can have as many PD days as you like...if the class rooms are to big and the teachers can only concentrate on a few than the results speak for themselves! Its all good in Brighton and the new school that was built next door (that St.Jean Kids should be attending) where you only have a handful of kids in each class room but for the rest of where we have 30-37 kids in a class rm is way toomany kids for a teacher to teach! Hae those kidsgetlost in the shuffle teachers hardly know their there!

  • John smith
    January 14, 2014 - 06:00

    Yes we need more PD days, it is really helping our children when they have these days, but the teachers choose not to attend them and go shopping for the day in Moncton. It also helps the parents that need to find child care for the kids for those days. If they want these days, they have a whole summer that they can have these meetings. I have to work all year long why can't the teachers?

  • Jim Shaw
    January 14, 2014 - 05:17

    Ever think that keeping student in a classroom and actually teaching them something might help them learn something?

  • Little Johnny
    January 14, 2014 - 05:13

    The kids are out of the classroom enough as it is and it's not the only problem. Curriculum now, especially for the younger kids, relies on them bringing their work home and their parents doing the teaching. It makes me wonder what they actually do in school. PD days are stressful on parents that have to find child care for those days or take the PD days off work themselves. If we need more PD days, then have the teachers go to school themselves in August and learn to do their jobs (which they obviously didn't do while they were in university). They are at the end of a nice long "tax-payer paid" vacation then, and they should take full advantage of that time instead of wasting everyone else's time throughout the school year.

    • Mr meany
      January 14, 2014 - 23:48

      You are a complete disrespectful idiot. Teachers should be revered like RCMP and firefighters. You sicken me.

  • don
    January 13, 2014 - 22:56

    why not have 2 months of school and 10 months of pd days. the idea of tax payers paying for them to do nothing. and by the scores the teachers are doing just that NOT TEACHING. bring back the one room school house. the kids learned more in a year then they do in 12 years now.

    • Alan
      January 14, 2014 - 07:24

      Don,I know teachers who go their schools on Sunday so they'll be better prepared to to teach your kids.

    • don
      January 14, 2014 - 11:16

      this country was build from one one schools. are you saying it was wrong? and many kids did not go to school and helped build this country. what are they learning today? how to steal,do drugs,lie, drink and become politicians.