Being an educator in Ontario is a significant and impactful role, especially for those within the first five years of their teaching careers. The province’s educational system is among the most respected in the world, known for its commitment to equity, inclusivity, and high academic standards. New educators are the torchbearers of these values, shaping future generations’ minds and contributing to society’s betterment.

One of the primary reasons educators must remain in the profession is their profound impact on students. Educators are not just instructors; they are mentors, role models, and often, sources of stability and support for young people. The formative years in education can set the trajectory for a student’s future, influencing their academic achievements, self-esteem, and career aspirations. By remaining in the profession, educators ensure continuity and foster long-term relationships that can significantly enhance student outcomes.

Moreover, educators play a vital role in advocating for and implementing educational reforms. Ontario’s educational landscape continually evolves, with new policies and practices to improve student learning and well-being. Educators are at the forefront of these changes, bringing innovative teaching methods and adapting curricula to meet diverse student needs. Their firsthand experience and feedback are invaluable in shaping effective educational strategies and ensuring that reforms are practical and beneficial.

Despite the numerous challenges faced today—ranging from large class sizes, limited resources, violence in schools and classrooms, and the seeming growing challenges of work-life balance —leaving the profession does not have to be the only resort. ETFO works on behalf of all its members to address these issues with the Ministry on a provincial level. Additionally, many locals in ETFO work ceaselessly to address these issues with school boards across the province. Persistence in teaching contributes to personal and professional growth and upholds the integrity and excellence of Ontario’s educational system. By navigating and overcoming these challenges, educators develop resilience and adaptability, which are essential in fostering a positive and dynamic learning environment.

ETFO outlines Eight Building Blocks for Better Schools. “As the heartbeat of public education, teachers and other education workers play a critical role in helping to shape the system and develop our students to be the very best they can be. Ontario students depend on all of us to protect and build better schools” (Building Better Schools, 2024).

The importance of being an educator in Ontario has a depth and breadth that cannot be overstated. The commitment to staying in the profession amidst challenges is crucial for maintaining high educational standards and nurturing the next generation of learners. Educators are the cornerstone of a thriving society, and their dedication is vital to Ontario’s educational system’s ongoing success and advancement.



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