Those that mold the minds of future generations are being recognized this week as part of teacher and staff appreciation week. 

President of the Saskatchewan Teachers Federation Samantha Becotte explains that this year's theme is Champions of Learning. 

Becotte reflects on the attitudes of educators since returning to in-person teaching following the hiatus during the pandemic. 

"I know teachers are really happy to be back in the classrooms and seeing students re-engaging in their education, reengaging in extracurricular activities and just building those connections between the school, students, and family."

While it is a week to recognize and honor it is also a time to discuss the struggles teachers and staff continue to face in the education sector. 

Becotte provides some insight into the impact of these struggles. 

"I had a conversation with a teacher recently who said that it's keeping them up at night that they can't meet the needs of all their students and some of them are being left behind and it takes the joy away from our jobs. So, some teachers leave the profession because of it because it is too much stress and too much to manage."

She adds that unfortunately there are fewer supports in schools now and it is more falling on the teachers to help the students be successful. In addition, she adds that she would like to see the government make a larger investment in children to ensure that school boards have the resources to provide all of the necessary professional support. 

School boards themselves continue to be under strain as many have spoken publicly about the lack of funds coming into the divisions in order to properly support and resource classrooms so students can be successful, according to Becotte. 

Despite the current and ongoing struggles, Becotte says they continue to see many students leaving high school and wanting to go into teaching which she adds is a testament to the work teachers do in their schools every day, building those relationships and fostering the goals of students to dream what they can be.

We are coming into the provincial collective bargaining says Becotte. While we have not yet finalized a proposal it is likely that teachers will be looking for an increase in salary. 

Becotte adds that we need to ensure classrooms are fully supported, not just so students can be successful but so teachers can manage the workload and be successful as well.