One year ago, the New Brunswick Legislature passed a change to the Education Act that allows teachers to conduct psychological tests. These changes have sparked controversy, as many felt it was risky to assign teachers a role that would typically fall to mental health professionals.
A recruitment process that is just beginning
A year later, no teacher has yet begun conducting Wechsler-Bellevue exams for children, which provides legal changes.
School districts have just begun to recruit resource teachers who will fill these new jobs. For example, in the District Scholar Francophone interest, it is indicated that only three people have been hired, and in the District Scholar Francophone du Nord-West, it is indicated that one person will start in September.
A total of 26 people will be employed in the province, including six in the French language school district.
COVID-19 delayed the process
Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Dominic CardiConfirmed that by December 2021 everything was ready to move forward. Delayed everything except COVID-19.
Delta waves that were a little low, and Omicron that was coming, we decided, we’re going to make sure we don’t take resources from the classroom, we don’t want to disrupt school anymore at a time when it was too hard for everyone.Minister underline Cardi.
It was therefore decided to end the current school year before hiring resource teachers to conduct psychological examinations. These people can already work in the education system. However, to get one of the 26 new positions they must have a postgraduate degree.
More than one year of training is required
Once recruited, 26 resource teachers will be given 15 months training. This training should start next September.
The purpose of the training is to acquaint the teachers with the test Wechsler. It will relate to other types of interventions aimed at underlining the ministry
Promoting student learning.
Teachers will be paid during training. They will be members of the New Brunswick Teachers Federation, like all teachers in the province.
It is therefore expected that the teachers in charge of the psychological test will only assume their responsibilities in 2024.
Teachers assure that they will not replace psychologists
A bill allowing teachers to conduct psychological tests sparked controversy last year. The measure was condemned by the College of Psychologists, as well as unions and opposition parties representing school psychologists.
Teachers assure that they will not take the place of psychologists in school.
We know that there is a shortage of manpower on the side of school psychologists, we do not want to take away the work of psychologists, we do not want to reduce their work, we, the resource teachers who will be given this responsibility. The type of work, it is more in terms of education that they will evaluate and recommend to better help vulnerable children in the classroom.Nathalie Brido explains, President of the Francophone Teachers Association of New Brunswick.
According to him, the role of teachers will be limited.
If they feel that these young people need psychological services, they will be referred to psychologists, so we will not take away their jobs or their work, but rather help young people who are not currently receiving services to move forward. .