A new TV ad illustrating how the classroom has changed and how teachers are responding to new challenges is now being produced by the P.E.I. Teachers' Federation.

The campaign, which also includes a radio and print ad, is intended to give the public a realistic look at today's classrooms.

"Students learn at different rates and they need different materials to support their learning so it's a bit of a juggling act," said teacher Colleen Taylor-MacMillan.

Colleen Taylor-MacMillan - custom

Teaching is more of a juggling act than ever before, says teacher Colleen Taylor-MacMillan. (CBC)

The curriculum has changed dramatically, even in the past five years, said the federation.

Now teachers are expected to give one-on-one attention to students who need extra help, those who are advanced and those with special needs.

"There's a lot of individual attention given to the students, and that's changed a bit of the way that teachers are conducting their business in their classrooms," said Gilles Arsenault, federation president.

Teachers also have more work than ever after the bell rings, he said.

Support 'crucial'

"A lot of work has to be done outside of school hours now, and I think there's a lot more when you're dealing with individual students in your classroom. There's a lot more paper trail, there's a lot more on the accountability side for teachers," Arsenault said.

"It is very different in today's society and students are facing different challenges and I think that when you're looking at the school system, you need to be educating the public and having the public support as well."

That support is crucial, said Taylor-MacMillan.

Gilles Arsenault - custom

Teachers are doing a lot of work outside of school hours, says Gilles Arsenault, president of the P.E.I. Teachers' Federation. (CBC)

"You know, it feels good to go and teach and to feel that our community is behind you and we're all working together for our students," she said.

The campaign comes at a challenging time.

Last year the province cut 40 teaching positions. And parents and principals have voiced concerns over large class sizes.

The campaign is not a response to those concerns, but is a way to show the public the challenges teachers face daily, said the federation.

The campaign will air at the end of the month.