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Editor's Voice | Teaching in Canada? Good luck!

Becoming a teacher when you're all grown up used to be the ultimate plan. It seemed like the ideal career once you realized you just couldn't pull off those A++ marks in every subject.

With summer holidays, Christmas break, March break, and a handful of other days off, who wouldn't want that job?

Clearly more people than this country's job market could anticipate.

According to Ontario's Ministry of Education, around 9,000 teachers per year have been graduating in Ontario despite the fact that only about 6,000 teachers are needed annually.

As a result, last month the Ministry of Education and the Ontario College of Teachers announced they would be extending their education program as well as cutting admissions by 50 per cent as a way of combating the surplus of new teachers graduating with no full-time job in sight.

Beginning in 2015, undergrads wishing to attend teacher's college in that province will need to complete four semesters, up from two, and a minimum 80-day placement, up from 40.

Though Ontario is the only province to implement these measures, it is not the only province experiencing an excess in teachers. According to the Government of Canada's career outlook report, British Columbia, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia are three more provinces that cite limited chances of finding employment as an elementary school, kindergarten, or secondary school teacher.

They say, recent graduates can expect to start their teaching careers working in casual on-call positions or as maternity leave replacements before moving on to regular full-time work.

What does this mean for new education graduates then?

Basically, you're going to be waiting for more of the country's aging population to retire if you are set on finding a full-time teaching job in any of these provinces any time soon.

Connections, connections, connections

The 2012 Transition to Teaching study found that the interview is the most important factor considered when landing that teaching job. Procuring that interview, however, is a whole other story.

Your network, references, and connections are the driving factors that determine whether you will even be considered for an interview now.

So start talking to your placement supervisors, principles, and friends and family in the business to spread your name and incredible talents at grading papers!

Plan B

Another option to consider, if you're willing to travel, would be turning to teaching in different countries where English instructors are sought after. Many new graduates are choosing this option to both gain experience and explore a country they may never have visited before.

According to the International Teaching English as a Foreign Language Academy, over 100,000 English teaching positions open up every year in a variety of countries around the world. In China and South Korea, approximately 1,000 new English teachers are hired every month!

Travelling to remote locations in Canada can also help your cause. Northern communities are crying out for qualified teachers, and living in many northern locales qualifies you for northern resident deductions.

You can also increase your chances of getting hired by specializing in one or more specific subjects. Though many provinces across Canada have limited spaces available to fill with new teachers, ones with a specialization in math, French immersion, or science are more likely to find employment as those are subjects not many teachers have the appropriate qualifications.

Finally, volunteering and doing everything you can to get noticed in different schools and school boards can only help in your mission to find that sought-after, full-time teaching position.


Jamie Bertolini is the web editor intern for jobpostings.ca and contributor for Jobpostings Magazine. In her spare time, this media studies and journalism graduate enjoys puttering around her vegetable garden, swimming and scuba-diving the frigid lakes of Ontario, and walking her family pug. Check her out on Twitter @jcbertolini.