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Teachers: What to do when you can't get on a school board

KickIT

TRIBE Member
My wife got her masters in education 6 years ago and has 5 years experience teaching at a private learning center. Yet, even with this experience she can't even get an interview on a school board. She wants to become a teacher so bad but the reality is sinking in that she may never get on a board.

I want her to start exploring other options but she has no idea which way to go. Other than the retail or service industries, what is a good career path that trained educators can take? Anyone else have the same problem? What did you do?

PS. I don't even know why teacher's colleges are even open. Why would anyone try and get into this job sector these days is beyond me.
 

sk8

TRIBE Member
What boards is she trying for?

My sister got her teaching degree a few years ago - got herself on the supply lists, took some LTE jobs (? I think that's the term) and is now employed permanently. It helped to take the contracts as then she had experience.

I think Toronto is really hard to get into though - she went for the outside and worked in Halton, Peel, etc.

As you know my sister I'm sure you could ask her about her experiences if you want :)

As for other careers - what about adult education or training? Lots of companies hire instructors.
 

Blysspluss

TRIBE Member
Adult education? Could range widely from corporate training of some kind, to basic literacy.

Company I work for even has a posish that takes care of the corp training. It's not open at the moment and would be well below her expectations anyway...but I would think that area can be quite lucrative...and maybe rewarding.

But what do I know? I used to have the desire to become a teacher but never did...so nada.
 

Spinsah

TRIBE Member
After a year home in Canada after completing teacher's college in Australia, my brother moved to the Bahamas to teach at a private school and hasn't looked back. That's probably not an option for your wife!

But my brother is part of the problem where many go to Buffalo or to teacher's colleges abroad to complete their training then seek a job back here. To make matters worse, teacher's are retiring later, and even those that do, can be hired back for x amount of days a year further limiting the options available to newer teacher's. And then, even if things work out, you have to own a car and drive to far reaches of the suburbs or inner suburbs? Not a position I envy.
 

KickIT

TRIBE Member
But my brother is part of the problem where many go to Buffalo or to teacher's colleges abroad to complete their training then seek a job back here.
Hmm my wife got her masters at Medaille College in Buffalo. Do you think that school boards look down on that?
 
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KickIT

TRIBE Member
What boards is she trying for?

My sister got her teaching degree a few years ago - got herself on the supply lists, took some LTE jobs (? I think that's the term) and is now employed permanently. It helped to take the contracts as then she had experience.

I think Toronto is really hard to get into though - she went for the outside and worked in Halton, Peel, etc.

As you know my sister I'm sure you could ask her about her experiences if you want :)

As for other careers - what about adult education or training? Lots of companies hire instructors.
She would take these in a second, but she can't even get an interview. I'm pretty good with resumes and helped her rework it but still nothing.

Teaching adults isn't the same as kids which is her love but probably something she'll look into. I'm guessing you need further training/certification to become a trainer?
 

peko

TRIBE Member
Does your wife have a BA or BSc, plus her B. Ed and a Masters in Ed? Teachers College is a B. Ed is required for working for a school board - plus good standing in the Ontario College of Teachers Home | Ontario College of Teachers (ie. paid membership).

TDSB is cutting almost 300 permanent teaching positions this year - so it's next to impossible to get onto that board right now.

With any school board, she'd have to get onto the supply list first before even being considered for contract positions or full time spots.

Your wife could get a teaching position at a College, no problem with her M. Ed - probably start off on contract work (which pays pretty well) and then put in her time o try to get a full time faculty position.
 

peko

TRIBE Member
Teaching adults isn't the same as kids which is her love but probably something she'll look into. I'm guessing you need further training/certification to become a trainer?
Depends - did she specialize in primary-junior, or junior- high school? Her M. Ed is enough. She could look at doing her Masters in Adult Education through OISE, but if she can sell herself to a College which needs English, Communications, or basic courses in her field then she might be ok.

I belong to http://www.cstd.ca/ , but it's not always necessary to land a training position.
 
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Hi i'm God

TRIBE Member
Hmm my wife got her masters at Medaille College in Buffalo. Do you think that school boards look down on that?
I have a friend who did the same but she got a job fairly quick, not the best of schools but she got a class without having to put up with years of contract/temping.

I would love to go back to school to be a teacher but lol no. I was told if they laid off all teachers of a certain seniority they could all be replaced with new people and still have a surplus.
 

KickIT

TRIBE Member
Does your wife have a BA or BSc, plus her B. Ed and a Masters in Ed? Teachers College is a B. Ed is required for working for a school board - plus good standing in the Ontario College of Teachers Home | Ontario College of Teachers (ie. paid membership).

TDSB is cutting almost 300 permanent teaching positions this year - so it's next to impossible to get onto that board right now.

With any school board, she'd have to get onto the supply list first before even being considered for contract positions or full time spots.

Your wife could get a teaching position at a College, no problem with her M. Ed - probably start off on contract work (which pays pretty well) and then put in her time o try to get a full time faculty position.
Yeah she has her BA, B. Ed and M.Ed and has good standing with the OCT. Just can't get a damn phone call back. I feel so bad for her.
 
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Ho||yw0oD

TRIBE Member
This is becoming an all too common occurrence in Ontario. I have quite a few friends who went on supply lists but they would only rarely get phone calls for work. Why? Primarily due to double dipping pensioners who retired but still want to occasionally teach. The fact that cohort sizes are shrinking in many jurisdictions doesn't help either.

Many people have to juggle current employment with supply opportunities. To be competitive, one needs to be willing to call in sick to work to take the supply spot.

My advice to anyone on a supply list is to make a real, tough decision: accept any supply opportunity in order to eventually get contract full-time teaching (even at risk of losing current employment) or ditch the idea of primary or high school teaching. Contract teachers have, of course, the best shot at getting permanent gigs. Casting a wide net by also targeting under-serviced SBs really helps too.

Love teaching but hate the current BS? Try and get work at a college, either faculty spot or some sort of contract role in an academic service area (e.g. program quality, high school dual-credit programming). From there one can wiggle their way into part-time college teaching, then partial load to eventually full-time.

Full-time college faculty have it really good.
 

lobo

TRIBE Member
I concur that trying to get into the TDSB is going to be next to impossible. She should try all of the boards outside of that district. With more developments popping up outside of Toronto and with more families moving out to them, she has a better chance of finding a position out there.

Like others have said, try and get on as many supply lists as possible. And also be willing to accept *any* position no matter if it doesn't seem to be to your liking. At this stage you just want to get the experience to hopefully get noticed by some principal who would then be willing to hire you full time.

Lobo
 

rubytuesday

TRIBE Member
She should be supplying but also volunteering at a desired school/district and kissing the principal's ass, if you're just a name on a page with so much competition it seems like a losing strategy to get an interview. I know a teacher who moved from BC to ON recently, she just got a 1 year fulltime contract, but to get that she was volunteering at the school, on the supply list (I think), and known to the principal and other teachers via the volunteering for a year or so before that.

College teaching is a possibility but colleges also have crazy surpluses of teaching applications for adjunct work, and adjunct work is unlikely to lead to anything but short contracts. Sorry to be a downer, it certainly doesn't hurt to apply but she will be competing with very well qualified candidates who have experience teaching adults and probably more education, the degree surpluses are across the board.

Has she considered opening her own daycare? I've seen former teachers doing that.
 
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greginhali

TRIBE Member
does your wife speak french or have any specialty that she can get certified to teach?
She needs to get certified in areas of need. French is one, Special Education is another. Try to diversify. Get on all the supply teaching lists.

Also, drop off resumes in person. Meet principals. Shake their hand. If one is interested in her they can help set up the initial interview process.
 

KickIT

TRIBE Member
Even getting on supply lists is proving fruitless unless I'm totally missing something. Is it easy to go on the list or do you need to be interviewed and accepted? Also supply lists are effing tough right now because we have a baby. We'll make due if need be but definitely adds to the headaches.

She left her job at Sylvan and is actively trying to volunteer which is also a pain. She's been waiting 4 weeks to get cleared by the police, so she can even be eligible for volunteer (understandable but still a pain).

So yeah, anyone trying to become a teacher these days... NOT WORTH IT!
 

NemIsis

TRIBE Member
There's more to this than just retirees double-dipping. Class sizes are geeting bigger (and much bigger than they report). I have 36 kids in my class - Grade 8. A friend of mine has 38 - Grade 6. Next year we're looking at class sizes in Grade 7 of 36 minimum (and 40 or more if we get new students (which we always do). While the government is keeping the numbers down in the primary grades, the upper grades are getting slammed.

However, they're already leaning towards larger numbers in the primary grades. They've pretty much indicated the only way they can cover full-day kindergarten in all schools is by raising the numbers in the primary grades.

The writing on the wall started 5 years ago. A few tribers then contacted me asking what the best way to get in was. At that time spec.ed and French were it. This is not true anymore. I'm not saying it couldn't help and may cut the wait, but it isn't the automatic in that it used to be. Too many other graduates are trying the same route.

The old days of occasional teaching and volunteering to make your name known is gone. Bill 247 killed that (Part of Bill 115 brought in this past fall). Now it's all about seniority. I don't necessarily disagree with that (I know a few supply teachers who tried to get permanent positions but couldn't because a principal chose a favourite), but it does negate any opportunity for a graduate to get a permanent position just out of university.

Even on the occasional list you are looking at a 5 year wait (approx), unless you luck out. I have many friends of friends coming up and asking me about positions (Their daughter, son, niece, nephew), and all I can say is.. they need to find a position outside of Ontario (or Northern Ontario). The Boards here are full.

I was thinking of moving to Milton, and talked to a principal about job opportunites (I've been teaching for almost 20 years, and I teach French). She told me to not even bother trying. Even French Immersion is full.

Yes, I agree the universities need to make their students aware of this. One of my former students is the Student President of the University of Toronto. He recently asked me what issues needed to be brought before the Board in regards to employment (as he was having a meeting the next day). One of my recommendations was that students need to be informed of job opportunities in the area they are studying. There is no point in someone spending a fortune in education, only to find no career in the end.

As for friends not being called back as occasionals (someone mentioned that), It's usually because the occasional teacher didn't do a good job. If an occasional teacher does a good job any school will pounce on that person. No offence to your friends, but a good occasional teacher is GOLD. They'd be fending us off. However, occasional teaching is down. With less sick days, most teachers are trying to trudge through. I have 3 very important doctor appointments I scheduled for July (My doctor was not happy). Yes, I know he wants those tests (And they are important, but they can't accommodate me after 4 pm), but with 36 kids.. I know I will need those sick days for when I am sick. Just hoping it will all be ok and I won't regret it.

So, my short answer KickIT, is that your wife needs to look at Community College. That is her best option.
 

Karim

TRIBE Member
Enrollment in teachers colleges are pretty high, but next year they're going to two years for a B.Ed as opposed to the one year it is now. That should curb enrollment a bit.

How about private schools? Are they good to work at?
 

KickIT

TRIBE Member
There's more to this than just retirees double-dipping. Class sizes are geeting bigger (and much bigger than they report). I have 36 kids in my class - Grade 8. A friend of mine has 38 - Grade 6. Next year we're looking at class sizes in Grade 7 of 36 minimum (and 40 or more if we get new students (which we always do). While the government is keeping the numbers down in the primary grades, the upper grades are getting slammed.

However, they're already leaning towards larger numbers in the primary grades. They've pretty much indicated the only way they can cover full-day kindergarten in all schools is by raising the numbers in the primary grades.

The writing on the wall started 5 years ago. A few tribers then contacted me asking what the best way to get in was. At that time spec.ed and French were it. This is not true anymore. I'm not saying it couldn't help and may cut the wait, but it isn't the automatic in that it used to be. Too many other graduates are trying the same route.

The old days of occasional teaching and volunteering to make your name known is gone. Bill 247 killed that (Part of Bill 115 brought in this past fall). Now it's all about seniority. I don't necessarily disagree with that (I know a few supply teachers who tried to get permanent positions but couldn't because a principal chose a favourite), but it does negate any opportunity for a graduate to get a permanent position just out of university.

Even on the occasional list you are looking at a 5 year wait (approx), unless you luck out. I have many friends of friends coming up and asking me about positions (Their daughter, son, niece, nephew), and all I can say is.. they need to find a position outside of Ontario (or Northern Ontario). The Boards here are full.

I was thinking of moving to Milton, and talked to a principal about job opportunites (I've been teaching for almost 20 years, and I teach French). She told me to not even bother trying. Even French Immersion is full.

Yes, I agree the universities need to make their students aware of this. One of my former students is the Student President of the University of Toronto. He recently asked me what issues needed to be brought before the Board in regards to employment (as he was having a meeting the next day). One of my recommendations was that students need to be informed of job opportunities in the area they are studying. There is no point in someone spending a fortune in education, only to find no career in the end.

As for friends not being called back as occasionals (someone mentioned that), It's usually because the occasional teacher didn't do a good job. If an occasional teacher does a good job any school will pounce on that person. No offence to your friends, but a good occasional teacher is GOLD. They'd be fending us off. However, occasional teaching is down. With less sick days, most teachers are trying to trudge through. I have 3 very important doctor appointments I scheduled for July (My doctor was not happy). Yes, I know he wants those tests (And they are important, but they can't accommodate me after 4 pm), but with 36 kids.. I know I will need those sick days for when I am sick. Just hoping it will all be ok and I won't regret it.

So, my short answer KickIT, is that your wife needs to look at Community College. That is her best option.
Very sobering. Thanks for telling it how it is. Didn't the McGuinty Liberals mandate that classrooms could not be over 32 kids or something? What happend to that?
 
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acheron

TRIBE Member
what about boards elsewhere in Ontario? This may be one of those situations where if there simply isn't work in the GTA, you have to move to where the work is. this might seem "unacceptable" but it might be best option available.
 

lobo

TRIBE Member
It seems like that was something for only the lower primary grades. Sucks how the media or the government never tell us those little details.

Thanks for all that info Nemesis.

Lobo
 

lobo

TRIBE Member
what about boards elsewhere in Ontario? This may be one of those situations where if there simply isn't work in the GTA, you have to move to where the work is. this might seem "unacceptable" but it might be best option available.
I asked the wife this yesterday (she works for the TDSB) and she said that none of the boards are really hiring. There's a general decline in enrollment across all boards which means less kids to have to teach which means less positions to offer. Of course there are pockets in all of the boards' areas where it's booming but for the most of it there just aren't enough kids attending school in the primary grades (at least). Get people to have more kids. lol

Lobo
 

KickIT

TRIBE Member
I remember reading somewhere that there'll be a dip in enrollment until 2017 or so then it should bounce back. Probably has to do with the boomer gap and the fact that people generally shifted their child bearing years to their 30s.
 

mandapanda

TRIBE Member
my nephew got a contract basically right out of teacher's college at his old high school. i think it helped that he was friends with some of the teachers who got him an in. also, they knew him, i guess. his wife has now finally got on the supply teacher's list after a year of EA'ing and applying to everything and anything. she's said she's been getting no shortage of supply positions. they live in ayr (outside of cambridge), so not sure which school board that is, but my nephew teaches in cambridge and his wife is not having to travel far to her supply gigs. maybe they're both lucky, i don't know.

then on the opposite side of the spectrum, my bestie graduated from teacher's college a year ago and has been volunteering at a few different schools just to get her name known and get experience, but hasn't been able to get on a supply list. apparently peel is the only board that's hiring?

my roommate teaches french and said that was a huge help in her getting a job on the TDSB. but that was a few years ago.

i'm not a teacher, so i don't know anything, but in any case, it sounds like a tough, tough world out there to find a teaching job. which is a shame.
 
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