This is the end… for Now
March 2016: I have taken a position at the British School in Alexandria. I start in August and am incredibly excited about the opportunity. It is tinged with sadness that I was unable to find a full time position here in Whitehorse, we have loved living here and are sad to leave. For now know this. If you want a job in Whitehorse, then be bilingual, French immersion is exploding here, be Catholic, be prepared to take a position as a Teaching Assistant, or be very patient. There is a category system for interviews in place that, in my mind, has created a closed system and trying to get off the bottom, category 4, is very difficult. You could be the best teacher in the world and wouldn’t get an interview for 95% of the jobs because you were a category 4 candidate. If you are an immigrant teacher looking for work in Canada then I am afraid that the situation is not much different anywhere in Canada. Alberta has the most promise but with the drop in oil prices that may no longer be the case. Ontario is still over supplied and British Colombia is in a similar position. I can’t speak for the other provinces and territories but I wouldn’t expect the situation to be much different. So good luck. If you come across this information and want more about how to get certified in Canada then please feel free to send me an email and I would be more than happy to share the little knowledge I have.
Back in the Yukon
February 1st 2015: I am now certified to teach in Canada. Hooray! The hard part is now finding a job here in Whitehorse.
Based in Red Deer
It’s now Thanksgiving, October 13th 2014 and I am just about to start what will be the final leg of my certification journey, namely my Teaching Practicum. Pertinent points for people thinking about teaching in Canada (immigrants who are already qualified in their own countries);
- It took 8 months for professional standards to tell me what I needed to do in order to be certified. Can you speed the process up? Well make sure you have all the information they will need. (Here’s the list.)
The Yukon Beckons
Interesting fact. The Yukon is the only provence / territory where you can substitute teach with absolutely no qualifications beyond G12 graduation. If you have a degree then all well and good and certification even better. (Meaning you get paid more.) So here we are, as of January 5th 2014 after an epic drive across the continent, in Whitehorse. Waiting for the good people in Alberta to find the time to process my paperwork.
Teaching in Alberta
After doing a little research and discussing things with my wife we decided that we’d like to live in Alberta. It’s for lots of reasons, but there seems to be jobs to be had, the economy is booming, population is growing and not least it’s a beautiful place. So Alberta Education Authority will be the main player in this quest of mine to return to the classroom. To begin with at least.
On Your Marks…
Returning to the classroom and teaching is going to be a process, I know this. To complicate matters it’s been a while, 14 years give or take since I was last in a classroom full time, further complicated by a qualification obtained in the UK and compounded by the fact we don’t yet reside in Alberta.
If you have immigrated into Canada you will know what a complex procedure that was. Not difficult necessarily but protracted and involved. Unfortunately if you also want to teach in Canada then it’s more of the same I am afraid to report. Not difficult and all the people I have dealt with have been friendly and supportive, but it is complex and the paper work they want is exhaustive. Of course it needs to be – we all want to make sure that the people we entrust with out children’s education are who they say they are and qualified.
Time Line – So far…
So here’s a BIG tip for you. DON’T start this process in the summer. The professional standards team are busy. Very very busy. We decided on this course we are now steering mid May by the time we got to initial applications it was the beginning of July. Alberta wrote to me with required info letter in the third week of August. By the time Alberta had all the information requested from my University and the Department of Education in the UK it was late September. I now have to wait another sixty business days before I find out what’s required for certification.
(This is not an exhaustive list and no doubt changes from person to person – if you head here to Alberta Education Website you will be able to fill your boots with all the information you need.)
- You may need all your certificates from high school and up. In many cases originals are required.
- Official Degree transcripts are required. (If like me you graduated at the dawn of the computer age and your transcripts are on microfiche then you will need to be a little more patient.)
- You will also need course syllabus information for your degree as well as specifics on the supervised teaching component of your course.
- A statement of professional standing is required.
- You will need proof of residency / citizenship which is completed with a Statutory Declaration or the original.
- I also included some references from the schools I taught at. Not asked for but I felt it couldn’t hurt.
Now this can be expedited if you live in travelling distance of Edmonton. Of course being in Collingwood, Ontario means that we’re doing this the old fashioned way, via mail.
Some Interesting facts about teaching in Canada
Every Province and Territory has different criteria for certification. However once you have certification in one province you should be able to work anywhere. At least according to this information.
In Ontario there are 24,000 teachers not working as teachers. So if you want to come to Canada and teach then Ontario is not the place to start.