By Cassandra Oswald
Why aren’t Teachers Getting Jobs?
Ontario teachers might as well be the cast of the next Mission Impossible. Since 2005, the number of teachers relative to the number of jobs available has significantly increased (Ontario College of Teachers, 2012). It has been reported that “two-thirds of new teachers can’t find full-time work” (Nuland, 2011, p. 416). Those who do land teaching jobs are often teaching in private schools or outside of the province or even the country (Nuland, 2011). According to the Ontario College of Teachers (2012), only “one in three of those who did find some employment, secured as much teaching work as they wanted” (p. 3). One of the major reasons for the lack of teaching jobs is that teachers aren’t retiring fast enough to create available positions. In 2008, there were 12,000 new teachers while only 4,700 were retiring (Cain & Paperny, 2013). To see a visual representation of new teachers in comparison to retirees see: http://globalnews.ca/news/378935/increasingly-ontario-graduates-shun-teachers-college/
This is a serious issue. On average students spend 5 years in post-secondary education (4 years undergrad and 1 year teachers college) and a lot of money to become teachers. Should they have to give up their passion to become teachers because it’s not easy to become one at this time? Or should they have to move out of Ontario or Canada in order to pursue their dreams?
Is the Hiring Process Unfair?
The new hiring process makes it even harder for teachers to attain jobs. Regulation 274 forces principals to hire from among the five most senior applicants (Torstar News Service, 2013). This could mean that great new teachers aren’t even being acknowledged while worse teachers are getting the job that perhaps they don’t deserve in comparison. This new regulation has also made it that when teachers switch school boards they lose all seniority (Roshowy, 2013). In my opinion this hiring system does seem unjust; however, the senior applicants have been waiting longer. Is it fairer to hire on a first-come-first serve type basis? What are your thoughts?
Does Higher Education really lead to Employment?
“Students are not choosing to attend universities for the traditional, abstract notion of learning for its own sake; rather, many students are choosing to attend university because they have been led to believe… that a university degree is the ticket for success” (Goff, 2013, p. 102). In the end, universities and colleges are businesses (Cote & Allahar, 2011). When you buy something, you expect to get what you paid for, which would typically be career success in this scenario. It is obvious that students go to teachers college to become teachers, but they aren’t typically achieving that outcome.
According to Cote and Allahar (2011), “Instead of mass education, we have actually been providing mass certification, and the large numbers of certified ‘graduates’ are not enriching the economy or society in ways that might be expected” (p. 181). It is clear that we have a substantial issue regarding not only Ontario teachers colleges, but post-secondary institutions in general across the country. Should we be getting rid of programs that don’t translate into jobs in Canada’s economy? Should we simply choose not to enrol in programs such as Humanities and Social Studies and Teachers College as they don’t typically lead to jobs?
Are there any Solutions?
Although there aren’t many teaching jobs available in Ontario, there are jobs in other parts of the country or the world. If people are willing to travel in order to pursue their passion to teach then by all means they should. According to the Ontario College of Teachers (2012), most teacher graduates are experiencing greater success outside of the province as they experience lower rates of unemployment and underemployment as well as higher rates of attaining fulltime jobs (Ontario College of Teachers, 2012).
Another option that many new teachers are taking is working in private and independent schools (Ontario College of Teachers, 2012). In fact, one in eight of 2011 graduates who secured jobs in Ontario were hired in independent schools. Finally, as most are aware, the government has decided to convert Teachers College into a two-year program rather than one (CBC News, 2013). Also, the number of teacher candidates that colleges can accept has been decreased (CBC News, 2013). Although this too can be seen as unfair, it may offer a potential solution to the growing proportion of unemployed teachers in Ontario.
What are your thoughts?
Cain, P. & Paperny, A. M. (2013, Feb 13). Increasingly, Ontario graduates shun teacher’s college. Global News. Retrieved from http://globalnews.ca/news/378935/increasingly-ontario-graduates-shun-teachers-college/
CBC News. (2013, Jun 13). Ontario to overhaul teachers’ college, halve admissions. CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ontario-to-overhaul-teachers-college-halve-admissions-1.1320533
Côté, J. E., & Allahar, A. L. (2011). Lowering higher education: The rise of corporate universities and the fall of liberal education. Toronto: The University of Toronto Press.
Goff, L. (2013). Quality assurance requirements in Ontario universities: How did we get here? In M. Kompf, & P. Denicolo (Eds.), Critical issues in higher education. Rotterdam: Sense Publishers.
Nuland, S. V. (2011). Teacher education in Canada. Journal of Education for Teaching, 37(4), 409-421.
Ontario College of Teachers (2012). Transition to teaching 2012.
Rushowy, K. (2013, Aug 30). Ontario’s seniority-based teacher hiring rules shut out talented newcomers, critics say. The Star. Retrieved from http://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2013/08/30/ontarios_senioritybased_teacher_hiring_rules_shut_out_talented_newcomers_critics_say.html
Torstar News Service (2013, Feb 20). Regulation 274: Officials say new hiring rule hinders Ontario teacher diversity. Metro News. Retrieved from http://metronews.ca/news/canada/566446/regulation-274-officials-say-new-hiring-rule-hinders-ontario-teacher-diversity/
McIntyre, F. (2013). Transition to teaching. Professionally Speaking. Retrieved from http://professionallyspeaking.oct.ca/march_2013/features/transition.html
Sagan, A. (2013, Nov 15). New Canadian teachers head abroad amid tight job market. CBC News. Retrieved from http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/new-canadian-teachers-head-abroad-amid-tight-job-market-1.2426110
Statistics Canada. (2012). Population aged 25 to 64 with university education and their employment rate, Canada, provinces and territories, and selected OECD countries, 2009. Retrieved from http://www.statcan.gc.ca/pub/81-599-x/2012008/c-g/c-g002-eng.htm
The Canadian Press. (2013, Aug 26). Degree still offers wage premium over high school. Maclean’s.ca. Retrieved from http://oncampus.macleans.ca/education/2013/08/26/students-dont-pick-most-lucrative-fields-cibc-study/
The Youth and Work Blog. (2014). Is teachers college worth It? Nope, here’s the proof. Retrieved from http://www.youthandwork.ca/2013/01/is-teachers-college-worth-it-nope-heres.html