Becoming a teacher in Canada
Canadian Schools offering Education Degrees
Teaching is one of the most rewarding jobs in Canada today. However, with limited positions for new graduates this is a line of work where the financial rewards sometimes cannot meet the effort needed to complete the training. Additionally, teachers need to be inspired by their students and love of the work. Without these two motivations, a person will not last long as a teacher.
In order to be a teacher in Canada, there are at least two requirements that an individual must meet.
- A bachelor’s degree in education
- A provincial teacher’s certificate
- A bachelor’s of education in French
The last requirement is very important for those who are intending to teach in the following environments
- French Schools
- French Immersions
However, individuals must contact their province’s certification agency. This is done as there are variations on these essential requirements. Applicants must also get their undergraduate degrees from a school that is accredited by the following organizations.
- Canadian Association for Co-operative Education (http://www.cafce.ca)
- Child Care Education Program Approval Committee of the Manitoba Department of Advanced Education and Training (http://www.gov.mb.ca)
- Ontario College of Teachers (http://www.oct.ca)
- Minister de l’Education, du Loisir et du Sport au Quebec (http://www.gov.mb.ca/)
- Career Times Canada: www.careertimes.ca
A certificate is also required for teaching English as a second language in Canada. A lot of universities offer two-year or one-year programs as a prerequisite to a bachelor’s of education. A bachelor’s of education program typically lasts for four years.
If students want to study concurrent combined degrees, it generally lasts for five years. Common combined degrees include the following.
- Bachelor’s of science (BSc/ BEd)
- Bachelor’s of music (BEd/Bmus)
- Bachelor’s of physical education (BEd/ BPE)
Choosing a Subject / Specialization
Individuals must focus on subjects pertaining to what they want to teach. For instance, taking programs in child psychology is a good move for those who want to teach at the elementary level. At the same time, studying a science subject with fundamentals in kinesiology is ideal for those who want to teach physical education or high school biology.
Apply for a Teaching Program
After finishing an undergraduate program, students can apply to a training program for teachers. This training program typically lasts for one year. It gives students hands-on teaching experience. It also provides the chance for students to network with different school districts.
Learn the Language
It is also important to learn French or English. This holds especially true for immigrants where French or English is not their first language. Remember that proficiency in these two official national languages is a must. At the same time, teachers who want to teach in Quebec must know French. It is also better to achieve bilingual fluency in French and English and even become fluent in a third language. Studying Mandarin or Russian is also a great idea. This is due to the fact that has been significant growth in the Chinese and Russian resident population in Canada.
Students must gain experience to set themselves apart from the competition. This is done by gaining volunteer or work experience. This experience is a great way to supplement academic achievements. Accepting work at a children’s camp during summer time is a great volunteer experience. Additionally, it teaches individuals how to deal with children. This is especially true for teachers who want to teach at an elementary school.
Apply for Certification
Teaching applicants must submit their application for teaching certification to the federal government. Forms can be downloaded on the Internet, and the application process is very simple. Teaching applicants must also request international certification. This requirement only applies to people who are licensed in another country. Foreign applicants must first contact the federal government of Canada. Applicants can apply for teaching certification from their provincial department of education. In most cases, applicants must also provide letters of recommendation along with sample syllabi and their school transcripts.
Apply for Teaching Positions
Applicants should start searching for vacant teaching positions in the school districts where they plan to live and work. They can also increase their job prospects with the help of companies such as Education Canada Network. These companies provide listings of teaching vacancies across Canada. These listings are also updated on a daily basis. It is important to establish contact with various teachers’ unions. This is done in order to stay updated about the benefits and the requirements for membership. At the same time, it also provides access to various networking opportunities.
Keep the Teaching License Current
After obtaining their teaching license, new teachers must maintain it with continuing education. This supplemental education is important for administrative personnel and teachers. This educational program is offered by the Canadian Association of Principals.
Specialization and Titles
After graduation, a student will receive a bachelor’s of education. Additionally, there are several teacher specializations that are available to education students in Canada.
Research Core Subject Specialties
This specialty involves teaching subjects that make up a significant part of every secondary and elementary teaching curriculum. This is the fundamental base of high quality education. These specialties include the following.
- History Teacher
- English Teacher
- Science Teacher
- Math Teacher
- Social Studies Teacher
Special Subjects Specialties
Teachers who are highly trained in this specialty teach unique subjects. These subjects help teachers excite young minds with empathy and self-expression that will help them for years to come.
- Music Teacher
- Art Teacher
- Physical Education Teacher
- Drama Teacher
Pull-Out Class Specialties
Pull-out teachers work with a wide variety of students. These instructors use a fairly streamlined curriculum. This curriculum has a huge impact on their students’ thinking and learning skills. Gifted Education Teacher
- Foreign Language Teacher
- Speech Therapist
- Reading Specialist
- Computer/Technology Teacher