Ontario Teaching Programs - Asking for Advice and Experience!

May 22, 2020
1 posts
1 upvote

Ontario Teaching Programs - Asking for Advice and Experience!

Hey guys! So in September, I'll be applying to teaching colleges in Ontario for primary levels, and honestly, I'm not sure what to expect, so I was wondering if I could get some insight!
I'm currently at McMaster doing honours history with a minor in English, and my grades are around the B range (varies when talking about best 10 vs most recent 10).
Although these grades aren't particularly competitive, I have a wide history of teaching. I did a coop in a kindergarten classroom way back in grade 11, I worked as a swim instructor for 2.5 years (and was a supervisor at my pool), and I have recently (the past year) been working in an elementary school with preschool to grade ones as an afterschool teacher and camp leader/supervisor.
I've heard that teaching programs have gotten competitive, so honestly, I'm wondering where it is even worth applying to. I'm scared that my grades won't give me very many opportunities.
My three top schools are Queens University, Brock University, and Western University, but I have also been looking into applying at the University of Ottawa, Windsor, Laurier, Trent, and Nippising.
Does anyone have any advice? Where would I likely get accepted to? And which teaching program has the greatest acceptance rates? What is the application process like and when would I likely hear back from each school? Should I apply anywhere else?
Thank you! :)
7 replies
Jul 28, 2017
259 posts
Your grades plus your experience is fine, you'll most likely get accepted to all (or most) of them except OISE. With the introduction of the 2 year program, there's been (rumoured) less applicants as its more of a commitment than a 1 year (8 month) program. I don't think there's really much a difference/distinction between the teachers college programs out there. Queen's is always reputable but I think most people who go to Queens play up the fact that they went to Queen's more than anything. OISE (only masters, though) is probably the best one but also the toughest to get into. The rest is all similar from what I've heard. Some do have shorter programs in the sense that they run through the summer so if you want to graduate 4 months earlier, that could be an option for you.

Application process is generally the same (from what I remember) - you'll have to fill out a questionnaire and some experience based stuff that you would relate to teaching/your passions/reasons why you want to enter the profession.

Oh, and if you know French, you're a shoe in for a job pretty much anywhere in Ontario.
Jan 17, 2018
285 posts
I went to Brock and it looks at experience and when I my B.Ed there it counted for 50% of the admissions requirement. Grades were competitive, and I can't tell you if a B is good enough today to get you in or not. I think my average at the time was 85% or so and that was for history/English for intermediate/senior. I didn't apply to Queens. I got into Western and Nippissing. I got wait listed at UofO and Windsor flat out turned me down. I didn't apply to Toronto schools either.

I will also give you this advice: think about the geographic area that university you are applying to has with their local school district. Niagara around Brock is huge, so you need a car. Same goes with Western. Toronto schools you can use the TTC if you don't have a car. I had a car and my placements weren't that bad. Some of my classmates were driving 1hr each day to their school at the far end of the district.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
3651 posts
My advice is to look for a school that lets you do your practicum teaching in the school board that you eventually want to work in. Where you went to school doesn't matter with respect to hiring. An understanding of and experience with the school board's action plan and vision is what will count in that interview. I'm not sure if things have changed since I got me BEd 10 years ago, but I remember when I was applying, many schools didn't provide placements in my school board. This is by far the most important question to ask when choosing a BEd program - will that school place you in the board that you want to work in? If the answer is no, I'd skip it.

I'd also consider the way that the placement is structured. Different people have different preferences. I went to Lakehead. We had ten weeks in class, five-week placement, winter break, ten weeks in class, March break, five-week placement. I'm sure things have changed now that it's a two-year program, but the way our placement was structured was one-week observation, one week 25% teaching, one week 50% teaching, then 75% then 100%. Having that block really allowed me to get to know the kids and the routines. I've had student teachers from York and OISE and UOIT who will come for one day once a week for a few weeks then for a two-week bock then back to class and I find that it doesn't really give you the best feel of what it's like to be in the classroom. But that's just me and everyone is different.

Beyond that, look at practical things like the cost of housing, travel distance if you're commuting, whether or not the schools have satellite campuses that you need to travel to etc.
Jr. Member
Jan 8, 2010
160 posts
What's the job market like for teaching? I know people who graduated years ago still running from one temporary contract to another.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2013
3651 posts
Brown Thug wrote: What's the job market like for teaching? I know people who graduated years ago still running from one temporary contract to another.
In Ontario, it's getting better. The change to a 2-year BEd program as well as the years of a pretty poor job market seems to have reduced the number of candidates. French is certainly still in high demand. Not sure how useful a couple of anecdotes are, but last year, my school (YRDSB) hired a new permanent contract teacher that graduated in 2016 (no French) and this year we hired a new permanent French teacher who graduated in 2018.

These articles are one or two years old... ... -1.4803517 ... ort-years/ ... s-horizon/
Deal Addict
Mar 6, 2015
1505 posts
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