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Soon-to-be university grad who wants to teach French - seeking advice on career.

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  • Oct 18th, 2012 12:55 am
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 6, 2012
4 posts
London

Soon-to-be university grad who wants to teach French - seeking advice on career.

So I’m you’re typical undergrad. I’m currently doing a double major in political science and French language and literature. I graduate at the end of the school year (April 2013). Stupidly, I took 2 subjects in school that I’m actually passionate about and enjoy, knowing full well that I may have a tough time finding a job at the end of the day. A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to teach after tons of tutoring and running a summer literacy program, etc. I love teaching, I know I’m good at it, and I apparently have this “in demand” (French) teachable – hah! Don’t worry, I’m fully aware of the job market for teachers right now.

Nevertheless, I’m applying to teacher’s colleges this month (for Sept 2013 entry). I have enough credits to count as a history teachable as well and I would like to teach intermediate. I recently spoke to a secondary school French teacher who advised me against applying for TC or attempting to become a teacher at all – “I know teachers who’ve been on the supply list for 10 years!”, she warned me. And she’s not the only one – internet forums alone are enough to discourage my passion for teaching (well, not quite).

After reading everything from Maclean’s to actual gov’t reports on the availability of French teacher jobs in Ontario, it doesn’t look good and it’s not just hearsay. Yay. Essentially I’m asking for some advice/guiding wisdom as to my future career path. Will the Ontario (specifically French) job market EVER open up? If so, when? When can I expect to get a job in this damn province, where I would like to ideally live the rest of my life (Oh, I’d do BC as well but I know it’s even worse out there). Would ESL certification help me? Should I continue to pursue a French secondary school teaching job anyway and “hope for the best”? Or should I change my career path entirely and go into something else, say, social work (I’m not interested in many other fields of work, to be honest…)? Is it all just a myth, will I land a job a year or two after graduation? *wishful thinking...*

What would a smart university grad do in my position? I mean, I’m willing to go up north or out of the country for 1 school year MAX to teach (I will be getting married in the semi-near future).

Thanks everyone.
5 replies
Jr. Member
User avatar
Oct 6, 2010
168 posts
31 upvotes
Scarborough
I have a friend who was hired straight out of teacher's college last year so it is possible to get a job right out of college. It's just more difficult to do so. I was also hired straight out of teacher's college, but that was six years ago. There's a supply teacher at my school who is now a LTO because she's crazy awesome and we all supported her in getting that LTO position. But I've also heard of people who have been going at it for 5+ years now and they aren't getting any closer to getting a contract position.

My personal opinion is that the job market will open up eventually. It's difficult to predict since it depends on factors outside of any individual's control. Things like enrollment, political climate, graduation rates, the school you're at, etc. People used to say that if you get your ESL or spec ed qualifications, then you'll be more likely to hire. However some boards are now requiring EVERYONE to take those qualifications and a lot of people are also taking them to give them that edge. Neither I nor my friend had those qualifications either when we were hired. I think AQs are more useful for when you're ALREADY hired and the school needs to create a timetable to keep you.

I personally don't feel that comfortable advising you on what to do. Maybe you'll get a job. Maybe you won't. I don't think you would want some random anonymous teacher on an Internet forum telling you what to do anyway. Teaching isn't as secure as it used to be, and even if you do get a position you could get surplused later on. I think what I do feel comfortable saying is that if you're going to go into teaching, you better love it enough to take a risk. Even supply work might be difficult to get these days (with sick days cut in half).

Also a B.Ed isn't just for teaching. You can go into other jobs with a B.Ed so it might be useful to look into what you could do with your degrees should you not get into secondary teaching like you want to.
Jr. Member
Dec 14, 2009
164 posts
127 upvotes
Toronto
A quite important question:

Where in southwestern Ontario are you? Teaching French is still a pretty decent way in. I know a couple of people who graduated teachers college, and within a year were on contracts in the Grand Erie Board.

My wife, who doesn't teach french, got on as an LTO this year, after getting on the supply list last year (half a year after graduating).

In my opinion, the people who have trouble getting in are not networking enough. That's the key....
[OP]
Newbie
Oct 6, 2012
4 posts
London
Hey, thanks for your reply and words of encouragement!.

I'm located in London, but TVDSB isn't even taking teachers for the supply list as of more than a year ago - London, being a university town, is full of over-qualified teachers working at coffee shops. It's quite sad and I've known several teachers personally who have struggled here in London for 5+ years. Jobs in GENERAL are scarce in London. Probably the worst city in Ontario to seek a teaching position.

Personally, I would like to re-locate to either Toronto or Ottawa (preferably Ottawa); however, I don't know how OCDSB is doing, how difficult it is there, whether they're hiring or not, etc. because I don't know anyone that lives there.

If anyone has any information about potential teaching positions for OCDSB or TDSB, please give me an idea! Thanks.
Jr. Member
Dec 14, 2009
164 posts
127 upvotes
Toronto
Go to www.applytoeducation.com and search jobs there. 90% of the boards use that site exclusively to post jobs.
That will give you an idea of all of the jobs that are open to external applicants. Search every few days to get an idea. But I can tell you from experience, Grand Erie, and WRDSB are constantly looking for french teachers. WRDSB has all of their jobs closed to external candidates, except the french jobs... so that alone tells you there's a shortage. Don't know about Toronto or Ottawa.
makgirl wrote: Hey, thanks for your reply and words of encouragement!.

I'm located in London, but TVDSB isn't even taking teachers for the supply list as of more than a year ago - London, being a university town, is full of over-qualified teachers working at coffee shops. It's quite sad and I've known several teachers personally who have struggled here in London for 5+ years. Jobs in GENERAL are scarce in London. Probably the worst city in Ontario to seek a teaching position.

Personally, I would like to re-locate to either Toronto or Ottawa (preferably Ottawa); however, I don't know how OCDSB is doing, how difficult it is there, whether they're hiring or not, etc. because I don't know anyone that lives there.

If anyone has any information about potential teaching positions for OCDSB or TDSB, please give me an idea! Thanks.

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