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Teacher's College questions

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  • Feb 3rd, 2009 12:22 pm
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Teacher's College questions

I've been lurking these threads for some time, reading up on careers and what people have to say about their careers. I'm in my second year of three with an English degree and a minor in Political Science at Mac. I want to go into teaching (grade 7-10 [intermediate]), and I am available to work anywhere in Canada (I've lived in 4 provinces so I have friends everywhere). I volunteer as a Big Brother, am a lifeguard (qualified to teach kids to swim [if this means anything]), etc etc and I deal with kids all the time. What should I do to apply to teacher's college and where should I apply too, do I need a particular GPA, should I volunteer somewhere else, should I teach overseas first, what process do I take? Thanks everyone for your help, and if you need more details I will fill you all in!
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Sep 13, 2005
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I think English is a tough field to get into as most people that have a Arts degree go to teaching as their backup. Not sure about ON but in NS teachables like English is hard to get a BEd with since the universities don't want too many English teachers. You should have a couple of other more teachables as backup.
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Jan 18, 2009
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I am a teacher in BC and been teaching for the past 5 yrs..

GPA and academic requirements vary from university to university.. So you should check out which schools you may be interested in and what you have to do to apply for their teaching programs..

But in general, from what it sounds like, you already have some experience working with children in the realm of teaching.. However, your experience is considered "secondary". As part of the application process for most teaching programs, they will consider what you have done in a teaching setting. Meaning, you will need to find some volunteer work teaching in a classroom setting. If you go to your old HS, I am sure your old teachers may be willing to have you in their classroom to observe and/or help teach a class. Coaching a sport at a school is also consider a huge asset because it's a 'teachable' experience.

Now doing all the above won't gurantee your acceptance into a teaching program since most teaching programs are very competitive. Even more so for you since your teachable subject is English.

I had a math major, minors in curriculum & instruction and learning disabilities (double minor), over 8 yrs coaching experience, 3 yrs classroom (volunteer) teaching experience, swimming instructor, ... and a 3.2 GPA.
I thought I was a cinch to get in, but I barely just got into my program.

During my program, there were 32 spots (8 english, 8 science, 8 socials, 4 math, 4 languages)

There were about 100+ applicants for english, about 60 science (bio, chem, physics), 100+ for socials, and 30 for math, 15 or so for languages)

The people who got in for English, three of the people had master degrees and about two of them had an honours degree. Another person was taken because she had a double major in english/history and minored in French. The rest had kick ass GPAs and experience..

Mind you, this was my program and it was competitive because the teaching program was well known and highly regarded. But there are easier teaching programs which accepts student on mass..

Overseas experience also help.. in general, any experience in teaching in a classroom environment is what considered first.

Hope this helps.. Good luck..
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Dec 1, 2007
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I am a teacher in the GTA. So my advice is for Ontario only.

First you'll need to decide if you are qualifying for Junior - Intermediate or Intermediate - Senior as you'll train for 2 divisions. If you want high school I would recommend doing I/S as it will make you more versatile and that can be important when are job hunting. The requirements are stricter to get in (more university courses required) and you would need two teachables (something other than English). You also would have better options for moving up the pay grid. I can't speak for elementary school positions (grades 7-8) though again you are limited to grades 4-8 in elementary schools with a J/I qualification. Unless you can find a junior high or middle school which in my board do not exist but they do in Toronto.

To get in to most Education faculties in Ontario you need at least a high 70s or B+ average and significant experience with the age range you want to work with. I was told the equivalent of one afternoon a week for 3 years. Classroom experience is preferred we have lots of university students coming in to my school to volunteer. When I applied to faculties they told me that they did not have quotas for teachables, that they only took the best applicants regardless. Take that as you will.

Unfortunately there is a glut of qualified teachers in Ontario and few positions at the moment. Most people have to supply teach for a few years before they find a permanent position, sometimes longer to find a permanent position in their preferred subject area.

So it is a bit of an unstable ride for the first while, just be prepared for that in Ontario right now. I read the professional message boards here and there are a lot of frustrated people from excellent educational and professional backgrounds who thought they could jump careers quickly and easily and this is simply not so right now. If you are game to make a go of it anyway and are determined, it is a very rewarding career :) I count myself lucky to be doing what I do at an amazing school with amazing students.
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JaaK wrote:

During my program, there were 32 spots (8 english, 8 science, 8 socials, 4 math, 4 languages)

There were about 100+ applicants for english, about 60 science (bio, chem, physics), 100+ for socials, and 30 for math, 15 or so for languages)
I knew it was beneficial to have a lot of teachables but English majors have tough competition. No wonder a friend of mine with three teachables without a lick of experience got into a BEd program. She had math, chemistry and fully bilingual (so french too)!! Onthe other hand another friend that had math and chemistry as their teachable was rejected the first year he applied. He got in the second time around.
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Also you said your doing a three year program in order to teach intermediate/senior you will need to have an honors degree to qualify. Like others have stated you should get some experience in a school setting. I didn't get in the first time I applied but got accepted the year after. I'm currently in my second year for concurrent education.
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rapsrealm wrote: Also you said your doing a three year program in order to teach intermediate/senior you will need to have an honors degree to qualify. Like others have stated you should get some experience in a school setting. I didn't get in the first time I applied but got accepted the year after. I'm currently in my second year for concurrent education.
do you have too? it seems other schools in BC and MB don't require an Honors degree for application to Teachers College.
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rapsrealm wrote: Also you said your doing a three year program in order to teach intermediate/senior you will need to have an honors degree to qualify. Like others have stated you should get some experience in a school setting. I didn't get in the first time I applied but got accepted the year after. I'm currently in my second year for concurrent education.
false.

this is why seeking advice on the internet for schooling is a bad move, only believe what actual admissions officials and or their websites say.. i suggest going to your career services office, or visit post-grad fairs at your school.

three year degrees are accepted at many teachers colleges in ontario. having a three year degree will simply start you at a slightly lower pay grade.
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setell wrote: I knew it was beneficial to have a lot of teachables but English majors have tough competition. No wonder a friend of mine with three teachables without a lick of experience got into a BEd program. She had math, chemistry and fully bilingual (so french too)!! Onthe other hand another friend that had math and chemistry as their teachable was rejected the first year he applied. He got in the second time around.
French is one of the areas where they actually need teachers. If you have French qualifications, you should get a job after graduating without difficulty. For some other areas, it isn't easy now to land a full time job after finishing school.
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tcharged wrote: do you have too? it seems other schools in BC and MB don't require an Honors degree for application to Teachers College.
Again, info for Ontario and specifically GTA.

In Ontario it is not required for I/S (that is grades 9-12) qualifications. There are the legal requirements, and then the requirements that result from competition and a glut of qualified people which affect universities in the area as well as jobs and pay scales. Of course the best advice I ever received prior to entering to do my B. Ed. was from a career counsellor in university who told me all about how teachers are paid and about how you advance with AQ courses. I wanted to be able to teach grade 11 and 12 courses in science. It is easier to qualify for senior teachables if you have the equivalent of an honours degree because to get your license you must have a certain number of uni level courses in those subjects. To get your honours specialist (for grade 12 courses) you need 9 full uni courses, or 18 half courses in your main subject area. Again it really depends on what you want to do, and where you want your career to go.

Of course you can qualify for J/I but this qualifies you for grades 4-10. That means if you teach in a high school setting you are qualified for only 2 grades which not only means it will be more difficult to advance (pay wise), but you will not be qualified for grade 11 and 12 courses or to become a subject specialist (which means higher pay but also requires 9 full courses in your subject area). Before someone objects to this statement, I am not talking about exceptions that sometimes happen in schools, I am only talking about official policies here and how you legally enter in to the honours spec program. You CAN upgrade the qualification, however a lot of people once they're working don't want to take uni courses. This is merely from observation of my colleagues.

It is a bit annoying because you must first qualify to the B. Ed. faculties (and they have their own requirements often in the GTA that means an honours degree for I/S programs) and then you must qualify with the OCT for your license. The OCT have the final say on your license and qualifications so you are best to check with them about stuff even if you've checked with the university. This is especially true since there are more options in the GTA with American and Australian universities offering programs here. And lastly you must submit your qualifications to OSSTF (for secondary public) and they will rate your education for pay purposes.

In the end check out the requirements (OUAC has some really good info about programs in ontario and links to all the public faculties with their requirements) and then also check with the OCT to make sure that you don't run in to problems when you graduate.

Do your research! Call the OCT, go to info sessions with universities. It is not just about getting in and working, but also about thinking about where you want your career to go in the Education field and having a plan. I just helped a friend through this process and it can be really time consuming and require a lot of forethought.
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Dec 27, 2008
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crystalsunrise wrote: Again, info for Ontario and specifically GTA.

In Ontario it is not required for I/S (that is grades 9-12) qualifications. There are the legal requirements, and then the requirements that result from competition and a glut of qualified people which affect universities in the area as well as jobs and pay scales. Of course the best advice I ever received prior to entering to do my B. Ed. was from a career counsellor in university who told me all about how teachers are paid and about how you advance with AQ courses. I wanted to be able to teach grade 11 and 12 courses in science. It is easier to qualify for senior teachables if you have the equivalent of an honours degree because to get your license you must have a certain number of uni level courses in those subjects. To get your honours specialist (for grade 12 courses) you need 9 full uni courses, or 18 half courses in your main subject area. Again it really depends on what you want to do, and where you want your career to go.

Of course you can qualify for J/I but this qualifies you for grades 4-10. That means if you teach in a high school setting you are qualified for only 2 grades which not only means it will be more difficult to advance (pay wise), but you will not be qualified for grade 11 and 12 courses or to become a subject specialist (which means higher pay but also requires 9 full courses in your subject area). Before someone objects to this statement, I am not talking about exceptions that sometimes happen in schools, I am only talking about official policies here and how you legally enter in to the honours spec program. You CAN upgrade the qualification, however a lot of people once they're working don't want to take uni courses. This is merely from observation of my colleagues.

It is a bit annoying because you must first qualify to the B. Ed. faculties (and they have their own requirements often in the GTA that means an honours degree for I/S programs) and then you must qualify with the OCT for your license. The OCT have the final say on your license and qualifications so you are best to check with them about stuff even if you've checked with the university. This is especially true since there are more options in the GTA with American and Australian universities offering programs here. And lastly you must submit your qualifications to OSSTF (for secondary public) and they will rate your education for pay purposes.

In the end check out the requirements (OUAC has some really good info about programs in ontario and links to all the public faculties with their requirements) and then also check with the OCT to make sure that you don't run in to problems when you graduate.

Do your research! Call the OCT, go to info sessions with universities. It is not just about getting in and working, but also about thinking about where you want your career to go in the Education field and having a plan. I just helped a friend through this process and it can be really time consuming and require a lot of forethought.

a very good advice.
thank you
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So the very best thing for me to do would be to start volunteering at a highschool, in addition to becoming a Big Brother, and in addition to my 3 year degree? Should i take French again? i did up to grade 10 French in highschool. And an honors degree in English is recommended versus a normal Bachelors degree? Its an extra 5-6k a year for that.
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Dec 1, 2007
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An honours degree will make getting in to a faculty of education easier, especially for I/S programs. An honours degree will start you higher on the pay grid and help you get a job faster.

For example, someone without an honours degree, even if they make it through with a B. Ed. and do the I/S program, will most likely start out in what we call category 2 whereas with an honours degree and good marks (yes they look at this) you could be placed in category 3. The advice I was given was to get as much as I could to qualify for the highest category before graduating so that I would have to take fewer uni courses once I started working. There are qualifications you need for each category.

There is approximately a $3000 difference per year between each category. There are 4 categories in total. And experience levels for each. Each AQ course you take after you start teaching (instead of your uni courses) which can be counted towards upgrading is $850. So your first year alone of teaching, if you do what you need to to get in to category 3 (honours degree, 2 teachables, I/S and a B plus average) will get you $3000 more in pay. You also can upgrade faster to category 4 and take fewer upgrading courses to get to the maximum pay. This is what I meant by forethought and planning. I just finished this process this past September and am now teaching senior level courses.

Here is the link to the pay grid for York Region: http://www.osstf.on.ca/Default.aspx?DN= ... ,Documents

Here are the rules for category ratings:

http://osstf.on.ca/Default.aspx?DN=f47d ... fb6c76ef06
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crystalsunrise wrote: An honours degree will make getting in to a faculty of education easier, especially for I/S programs. An honours degree will start you higher on the pay grid and help you get a job faster.

For example, someone without an honours degree, even if they make it through with a B. Ed. and do the I/S program, will most likely start out in what we call category 2 whereas with an honours degree and good marks (yes they look at this) you could be placed in category 3. The advice I was given was to get as much as I could to qualify for the highest category before graduating so that I would have to take fewer uni courses once I started working. There are qualifications you need for each category.

There is approximately a $3000 difference per year between each category. There are 4 categories in total. And experience levels for each. Each AQ course you take after you start teaching (instead of your uni courses) which can be counted towards upgrading is $850. So your first year alone of teaching, if you do what you need to to get in to category 3 (honours degree, 2 teachables, I/S and a B plus average) will get you $3000 more in pay. You also can upgrade faster to category 4 and take fewer upgrading courses to get to the maximum pay. This is what I meant by forethought and planning. I just finished this process this past September and am now teaching senior level courses.

Here is the link to the pay grid for York Region: http://www.osstf.on.ca/Default.aspx?DN= ... ,Documents

Here are the rules for category ratings:

http://osstf.on.ca/Default.aspx?DN=f47d ... fb6c76ef06
Is it a good idea to apply for volunteer work at a local highschool? Would this help on my resume?
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Volunteering would definitely help your resume. It will also give you contacts within the system.
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EnGros wrote: false.

this is why seeking advice on the internet for schooling is a bad move, only believe what actual admissions officials and or their websites say.. i suggest going to your career services office, or visit post-grad fairs at your school.

three year degrees are accepted at many teachers colleges in ontario. having a three year degree will simply start you at a slightly lower pay grade.
I guess it depends on which school you go to but this is from York's website:

Applicants to the Intermediate/Senior certification level must be completing or have completed a four-year
degree.


Also from Western:

Preference will be given to graduates who have attained four-year degrees or 20 full (or equivalent) credits.

I agree with the poster who said that you should talk to the faculties themselves but you also got to understand that the requirements that are placed on the website are the MINIMUM requirements for them to even look at your application. An example I can give you is when I applied for concurrent education at York the minimum GPA was a C+ but in reality no one gets in with a C+ average unless your the person that has some crazy experience that really sets you apart from everyone.
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rapsrealm wrote: I guess it depends on which school you go to but this is from York's website:

Applicants to the Intermediate/Senior certification level must be completing or have completed a four-year
degree.


Also from Western:

Preference will be given to graduates who have attained four-year degrees or 20 full (or equivalent) credits.

I agree with the poster who said that you should talk to the faculties themselves but you also got to understand that the requirements that are placed on the website are the MINIMUM requirements for them to even look at your application. An example I can give you is when I applied for concurrent education at York the minimum GPA was a C+ but in reality no one gets in with a C+ average unless your the person that has some crazy experience that really sets you apart from everyone.
This is also a key point for getting a job. When I applied to get a contract position it was originally for an intermediate (grade 9-10) position. I competed against other applicants who were J-I as in they could teach up to grade 10. However, the principal chose me because I had the senior qualifications and thus could be more flexible within the school. (She actually did tell me that about a year later). I now teach senior biology as well as 9 and 10. Minimum qualifications are always a disadvantage in competition. One year may seem like a lot, but the in the big picture of a 30 year career it really isn't a huge time or money investment.
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But it is necessary to get a Bachelors of Education before applying to teacher's college?
It says you have to "have successfully completed a one-year acceptable teacher education program"
doesn't colleges offer a one year program for teacher's education?? What colleges/schools/universities would offer this?
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tcharged wrote: But it is necessary to get a Bachelors of Education before applying to teacher's college?
It says you have to "have successfully completed a one-year acceptable teacher education program"
doesn't colleges offer a one year program for teacher's education?? What colleges/schools/universities would offer this?
The term "teacher's college" is a term that refers to getting your Bachelor of Education which is a 1-2 year program offered at many universities after you have completed your main degree or in some cases at the same time as you complete your main degree.
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crystalsunrise wrote: The term "teacher's college" is a term that refers to getting your Bachelor of Education which is a 1-2 year program offered at many universities after you have completed your main degree or in some cases at the same time as you complete your main degree.
oh, so no colleges offer any type of teacher education, i see.

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