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Teaching in Canada

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by opendoors, Aug 21, 2010.

  1. Am NQT planning to relocate [permanently] to teach in Canada as from January 2011.
    Can anyone help me with info on job prospects for someone with PGCE Primary [QTS] and what is most advisable to apply for Work Permit/residence outside or whilst in Canada?
    Thank you.
  2. I encourage you to do a search on this forum as I have posted several times over the last two years. Things are not good across Canada. Your chances are slim to zero in the short term.
    If you aren't even sure how to apply for a work permit you won't be moving here in January 2011.
    If you have additional questions let me know.
    By the way, most of my info is about BC, but the situation is not much different across Canada.
  3. Apologies, comment about moving here in January may have sounded a bit sharp. Just spent six hours driving back from the the mother-in-laws. Perhaps you have circumstances that you haven't told us about. Still, anyway you look at it the situation is dire.
  4. What holmes said may seem bleak, but unfortunately there's a lot of truth in it. The employment situation for teachers in Canada hasn't been good for some time and, in fact, it seems to be getting worse every day. There's a number of factors for this - declining enrolment, expanded teacher training programs at universities, senior teachers working later into their careers, and government fiscal belt-tightening have all been cited for reasons. Again, Canada is a large country and this will vary slightly with location, but, overall, you'll find this to be true especially in the larger cities and their surrounding areas (ex, Vancouver & Toronto).
    I'm not an immigration expert, but there are a few choices to go about getting permission to work in Canada. You can apply for a skilled worker visa, but this is a time-consuming process. I've heard it can take several years. There is another quicker work permit option, but this requires a job offer and your potential employer (a Canadian school or school district) to submit a labour market opinion (LMO). To get an LMO, your employer will have to advertise your position for a period of time across Canada without having any qualified Canadian apply. Given the high number of unemployed and under-employed teachers in Canada, it's unlikely that this will happen. There might be other options avaibable to you, such as a working holiday visa. I'd check the Citizenship & Immigration Canada web site for more information.
    After getting permission to work in Canada, you'll need to follow these steps to get permssion to teach there:
    1. Choose a province.
    2. Apply to that province's teacher regulating body for assessment of your qualifications. Be prepared to take additional coursework. For example, the BC College of Teachers has the following information on their web site for prospective English PGCE teachers:
    "You will not qualify if you have completed a 1-year teacher education program such as the
    Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE)
    or Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE)
    and no other education coursework.
    Because BC teacher education programs are 1.5 to 2 years in
    you will need to complete some additional courses,
    often 2 one-semester courses, to qualify for a Conditional
    You will then need to complete the remaining coursework
    within the 5-year validity period of the certificate.
    We cannot tell you what courses to take until we have completed
    the evaluation."
    3. Start looking for work.
    It isn't impossible to find a teaching position in Canada but it will require an enormous amount of time, patience, determination, money, hard work and luck!
  5. Ontario and British Columbia are bleak --avoid them. There may be opportunities in Alberta, Quebec, and First Nations communities across the country. The latter present different challenges but can be rewarding and lucrative depending on how remote you go. Primary/Junior offers the fewest opportunities unless you have French, in which case you may have more opportunities in all levels. Special education, ESL and trade qualifications are also in demand but with the number of qualified teachers without permanent full-time work it's still very competitive. Good luck!
  6. I don't mean to sound harsh, but if you think that applying for a work permit from inside OR outside Canada is somehow optional, clearly you have lots of homework to do.
    As for your qualifications, each province has its own rules about teacher certification, so you would need to check out each province (there are ten, plus the territories) separately. Generally, though, to teach in Canada, you'd need five years of uni, in the form of a four-year Bachelor's degree plus at least one year teaching qualification, which your PGCE is, of course, but because of the high practical content of the program, it probably wouldn't be considered equivalent to a second Bachelor's degree, as is the case with most Canadian teaching qualifications.
    And be aware that this is simply the barest minimum. The expectation for Canadian teachers is that they will be VERY highly trained. In many cases you would be competing for jobs against Canadian-trained teachers who have an additional two years uni in the form of M.Ed degrees.
  7. Hello, I'm just reading all the comments & info about teaching in Canada (doesn't look promising for us teachers out there!). I've just qualified with a 2:1 b ed/ BA (hons) primary education degree with QTS which was a 3 year course. My husband & I are looking to relocate to Canada in a few years with our daughter but at the moment we are total novices with it all & wondered if you could offer any advice as it seems you know your stuff! (Do you live out there? sorry to be nosey but thought it would be good to seek advice from someone who's already there!) We have started researching Alberta but we obvioulsy need to do a lot more homework on it all!
  8. Just a quick reply, I maybe able to add more later. The first thing I notice in your post is the lenngth of your course. In most Canadian provinces you must have five years of university. Included in those five years are specific courses that you must have.
    Also, just to let you know, there is no NQT year, the B.Ed. is general three semesters with one being a three month practicum. When you finish your practicum you are good to teach, assuming you can find a job. Also, no one here will know what a 2:1 is. The grading system is completely different here.
    I would start by doing a search of this forum for posts on Canada. There have been many links posted to specific website, mostly for BC. However, you may want to do a Google search for the Calgary Board of Education. My wife and I just both got rejected by them. We both have five years of uni.
  9. I believe it depends on the province you are looking to register with. I think BC accept the UK PGCE at Masters Level but Alberta do not. Then add to the fact that BC and Alberta have a "teaching credentials parity agreement" and that just adds to the confusion.
  10. momentofclarity

    momentofclarity New commenter

    The BC government feels the need to stick its nose into the business of private schools as 85% of them receive funding at the level of 30-50% of per head public school funding for each of their students. This amounts to about $150 million annually. As a result of this the expectation is they employ teachers fully qualified by the provincial standards. A reasonable request if you ask me. I can understand your frustration at not being qualified enough to teach in BC, well actually I don't as I trained in BC and moved to teach in the UK without a single issue of qualification equality.
  11. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    In that case I guess it's fair enough.
    Not sure what you mean by this. Do you mean that your BC qualification was accepted without any issues, or that the UK's esteemed state system wouldn't accept them? At any rate, you could certainly have taught in the UK's independent sector.
  12. David Getling

    David Getling Lead commenter

    Spot on! If the people with the power and money couldn't send their kids to independent schools I think the state system would be radically different.
  13. With a little bit of research you'll discover that it's not strictly as black and white as "You must have five years University education or you cannot teach in Canada". It's more to do with the type of teaching qualification you have earned, whether or not that teaching qualification is University accredited and what province you are looking to register with in Canada. I understand that some provinces require you to enrol at a Canadian University just to do 60 extra credits. Bit of a joke. Some provinces accept the M-Level PGCE as parity with Canadian qualified teachers due to the huge emphasis placed on action research, coursework and dissertation which courses such as GTP, PTTLS etc do not.
    I for one have lived and worked in Canada for 18 months in the past but, amusingly my previous occupation wasn't "highly skilled" enough to apply for skilled-worker immigration. A stand-up comic or baker, however, was. The CNOC is a separate issue.
    I've been teaching now for some years, love the job to pieces and I'l' be back in Canada in a number of years looking for a teaching position.
    I can always, ironically, fall back on my old profession in Canada to earn a living, having used my "experience" as a teacher to emmigrate. Oh, Canada! The land of sweet irony.
  14. Please name the provinces where PGCE courses would be accepted as Masters level. I would be happy to do a bit of research. Pretty sure you are wrong, but always happy to be proved wrong.
    I'm a UK citizen and have been to university in both Canada (two years) and the UK (three years). Frankly, my BA from the UK was a complete joke. In contrast, my B.Ed. in Canada was extemely rigorous and just about the hardest thing I have ever had to do. In terms of quality the two degrees were at opposite ends of the spectrum, although I do concede compairing Middlesex University and the University of British Columbia may not be entirely fair.
    Requiring 'high skilled' immigrants is not a joke, it separates the wheat from the chaff. I qualified to come to Canada with my previous job and now I'm qualified to teach in Canada also.
    David Getling, I can't see your qualifications while I'm posting, but with a BA (BSC?), PGCE and MSC I'm pretty sure you are nearly there (I would think you might have to take another course or two but no more - check www.bcct.ca ).
  15. As far as I'm aware BC and QC will definitely require some additional training whereas the other provinces, so long as you have a PGCE and a BA in a teachable subject that is directly applicable in the Canadian education system will suffice for accreditation. Saskatchewan for example seems fairly straightforward.
    There are also some inter-province agreements in place now that previously were not (e.g. AB<>BC). This should enable teachers accredited in one province to teach in a neighbouring one without having to go through the whole accreditation process again.
    I agree completely with you about the standard of Undergraduate degrees in the UK, they vary wildly! I think it has more to do with whether or not it is an Honours degree and which University awarded the degree... Russell Group degrees are keys that open doors.

  16. Hi everyone!
    This is a very quick question to those in the know! Before I get bogged down with loads of research and getting my hopes up, I wanted to know if anyone could rate my chances in Canada?
    My husband has been offered a transer there with his company, to Ontario which I know is difficult for finding teaching jobs! His company says they will get me a work visa (whether or not I'll be able to teach with it I'm not sure)
    I am a French teacher, degree was 5 1/2 years in Education and French and I passed with a first. The plan is for me to go along and get a job once I'm there if it's at all possible.....
    ....how likely do you think it is?
    Many thanks
  17. I believe you will recieve an open work pemit, enabling you to work for any employer as you are a spouse!
    You will then need to register with the Ontario College of Teachers providing them with all of your lovely paperwork. The guide to do so can be found here:-
    It looks as though you won't have a problem registering at all.
    A Masters-Level (POSTGRADUATE Certificate in Education) PGCE course, as opposed to a PROFESSIONAL Certificate in Education, will suffice in Ontario as the course awards 30-credits towards a further Masters level degree programme. This means if you have this qualification you will not need to return to training and/or education in order to teach.
    As for actually finding a teaching post, I am not familiar with the teaching jobs market in Ontario!
    Best of luck! Let us know how it all goes!
  18. Hi Ska83gbr,
    Thank you very much, that is very encouraging indeed! I'm a little confused about the professional qualifiacation part however! My degree is joint honours in Education and French, both studied for 5 1/2 years with a dissertaion in education plus a diploma in education with distinction......obviously trying to get away without doing any further training!!! I actually did more uni time and professional placement hours than the PGCE course.
    Any advice is gratefully received!
  19. Cardiganlover, it sounds to me that you might have a fighting chance. The only thing that might stop you is the abundance of native French speakers on that side of the country.
    Once again (Ska83gbr), no province in Canada will accept courses take in the fourth year of university as Masters level. They may accept them as applicable courses to attain teaching certification, but nobody will accept them at Masters level. You have yet to provide evidence to the contrary.
    It is quite clear that turning a PGCE into a Masters is just another example of the UK dumbing down it's education system.
  20. Wanderer007

    Wanderer007 New commenter

    ? [​IMG] I'm confused. What's the point you're trying to make? What's your evidence?

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