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Too many teachers, too few jobs

Judy McNeil

Ontario teachers’ colleges face a glut of applicants who will graduate into an already over-saturated job market for educators.

Elementary school teachers fare better in getting full-time jobs if they have the added skill of French, science, technology or mathematics. Others are forced to resort to part-time employment.

“The Ontario College of Teachers does a survey each year on the employment of graduates from all of the programs across the province,” said Kathy Broad, elementary program director of teacher education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE). “Their tracking … has indicated that over the last couple of years in particular, there’s less full-time employment for graduates from the program.”

She added, “we are also finding out that many of our teachers are getting long term occasional positions rather than full contract positions to begin their careers.”

Broad added that OISE is not turning potential students away.

At Guelph-Humber, students considering going into teaching are encouraged to be prepared. Early childhood education (ECE) program adviser Mona Frial said “we’ve just told our students to prepare themselves and what they have to do is make sure that they maintain their average and go above and beyond the average they already have. And also pick up the courses that they have recommended to take in order to get into the program.”

First-year ECE student Neha Choudary said “there’s already a lot of confusion about whether I should enter teachers’ college or not. And now it’s kind of more confusing since they are saying that there’s a lot more teachers out there – it gives us a harder chance of getting in as well as more competition.”

Choudary plans to study at York or Ryerson and then go on to teachers’ college.

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