Applying to Teach in Ontario

Let’s face it, becoming a teacher in Ontario is not easy. I should know, it took me two times just to get accepted to Teachers College. Ironically, I got accepted to everywhere I applied during second round of applications – even with little change to my qualifications. 

If you’re considering becoming a teacher, or you are already in Teachers College, then you know that becoming a teacher is not just a career choice, it’s a calling.  Here’s a brief blog about my own experiences in answering this calling.

I am currently a Teacher Education Candidate at Wilfrid Laurier.  And yes, I am quite proud of the fact that I am one of 140 students who was accpeted out of the pool of over 2000 applications. I think I’ve got those number correct, but please don’t quote me.

The program itself is not without its challenges. Contrary to “popular” belief, Teachers College is no cake walk (at least not at Laurier). I am in school from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Mondays alone.  There are three practicums: the first one is two weeks, where I teach 25% of the time; practicum two is three weeks long where I teach 50% of the time; and practicum three is 6 weeks long where I teach 100% of the time.  I am also observing in an Elementary school for two days a week for the entire school year.

And after all of this training, I get to graduate into one of the toughest job markets of all time. There are some options, I could teach abroad, which I would actually love to do, but considering I have a husband with a job here and a 1-year-old, it’s not really an option for me. So, I am focusing all of my efforts on getting hired in the Waterloo Region District School Board.  Good luck, right?  I even ran after a principal in the hallways of my school to introduce myself.  Desperate or proactive? I’m hoping he thought proactive.

I am currently – as the blog title says – applying to teach in Ontario.  First, one must apply to the Ontario College of Teachers (OCT), then Apply to Teach, and finally, QECO. I can’t decide if the process is complex, merely time-consuming, or both. For example, police checks and transcripts are required.  I ran out today on my very short lunch to get my police check done and now I’m sending away for University transcripts and re-writing my resume and cover letter.  Not exactly the area one wants to slack in. If I do a poor job with my application, I won’t get hired for the Occasional Teachers pool, meaning I will never get hired for a contract position.  Hmm, maybe I should stop blogging now and get to work?

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