This section provides updates on licensing and qualification requirements, notification of Council resolutions and reports from various Council committees, including reports on accreditation and discipline matters.
The 2019-20 Ontario school year started well for most recent education graduates. COVID-19, however, knocked thousands of early-career teachers temporarily off their professional tracks when schools had to close in mid-March.
New teachers in 2019 joined a welcoming employment market as the school year began. Improved employment outcomes identified in recent Transition to Teaching annual surveys continued apace. Almost 19 in 20 newly licensed teachers in their first year in the job market in Ontario successfully found teaching jobs. Their six per cent unemployment rate is similar to the previous school year and far below the 16 per cent jobless rate for first-year teachers reported in our 2017 survey.
However, when Ontario schools closed in March 2020, most first-year teachers had not yet secured permanent teaching jobs. More than eight in 10 of them (85 per cent) were still in precarious employment arrangements, and many found themselves with no further teaching assignments or fewer weekly teaching days once physical schooling ended for the school year.
Half of all first-year teachers not in secure permanent teaching contracts in March 2020 — including those with long-term occasional, shorter-term contracts and on daily occasional rosters — say they had no further assignments or had their teaching assignments reduced over the remainder of the school year.
Daily roster occasional teachers suffered the most substantial rate of teaching assignment losses. More than four in five of these first-year teachers (83 per cent) report no further assignments or reduced assignments following school closures. Moreover, almost all of these school-closure-affected daily roster teachers (90 per cent) say they had no more teaching days at all once schools closed.
Although daily roster teaching is significantly less common these days after the first year of teaching careers, eight in 10 second- through fifth-year roster teachers also report they had no further assignments or reduced assignments once schools closed.
Job loss among daily roster teachers was pervasive. It hit English-language, French as a Second Language and French-first-language occasional teachers all across the province. Applying the 2020 survey findings to the full population of graduates in their first five years of teaching, an estimated 5,600 College members had their employment disrupted by Ontario school closings, most having no further teaching assignments whatsoever over the final few months of the school year.
The negative employment impact of school closures is also evident in College member reports of underemployment. For several years, a steadily increasing number of recent graduates reported teaching as much as they wanted to throughout the first school year of their careers. But underemployment jumped to 35 per cent in 2020, from a low of 15 per cent in our 2019 survey.
Although Ontario schools did not continue the employment of thousands of early-career teachers to support virtual teaching roles in the early months of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, the good news is that this employment loss does not appear to have discouraged these early-career Ontario teachers. Almost all teachers affected by school closures (99 per cent of them) report they hope to teach again in the 2020-21 school year.
Varied models of school opening may be in place in school boards across the province in September — conventional regular classroom teaching, continuation of remote learning, and blended versions with virtual online teaching and reduced physical classroom teaching. Early-career teachers who have not yet settled into permanent teaching contracts are eager to teach alongside their colleagues in physical classrooms and in synchronous and asynchronous virtual teaching roles to help ensure Ontario's students receive the best educational opportunity possible in these challenging pandemic times.
A set of bar charts showing numbers of early-teaching careers interrupted by school closures, by the number of teachers per year.
First-year daily roster teachers are 1,424 and first-year long-term occasional / contract teachers are 294.
Second-year daily roster teachers are 940 and second-year long-term occasional / contract teachers are 228.
Third through fifth year daily roster teachers are 2,382 and third through fifth year long-term occasional / contract teachers are 340.
A set of four pie charts showing first-year Ontario education graduates teaching in Ontario by year.
In 2017 16% were unemployed and 25% were underemployed.
In 2018 6% were unemployed and 19% were underemployed.
In 2019 5% were unemployed and 15% were underemployed.
In 2020 6% were unemployed and 35% were underemployed.
Photos: Jamie Parent/photocaptiva and Jean-Claude Legault
The College welcomes Linda Lacroix, OCT, as its new director of Investigations and Hearings. Lacroix is a seasoned educator with 29 years of experience in the education sector, holding diverse leadership positions. Most recently, she was director, French Language Teaching and Learning Branch, at the Ministry of Education.
From 2013 to 2018, Lacroix was the superintendent of education for the Conseil scolaire public du Nord-Est de l'Ontario. During her career, she was a school principal for 15 years and has been and continues to be a member of various provincial committees, networks, as well as community-level ventures.
Lacroix holds a masters in education from the Université d'Ottawa, and a bachelor's degree in education as well as a bachelor of arts from Laurentian University.
The College Council welcomes Todd Lalonde, who was appointed to Council in June 2020 for a two-year term. Lalonde is a supervisor with the City of Cornwall, Infrastructure and Municipal Works Division.
He is an elected trustee and serves as chair of the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario. Lalonde also serves as a regional director for the Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association (OCSTA), elected by fellow trustees from across Eastern Ontario. He chairs OCSTA's Catholic Education and Trustee Enrichment Committee and is a provincial appointee to the St. Lawrence Parks Commission.
Lalonde has served as a board member on the Children's Treatment Centre — Cornwall Ontario, the Family Counselling Centre of Cornwall & United Counties (now Inspire Community Support Services), and the United Way of Stormont, Dundas & Glengarry. He also served as a volunteer for the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada.
Lalonde has a broad educational background from Algonquin College in Ottawa and St. Lawrence College in Cornwall.
The College Council welcomes élaine Legault, who was appointed to Council in May for a two-year term. Legault is a consultant for the Conseil des Organismes Francophones de la Région de Durham (COFRD) and an ardent advocate for Ontario's French community.
Now semi-retired, Legault served 22 years as COFRD's executive director providing French- language services to Durham Region in arts and culture, immigration, employment and family justice.
She served as a trustee of the Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud (now Conseil scolaire catholique MonAvenir) for 10 years, two as board chair, and three years as chair and trustee of the French-language section of Durham Catholic District School Board. She has also been a member of several school parent councils.
Over the years, Legault has been involved with French organizations such as L'Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario (AFO), Réseau Ontario, the Mouvement des Cursillos Francophone du Canada, and has served on committees for the City of Oshawa.
In 2014, she received the Order of La Pléiade from the International Organization of La Francophonie for distinguished service to the ideals of co-operation, friendship and promoting the role of the French language. She is also a recipient of Compagnie des Cents-Associés and Prix Hommage Théâtre Action awards.