Professionally SpeakingThe Magazine of the Ontario College of Teachers
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Transition to Teaching 2007

by Frank McIntyre

 Full Article

Emerging employment crisis for new English-language teachers

 Full Article

French-language teachers still in high demand

 Full Article

Induction program helps lucky new teachers

 Full Article

Job market fails new-Canadian teachers

 Full Article


Shaping Our Schools

by Alex Bozikovic

 Full Article

Restoring Justice for Safer Schools

by Melodie McCullough

 Full Article


Governing Ourselves


Transition to Teaching

Job market fails new-Canadian teachers

The College has certified record numbers of internationally educated teachers (IETs) in recent years, but most new teachers who are not originally from Canada face unemployment or significant underemployment.

Despite often substantial teaching experience in other countries, very few IETs find jobs in Ontario school boards in today’s competitive teacher-employment market.

Of the new Canadian teachers responding to the Transition to Teaching survey of IETs who received their first Ontario teaching license in 2006, only one in 12 (eight per cent)  say they were able to find regular teaching jobs in publicly funded Ontario school boards in 2006–07. This compares with two in five Ontario faculty of education graduates of 2006.


It has been a very frustrating year for us. I should have been told from the outset which provinces required teachers, rather than arriving only to find that Ontario has too many teachers and not enough jobs. Why are graduates still being trained here in such large numbers if they can’t find employment here?

Occasional elementary teacher,
10 years teaching experience in England


First-year job outcomes of new-Canadian teachers

Percentage of new teachers unemployed, underemployed and in regular teaching jobs

  new Canadians
in 2006 (%)
graduates in
2006 (%)
could not find teaching job 48 6
underemployed in 2006–07 69 32
found regular job in publicly funded school board in Ontario 8 40

The College’s annual study of new teachers includes surveys of teachers educated internationally and in other provinces. It shows that, although new Canadian teachers educated abroad have little success in gaining entry to the job market in their first year, the employment success rates for Ontarians who complete teacher education abroad and for teachers educated in other provinces are similar to new Ontario graduates.

Despite success in the first step of gaining Ontario recognition of their teaching credentials, most new Canadian teachers have little if any early prospect of re-establishing themselves in their profession in Ontario. In sharp contrast with the first-year employment success of new Ontario faculty of education graduates, here is what new Canadian teachers face in the glutted Ontario teacher employment market:

  • unemployment rates eight times higher than for native-born Canadians
  • double the underemployment rate
  • one-fifth the success in finding teaching jobs.

Independent schools are an important teaching alternative for new Canadian teachers. Two in five (42 per cent) who found regular teaching jobs in the 2006–07 school year say they are employed in private schools.


In my first year of teaching in Ontario, I’m satisfied that at least I have a teaching job. As I’m teaching in a private school my pay is very low as compared to public school teachers.

Independent school math and English teacher,
five years teaching experience in India


French-language school boards and French as a Second Language courses in English-language boards also provide some job opportunities for the small numbers who can teach in French. Most of this group is employed, with almost half in regular teaching jobs. Only one in 20 new Canadian teachers not able to teach in French found regular jobs in Ontario school boards.

Most of these underemployed teachers have years of teaching experience. One in four (26 per cent) have taught for more than 10 years in other jurisdictions. Half (52 per cent) have taught for more than five years. Three in four (77 per cent) bring two or more years of teaching experience. Their teacher education is predominantly in English (72 per cent) or French (three per cent). The frustration of many of these teachers in the face of little recognition of the value of their professional experience is evident in their comments.


I have not started teaching because I have been unable to get employment. Despite my qualifications and years of experience, less qualified and experienced teachers trained here in Canada get employed more easily.

Unemployed secondary teacher,
nine years teaching experience in Jamaica

Transition to Teaching 2007

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