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June 1999

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Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Steady Now, There is a Site for Teachers

 By Brad Ross

By now, most in the profession – and many outside of it – are aware of a teacher shortage. And things aren’t expected to get better soon, as the College estimates that almost 50 per cent of teachers in Ontario will be retiring in the next 10 years.

So, yes, there are jobs for teachers in Ontario. But school boards across the province are in the unenviable position of having to recruit for those jobs, filling the yawning void left by those who’ve opted for retirement.

Many boards are finally beginning to use the Internet to recruit. Certainly, some boards have been using the ’net to supplement their advertising initiatives, but if job-seeking teachers aren’t using the web to look for jobs, well, why bother? "Build it and they will come" just doesn’t work on-line.

But rather than simply abandoning the web as a means to recruit, we need to ask why teachers aren’t using the ’net to look for jobs.

Yes, some teachers scour web sites. Some are even taking the – gasp – bold step of e-mailing their resumes to employers. But there are 72 district school boards in Ontario and job searching on-line can be painstakingly slow. There are just too many job sites with
no sense of order to them. It’s chaos for the most part. There is, thankfully, one solution afoot that anyone looking for
a teaching job in Canada, or looking to fill a job, ought
to consider.

Education Canada’s (   one-stop teacher recruitment site is a step in the right direction. Columbus Communications operates the B.C.-based site, with CASA, the Canadian Association of School Administrators, as a partner.

Currently, five provinces are on-line with available jobs, including Ontario. The remaining five are expected to join soon, and the site promises to be bilingual shortly. The key, now, is to get all 72 district school boards in Ontario posting job openings.

The costs to boards should not be prohibitive compared to an ad in Canada’s "national newspaper." For school boards with fewer than 60,000 students, the annual cost is roughly $5,000. Boards with fewer than 20,000 students pay $3,000 a year. A one-year, unlimited recruitment site pays for itself almost immediately if it replaces just one print ad.

Here’s what makes this site so good for teachers: it’s easy to use. Computers can do wonderful things; we all know that. But it’s when the computer turns something complex into something simple that you begin to thank the computer gods.

The site is also free to teachers. You can look for jobs based on geographic locales, yes, but you can also post your resume on-line for prospective employers to view. Adding to the 5,000 resumes already on the site’s data base, you set yourself up with a unique username and password and copy and paste your resume into the on-line form. If you can type and use a mouse, you can use this site.

Based on the type of job you’re looking for, you can also receive automatic notification by e-mail of any new job postings that go up. For those without an e-mail account, or concerned about privacy issues, there are many web-based e-mail services that are free, such as Hotmail ( Without e-mail, you can’t benefit from the automatic functions of the site, nor can a prospective employer contact you quickly.

School boards are working hard to recruit only qualified teachers. Moving the strategy forward by utilizing the Internet will certainly help, particularly with many of Ontario’s exceptional teachers teaching outside the country. Getting those teachers to consider returning to Ontario can be more readily achieved now on-line. Newspaper ads in the U.K. or Japan, for example, aren’t going to reach qualified Ontario teachers. The web will.

Brad Ross is associate editor of Professionally Speaking and the College’s web editor. He can be reached by e-mail at