According to a study by the Ontario College of Teachers, over 38 percent of Ontario teachers are unemployed. As if it isn’t hard enough already to get hired as a teacher, school boards have strict rules and policies for how a teacher should and shouldn’t act.
Bill Tucker is a professor at Western University’s Faculty of Education. He’s also the former education director for the Thames Valley District School Board. He says students should go after what they’re passionate about and don’t let statistics get them down because jobs are less scarce than they seem.
“If you love kids, go for it. Eventually, you’ll find a job. It might take you four or five years, but I’m pretty positive about the prospects. I think as the demographics of teachers changes, the job opportunities will open up,” says Tucker.
The professor was worried these statistics would deter students from applying to university’s Faculty of Education. However, he’s found this not to be the case. He says the school is getting just as many prospects and expressions of interest in the career than ever.
Though to break into this competitive industry, Tucker warns students that the image of aspiring teachers is more important than ever– on and offline. He says there’s a higher level of expectations for teachers in society, especially what they post on social media. Under the education act, Tucker explains teachers are never not teachers. You must always be using professional and appropriate behaviour.
Alex Van Pelt is a highschool teacher at a private school just outside of London. When he went to teacher’s college at University of Windsor he had to attend various workshops and seminars on “appropriate” teaching behaviour. He says there absolutely is a pressure to be a role model 24/7 in both your professional and private lives.
In terms of conduct in the classroom, the onset of bullying and anti-bullying has raised awareness for appropriate social interactions. Teachers must be especially careful what they say and do in the classroom.
Here is a clip of Mr.Pelt describing his teaching philosophy: