Career Profile: Teacher
Teaching is a career which requires a great deal of knowledge and passion. While knowledge can certainly be learned, passion cannot be taught. However, if an aspiring teacher is passionate about the profession, a teaching education can certainly help him or her to develop the skills necessary to organize and manage a classroom that effectively promotes learning.
In Ontario, teachers must hold a four-year Bachelor of Arts degree from any recognized University. A primary/junior teacher (grades K-6) will have a degree in any discipline, while an intermediate/senior teacher will hold a double-major degree in two “teachable” subjects.
Then, teachers will complete the Bachelor of Education. This is a one-year degree where candidates spend most of their time taking courses in education, and the rest of it student teaching. For an average of two to three months spread across the year in “blocks” of time, the student teacher is paired with a working teacher, giving lessons and grading work in order to practice his or her skills.
Teaching jobs in Ontario are notoriously limited. Specializing in certain subjects (for example, French) will give candidates a hard competitive edge when job hunting. Many teachers must begin work as “occasional” (supply) teachers, sometimes having to work for several years before securing permanent positions. If you want it, don’t give up – however, if you are debating between several career options, this is something that you might want to keep in mind.
What to Take?
Primary/junior teachers are best advised to take a variety of subjects throughout their Bachelor of Education. For example, an aspiring teacher candidate might choose a major in child psychology, rounding out the timetable with diverse electives in math, art, or physical education.
Intermediate/senior teachers are to have a minimum of two “teachable” subjects; this means that they have taken a certain number if courses in a high-school relevant subject. Examples of “teachable” subjects include mathematics, general science, biology, physics, history, English, and French.
Do Your Research
The Teaching Profession: www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/teacher/employ.html
Teacher Education Application Service (TEAS): www.ouac.on.ca/teas
Ontario College of Teachers: www.oct.ca
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