Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Simcoe redundancies / the life of a graduate

The Orillia Packet and Times reported late Tuesday of the 100-plus redundancy notices sent to teachers as the Simcoe County District School Board deals with the need for 78.5 full-time equivalent fewer teaching positions across its district.
This is a good piece that explains the redundancy process and how the notices may or may not actually translate into job losses. It also adequately explains the lookout for those heading into and coming out of teachers' colleges. Kudos to the P&T and Nathan Taylor for snatching this story on a board whose meetings in Midhurst I don't believe they cover.
This has been foreseen for several years now-- declining enrolment and teacher staffing tied to enrolment means there will continue to be a need for fewer teachers over the next year or two. "Full-day learning learning for four- and five-year-olds" (Ministry of Education lingo) or, more simply put, the prospect of full-day kindergarten, may change the outlook but that's only if Dr. Charles Pascal recommends it be led by teachers, and the government follows. There's an entire early childhood educator industry out there (who now also have their own college to certify them, etc.) that has a valid argument regarding its place in the answer.
Even if it does go to teachers, it only has the ability to double the number of kindergarten teachers, the smallest grade cohort in many boards. It could mean thousands of positions when after a year or two of redundancies and thousands more graduates coming in the bottom end, the chances of full-time contract employment right out of TC are still slim to none.
Grim times.

Then again, I've also been saying that about journalism schools for the past several years. Every year colleges and universities churn out hundreds and hundreds of graduates (most of whom never enter the field), some of whom compete for a very skant offering of decently paid positions. Given the thousands laid off in Canada over the past three years, it's a meagre market even for the best grads. So, yeah. I know what the situation facing teachers' college grads is like.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

tried the link, but it's not working for me.

Anonymous said...

They could always teach in private schools--growing by leaps and bounds, even in a poor economy.

Anonymous said...

Funny that you post this now Ed. Reporter as I visited with a newly minted teacher this past weekend.
She has applied at 3 different boards. All three have a freeze on even for occasional teachers.

I also know a fellow who graduated from teachers' college three years ago and is registered at two boards far apart from each other, yet he's been called regularly by both boards so he bounces from one to the other.

I'm not sure I understand why the teacher colleges keep churning out new grads when the outlook for enrollments isn't great.

Too bad no one told the faculties that the teaching shortage in Ontario is over.

Education Reporter said...

Why tell the faculties of ed. when they charge among the highest tuition rates for what is a questionable degree? The experience required to enter TC often renders much of the classroom learning in the program obsolete. The practicums are the only thing that saves TC, in my opinion. The college of teachers' new-teacher surveys confirm it-- TCs produce many candidates who despite prior experience and their practicums still aren't ready to teach solo and still require HEAPS of initial training and mentoring to become successful teachers.
Full disclosure-- I say this as a former TC applicant who turned down a very late offer in mid-August to attend UOttawa's TC, so I could continue as a journalist. Some days the jury is still deliberating on whether that was a good idea.

Education Reporter said...

Uh, I should have stipulated that was mid-August, 2005.

Nadim Abu said...

An update from an old post. The situation is the same and won't improve until 2020. I have been stuck at 0.67 contract and many other "lucky" teachers are at only 0.33 contract. What else can we do beside teach when this interferes with any other full-time job? Some of us are the sole income provider for our families. Teachers don't have it easy.