News: International Teaching Opportunities in Canada - Feb 6, 2020
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Thursday, February 6, 2020School Spotlights

International Teaching Opportunities in Canada

Teach For Canada (TFC) is a non-profit organization that works with northern First Nations communities to recruit, prepare, and support committed teachers. TFC currently partners with 18 First Nations located in Northern Ontario and Manitoba, where the majority of communities are only accessible by airplane for most of the year and populations range from 200 to 3,000 people. TFC works with Cree, Ojibwe, and Oji-Cree First Nations in Treaty 3, 5, and 9 territories. Living and working in these communities provides a unique opportunity to learn about the land, its people, and its history. Many of the communities partake in seasonal hunting and fishing derbies, and being out on the land is a central part of community life.

TFC’s model has been shaped by First Nations community partners, a Circle of Advisors, its Board of Directors, and experienced northern educators. TFC builds and strengthens ongoing community-focused relationships with First Nations partners and Indigenous organizations. Their model of partnership with First Nations is community-driven, collaborative, and built on trust and transparency, contrasting with the one-sided models that have existed in the past. To this end, the governance structure of TFC includes an education leader from each First Nation who sits on the Advisory Council, and community partner representatives who participate in teacher recruitment, selection, preparation, and support programs. The organization also promotes collaboration and coordination with Indigenous organizations to support First Nations autonomy over First Nations education.

The communities that TFC works with typically have well-equipped K–8 schools with internet and technology resources, small class sizes, all of which follow the provincial curriculum. At present, 84 teachers work in the 18 communities partnered with TFC.

Teachers in the program have launched student councils, coached sports teams, started music programs, led dance classes, developed school websites, hosted radio shows, organized field trips, run outdoor activities, and more. They are committed to increasing student attendance, student engagement, and student achievement! This opportunity is not just a job, but it is also a chance to make a valuable contribution to northern indigenous education.

TFC is seeking humble and resilient teachers, including those with teaching or non-teaching partners. Not only should candidates have a love of all children, but they must also be adventurous, self-reflective, outdoorsy, optimistic, and community focused. To be eligible, applicants must be certified to teach in Canada, have legal working status in Canada for the two-year commitment, and be willing to relocate to a First Nations community in Northern Ontario or Manitoba in September 2020. TFC is unable to provide support with obtaining a work permit.

Candidates will undergo a rigorous selection process, including interviews by a panel led by First Nations education leaders. Following interviews, TFC will facilitate a matching process between selected teachers and the First Nations schools, in which community partners extend job offers directly to teachers.

TFC prepares teachers to go North during its Summer Enrichment Program. This two- to three-week intensive program focuses on First Nations histories, cultures, languages, culturally-responsive pedagogies, and outdoor education, as well as strategies for success in the North.

Teach For Canada teachers will receive offers of employment from and will be hired directly by First Nations through their matching database. Potential benefits can include a moving allowance, furnished housing and two annual airfare trips (for fly-in access communities), and there may be local employment opportunities for non-teaching partners. Housing can vary from a single housing unit for each teacher to shared teacher accommodation within the same building. Single teachers or teaching couples will have their own bedroom and may share common space. Rent varies by community but is typically below $600 CAD/month. A retirement plan is dependent upon community contribution and varies by community. Teach For Canada provides ongoing personal, professional, and peer support for teachers throughout their two-year commitment, along with subsidies for obtaining additional qualifications and frequent learning seminars. The organization provides a support network around each teacher to best ensure student success and teacher retention.

Basic health coverage is provided by the provincial health insurance plan, and the community benefits package will typically supplement this coverage with dental, prescriptions, vision, life insurance, long-term disability, or others. Emergency evacuation is also available; however, it may be at a cost to the user depending on the reason for the evacuation. Communities do have nursing stations usually staffed by nurses, but doctors may make scheduled visits to the community. Generally, it is best practice for teachers to access medical care outside of the community.

To gain access to Teach For Canada’s full profile on the Search Associates database, including a list of all open positions, candidates can apply for membership by clicking here. Candidates already registered can easily access the school profile directly through their dashboards.

Please note: The information presented about this school was valid on the date published. This information may change, and the most up-to-date information can be found on the school profile.

Did You Know…?

Senior Associate Ray Sparks's over 30-year career as an educator has involved working in Canada, Europe, and Asia.