January 30, 2012. 11:52 am • Section: Report Card

By Janet Steffenhagen

Young people interested in a teaching career need to know there are three applicants in British Columbia for every one position that becomes available in the K-12 school system, says Education Minister George Abbott.

“We need to be honest with students … about where their opportunities in the future may lie,” the minister said in an interview after a stalemate in teacher bargaining raised questions about whether B.C. needs to match higher salaries in other provinces to retain teachers.

Abbott says that’s not a concern because there are 2,700 to 2,800 teachers looking for work in any given year but only about 800 job openings in schools. The over-abundance of teachers is an issue Abbott said he intends to raise with the Association of B.C. Deans of Education (ABCDE) during a meeting set for spring.

The teaching pool includes new graduates from B.C.’s nine teacher education programs as well as teachers who have moved to B.C. from other jurisdictions. According to the most recent statistics available, the former B.C. College of Teachers certified 824 teachers who moved to B.C. from out-of-province in 2009-10 and issued 475 statements of standing for B.C. teachers relocating to other jurisdictions.

Abbott acknowledged that an education degree provides students with skills that can be used for other types of work but said it’s important for students to have the facts about job opportunities, given labour shortages in other fields.

Until he discusses his concerns with education deans, Abbott declined to comment on whether his government would consider a cap on enrolments in teacher education programs. “It would be premature for me to form any conclusion,” he stated.

Read full article here.

By Janet Steffenhagen, Vancouver Sun 

jsteffenhagen@vancouversun.com

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

A new initiative by the Canadian International Learning Foundation has set out to overcome what Canadians say is the single biggest barrier to becoming a volunteer: lack of time.

“Change the world in five hours a week” is the mantra of the Educator Volunteer Network, which matches up skilled Canadians with schools in developing and at-risk regions around the world, letting them donate their time without ever leaving their desks.

Educatorvolunteer.net is the brainchild of Ryan Aldred, president of the CanILF, a registered charity devoted to improving educational opportunities for children in destitute and war-torn regions. Through the agency’s work in Afghanistan, Aldred said, he saw that online volunteers could make a massive difference to schools.

“Two things we were struck by was how interested Canadians were in getting involved and how many schools were out there looking for assistance. We kept thinking, ‘What can we do to help these schools?’

“So we came up with the notion of an online community where we could connect the two groups and help them work together. The network launched in September and the response has been amazing.”

So far more than 50 volunteers have signed up to provide one-on-one online assistance with new technologies, research requests, curriculum enhancement, development of resources, writing content for websites and putting together budgets and business plans.

To volunteer or to donate, visit educatorvolunteer.net

Read full article here.

By Gillian Burnett, Vancouver Sun December 8, 2011

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun

Geoff Johnson, a former school superintendent suggests that universities and school districts should collaborate with the government to reinstate internship programs within the teaching profession. Click here to read the full article.

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