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September 6, 2007 9:26 AM   Subscribe

What are my prospects as an American (and American-trained) history teacher for moving up to Canada?

I have a teaching credential (in California and Washington) for Social Studies. I have experience in teaching mainstream/traditional and alternative education (read: behavior problems). I'm also experienced in teaching Language Arts.

A friend of mine with only a couple more years experience and about the same level of education in Hamilton, ON pulls in almost THREE TIMES what I make here in Seattle, WA. Having been to Vancouver and liking what I've seen, I wouldn't really mind...

...so how do I go about it?
posted by scaryblackdeath to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
We would be more than happy to have you, eh!

Try this link from the Canadian Teacher's Federation - Teachers from outside Canada

And - do not hesitate to call the federation directly, they may be able to provide you with better assistance than internet.
posted by jkaczor at 9:47 AM on September 6, 2007

We would be more than happy to have you, eh!

Probably not. There is a surplus of teachers in BC, even for (and in some districts, especially for) teachers of kids with behavioural problems. There is an especially large surplus of teachers in major centres. Many teachers who have been finished school for years are still working as teachers-on-call.

All it would take would be for one disgruntled TOC to learn that you're an American. She and her friends send in complaints that you're doing work that could be done by Canadians, and you're out.

If you wanted to get work teaching high-incidence Aboriginal kids in the far north of BC, you'd have better luck, but the odds of you ever working in Vancouver without first becoming a Canadian citizen are pretty close to zero.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:22 AM on September 6, 2007

Not a teacher, but a librarian, up with your buddy in Hamilton, ON on a NAFTA 1-year permit. Basically yeah, it has to be demonstrated that you have particular skills for a job that can't be filled by Canadians, and then your potential employers get some lawyers together and make a case for it. It's apparently not easy, but it can be done if you have a committed enough employer.

Except apparently secondary school teachers are not on the NAFTA permit professionals list, huh, go figure, so forget all of what I just said.

Get married to a Canadian instead -- that'll do it.
posted by the dief at 12:04 PM on September 6, 2007

Also yeah, in case it hasn't been made abundantly clear by prior posters, trying to do *anything* in Vancouver will be difficult -- it's basically the best place to live in the world, so everybody wants to live there.
posted by the dief at 12:07 PM on September 6, 2007

There is a surplus of teachers in BC

Ok - then Alberta - we have a shortage of everyone; importing nurses from Ireland, Christmas temps from Mexico, you-name-the-place-we-want-em-in.

However - there is one problem with a place like Calgary (which is typically hiring everyone like crazy) - housing.

The housing market for purchase is starting to correct itself - but it is still extremely high. If you think about renting, plan on spending 4-6 monthes trying to find a place.

(Of course - the second problem is pretty much the weather, short summers, etc. If you wouldn't consider living in eastern Washington, then forget about here ;-)
posted by jkaczor at 12:52 PM on September 6, 2007

Please don't be another American who conflates "Canada" and "Vancouver." There is more to Canada than Vancouver and many, many places with better opportunities for teachers from outside the country. I personally don't consider Vancouver "the best place to live in the world," in part because of that smug sentiment itself; in larger part because I will take ANY weather over 9 months of nonstop cloud and drizzle.

The housing situation in Calgary is indeed fairly dire, but with the completion of many huge condo projects, there is a LOT of new stuff entering the market. And you can absolutely find work here.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 1:26 PM on September 6, 2007

ethnomethodologist, I live in Hamilton and I love it -- I wouldn't live in Vancouver for probably any reason. Me calling it "best place in the world" was in reference to some UN study-or-other calling it exactly that. I can't remember what survey, probably posted in the blue sometime, but it was the one where Vancouver was number one and Toronto was number five.
posted by the dief at 1:42 PM on September 6, 2007

Just a word about your area of specialty: I suspect that American history schooling is quite different from Canadian history -- not just in topics but in point of view. You might have more luck hunting for work in other subjects.
posted by loiseau at 2:15 PM on September 6, 2007

loiseau makes a very valid point. What do you know of Canadian history, of Canadian politics?

To expand on that: each province has its own ideas about what kids should learn, and the curricula can vary wildly. I moved from Alberta to Nova Scotia in junior high and was flabbergasted that none of my new classmates knew anything about Brazil, Japan, China, Ancient Greece, nor the Blackfoot, Peigan, or M├ętis.
posted by Reggie Digest at 7:05 AM on September 7, 2007

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