Updated: Jan 15
Picture this: you're in the final semester of your final year of your Master of Teaching degree. Your final practicum is coming up and your final assignments of the semester are almost due. You're so close to the finish line - but what are you planning to do once you cross it? Here are a few of the things you may want to consider:
Ontario College of Teachers
If you are a second-year student who is planning on graduating in June, the FIRST thing you need to make sure you do is apply for your Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) certification! Start ASAP as the process takes a while. You’ll need to have copies of: your undergraduate transcript(s), a police check, and proof of identity, all of which need to be sent directly to the OCT. Then, they take a while to approve your application, which won’t be finalized until your degree is conferred in June/July. The earlier you get your application approved, the earlier your OCT number is issued, and the earlier you can start teaching!
Additional Qualification Courses
Many newly qualified teachers will want to take Additional Qualification (AQ) and Additional Basic Qualification (ABQ) to make themselves more marketable and hopefully improve their chances of getting hired. But what are AQs and ABQs? Some of these courses allow you to teach courses and divisions in which you aren’t yet certified, and some courses simply build your teaching practice and skills without adding any new teachables. Make sure that the AQ or ABQ course you’re wanting to take is recognized by the OCT, otherwise, it won’t make a difference in your certifications! Throughout the year, OISE offers a ton of AQ and ABQ courses both in-class and online. Click here for some info on what courses are currently being offered at OISE. Luckily, 2019 MT graduates receive a $190 discount on up to four AQ courses through OISE in their first year of graduating, so don’t miss out on the deal!
Applying for Jobs
Majority of new grads are super excited that the boards are finally hiring! Most of the boards in the GTA use a website called Apply to Education for their teaching applications, where you can apply to multiple school boards and job postings and only have to upload your certifications and supporting documents once, but the Toronto District School Board and York Catholic District School Board each use their own application site with their own application requirements. Make sure you tailor your cover letter (and resume!) to each individual school board, keeping their mission statement in mind, and specifying why you’d be a good fit for that particular school board. If you don’t get an interview or you don’t get hired for the occasional teacher roster – don't fret! Keep applying, and maybe even consider applying for a lunchroom supervisor position with the board you want to work for. You’ll build relationships and contacts within a school which could benefit you the next time the board is hiring OTs!
Who says you have to teach once you graduate from the MT program? One option that some may consider is furthering their education with a Master’s in Education or Doctoral degree. OISE offers many different Master’s and Doctoral programs that MT students can apply to. If you want to eventually teach in the classroom, a Master of Education (MEd) or Doctor of Education (EdD) program will give you opportunity to utilize your research in the classroom. However, if you’re looking for a more research-focused degree, you’ll want to apply for a Master of Art (MA) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) program. If you have any questions regarding applying to these programs, email email@example.com.
And finally, we’ve reached my personal post-OISE plan...teaching abroad! I decided back in August that I wanted to teach in the UK for my first year after graduating from the MT program. I’ve never been to Europe and I’m not completely sure where I want to settle down in Ontario (basically once you are hired by a board, you’re probably going to want to stay there, considering your seniority doesn’t carry over to other school boards). After a considerable amount of research and speaking to reps at the PPC in December, I decided to go with a company called Aurelia Education (and it helps that I have friends who have used this agency before!). What I'm really looking forward to is that once I land a job with Aurelia, I won't be an occasional or supply teacher, but a full-time teacher with my own classes from the beginning to the end of the school year! To teach in the UK, you still need to interview, though they don’t have school boards like we do in Ontario. I have a few interviews booked for February and March – wish me luck! Stay tuned for a more in-depth blog post about teaching abroad.
Have any questions about what to do after you graduate? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org!