High school teachers in Ontario teach students through lectures, discussions, and other methods, and then grade each student’s progress in the subject though coursework and examinations.
People who are interested in becoming a high school teacher must be proficient in the subject matter as well as the technological and administrative aspects of the classroom. Teachers need to be able to communicate effectively with parents and guardians, students, and other staff members and at times, require a great deal of patience.
In order to teach general education in Ontario’s publicly funded high schools, a person must be certified as a teacher by the Ontario College of Teachers. Certified teachers have to pay a yearly membership fee in order to keep their certification and membership. To become certified, teachers must:
- have successfully completed a minimum three-year postsecondary degree from an acceptable institution;
- have successfully completed a four-semester teacher education program that is accredited by the College, or an equivalent program that is acceptable; and
- apply to the College for certification and pay the annual registration and membership fees.
2. Your Postsecondary Degree
Your degree has to include the equivalent of at least three years of full-time study, or 90 credits (or the equivalent). The degree must be from an accredited postsecondary school acceptable to the college.
3. Your Teacher Education Program
The four-semester teacher education program usually is made up by:
- 10 percent focused on the foundations of education like the philosophy, history, and psychology of teaching;
- 20 percent focused on teaching methods suitable for two different teaching qualifications in Ontario (how to teach students in particular subjects or grades);
- 20 percent focused in practice teaching, with a minimum of 80 days practice teaching supervised by the program provider; and
- 50 percent in any other areas of education that will support methodology coursework, such as how to use new technology, how to manage a classroom, how to support students with special learning needs, and how to support students from diverse communities.
The College will accept distance education programs as long as they include face-to-face practicum. The program has to be academic, not employment-based, and must be completed at the postsecondary level. Further, the education program must lead to the authorization or certification to teach in the jurisdiction where you completed the program. If your program didn’t include the minimum 80 days or 400 hours of practice teaching, the College will accept your evidence of at least one year of teaching experience.
Any coursework you do that prepares you to teach at the Intermediate (Grades 7 through 12) or Senior divisions have to include methodologies for one or more teaching subjects.
4. Language Proficiency Requirements
You must be able to communicate effectively in French or English. There are several countries where you can complete your teacher education and have the program be acceptable to the College. You might need proof of language proficiency if you completed your teacher program in a country not on the acceptable list.
5. Professional Suitability
To teach in Ontario, you have to be able to show you are of good character. The teachers college will require you to provide a current Canadian criminal record check report and complete responses to the Applicant Declaration questions in the online portion about your suitability for registration. These questions ask about if your authorization to teach has ever been suspended or canceled in another jurisdiction, if you’ve ever been involved in an investigation or court proceeding relating to working with children, and if you’ve ever been disciplined by an employing school district or independent authority.