Increasing enrolment is being cited as a contributing factor to an influx of new teachers in many parts of the province. Several locals around the province are reporting higher than average numbers of new teachers, with the majority of those being new to the profession. Here are a few summaries based on information provided by local presidents.
Edmonton Catholic, Local No. 54
There have been approximately 180 new teachers hired, which is about 15 per cent above the average. The majority of these new hires are new to the profession, but there is also a sizable Ontario contingent. We attribute the increase to population growth, which is spurring enrolment growth. As a result of this growth, we’re seeing small substitute rosters and a high need for teachers of French, math and physics. To address the situation, the district has gone to Ontario to hire while our local keeps pushing for more hires.
Calgary Public, Local No. 38
While we have not received official final numbers from the Calgary Board of Education for the 2016/17 school year, it appears that we are on par with last year regarding the number of newly hired teachers.
Our new teachers’ orientation evening saw a record number of teachers attend both last year and this, numbering around 150. Previous years would have been under the 100 mark. Our substitute teacher fall orientation also recorded record numbers this year, up from 175 to 250 teachers.
The CBE is anticipating more new teachers moving into the system over the next few years and is looking at implementing an induction program to help mentor them in their new roles. This would go beyond the work that we do as a local right now with our mentoring program.
Lethbridge Public, Local No. 41
We have about 54 names of new teachers going back to January, with 37 names of teachers to be inducted this year. Probably up a little, but enrolment is up and retirements were up last spring, so I don’t think there’s anything that out of the ordinary there. We usually have about 30 to 35 for induction. Ours isn’t until February, so I expect a few more. These are not unusual or unexpected numbers, so we haven’t heard a lot of issues regarding increased staff.
One issue to note, however, is that for one reason or another, about 40 per cent of Division I teachers in the district are new or newer, and that is posing some challenges with PD and early literacy instruction, including a lack of resources for early literacy, as these teachers have not yet built up a cache of resources for themselves. Again, this is mainly caused by enrolment — a large intake of Division I students in the past couple of years (just bubble years from what the demographics tell us), as well as retirements of some long-serving Division I teachers.
Medicine Hat, Local No. 1
There have been 66 teachers hired in the district, compared to about 40 to 50 in recent years. We attribute the increase to the opening of a new school and increased enrolment, as well as retirements, teachers leaving our district, sick leaves, maternity leaves and transfers.
Mentorship has been a focus at the local and district levels.
Northern Spirit, Local No. 6
I have been told that we have 45 new teachers. Last year, as an example, we had 16 protégés in our mentorship program, and this year we have 33 involved. We understand from our mentorship numbers that, yes, the majority of these new teachers are new to the profession. According to our board, enrolment is 200 students above projections.
As a local, we are having to increase the amount that we contribute for Beginning Teachers’ Conference, as well as our induction. The district has worked with us to increase the budget and is covering the extra money needed to provide the complete mentorship program.
Rocky View, Local No. 35
Our school division has been opening schools at a rapid pace. We opened three new schools this year. Two new schools are set to open next year, along with an addition to an existing school. Our local attempts to connect with our beginning teachers and ensure that they are successful. We ensure that the new schools have CSR reps that attend our meetings. Communication with members is key to our local, so that everyone has access to information and knows who to go to when they have questions. ❚
| Attendance up at Beginning Teachers' Conference