Elementary and secondary teaching professions are regulated in Canada. The regulatory body in each province or territory sets the requirements to practice the profession. Though these requirements vary by jurisdiction, but they usually include a bachelor’s degree in education and a provincial teaching certificate.
If you intend to specialize in special education or instruction of English or French as a second language, you may be required to take additional training and certification. Unlike elementary and secondary teaching, teaching at university or college-level is not regulated and generally it’s up to the hiring department or institution to recognize your academic credentials obtained outside Canada. University teaching positions are competitive and normally they require the possession of at least one graduate degree and a proven record in teaching or academic publishing.
We have prepared a Pre-Arrival Checklist of valuable information that will make arriving in Canada as smooth a process as possible.
It is important for you to have a general overview of how your international qualifications may be viewed in Canada and have a general sense of the Canadian labour market and workplace culture.
Before you immigrate
There are steps that you can take before you immigrate to improve your chances of practicing your profession when you arrive in Canada.
- Attend the Know Before You Go Webinar Series to learn more about life in Canada.
- Contact the Canadian diplomatic mission closest to you to find out about the employment requirements for the teaching occupation in Canada.
- Contact the regulatory association mandated with regulating teachers in the province where you intend to settle in Canada to know more and enquire about the specific procedure about their own provisions for the steps in the licensing process that you can take prior to immigrating.
- You will need to prove your language skills in English or French (depending on your destination province) language competency or be tested. Even if you’re a good speaker of English or French, it’s helpful to improve your language skills and enroll in language classes while you are in your home country and continue them after moving to Canada.
- Assess your language skills by taking an online self-assessment on the Canadian Language Benchmarks website.
- Gather and organize your official education, work and identity documents while still in your home country. Check with your provincial or territorial regulatory body to enquire about the documents you need to bring and about verifying the translation of these documents. You might need to use a professional translation service in Canada.
- Understand how your profession is practiced in Canada and familiarize yourself with the laws and legislation that governs your profession in the province where you will settle.
- Know the name of your job in Canada and make a list of potential employers. -Check with the professional association governing your occupation in your home country and find out if they have any links with similar associations in Canada.
- Find out how to get a driver’s license in Canada and apply for it right after you land. It will be useful to have when you get a job, or even to search for a job.
Success Story: On the surface, it looks like Cristina Popescu and her husband had an easy transition to life in Canada.
Just a few years after immigrating here from Romania, they both have jobs in their field of choice – she’s a teacher and he’s in the I.T. industry — and they appear to be living ‘happily ever after.’ Read More.
Canadian schools need educators that will effectively teach materials to a classroom full of students of various cultural and socio-economic backgrounds with different skill levels and different learning styles.
The first step in your job search strategy – a step you can do while you are still in your home country – is to create your teacher portfolio. It should give employers examples of exactly what you bring to the job. Your ability to teach effectively relies on your ability to create, and the portfolio shows employers what you have created.
You can include in your teaching portfolio your resume, letters of recommendation, sample syllabi, samples of student work, lesson plans, samples of tests, activities and materials used for teaching and an introduction to your teaching philosophy. Don’t forget to keep things brief and share only things that are beneficial to your candidacy.