School District 69 (Qualicum) is being hit by a teacher-on-call shortage, as restored union language across the province has more teachers being hired for full-time work. — File Photo

Shortage of on-call teachers impacts Qualicum school district

Many getting full-time work after re-instatement of class size rules

The good news is more teachers are getting hired for full time work in B.C.

The bad news is that’s leading to a lack of Teachers Teaching On Call (TTOCs) in the province, including at School District 69 (Qualicum).

The shortage is a result of the 2016 Supreme Court of Canada ruling that restored union language around limiting class sizes, confirmed SD69’s assistant superintendent Gillian Wilson.

This has led to a need for more full-time teachers, meaning those who might previously have been hired on as on-call teachers, and worked only when other teachers are away or sick, are now getting full-time work. That’s leaving TTOC lists in SD69 and across much of the province short.

Though Wilson said she couldn’t put a number on exactly how many TTOC positions the district is looking to fill, she confirmed its TTOC list is shorter than in previous years, and that the district’s other educators are having to be careful with their schedules to make sure work is getting covered.

“I’m really thankful that we’ve not had to cancel professional development during the days (for teachers),” she said. “Other districts have had to do that out of necessity. We’ve not done that,” she said, but added that teachers have had to be asked to defer their professional development plans.

Wilson noted that securing TTOCs for certain courses, like senior math, shop classes, science and other courses has been a struggle, and that the flu season has added to the difficulties. Superintendent Rollie Koop has previously noted that securing French immersion teachers for the TTOC list has also been a struggle.

During the school board’s Nov. 28 meeting, Mount Arrowsmith Teachers’ Association president Debbie Comer expressed her concern for the situation.

She said this kind of shortage tends to affect the most vulnerable students, with educators giving less one-on-one time, having to help out in other classes, losing prep time and sometimes losing out on professional development opportunities.

“While I’m very hopeful… at the moment it can be very stressful for teachers in our district,” Comer said.

Wilson said the district is doing its best to keep the TTOC shortage from affecting teachers and students, and that the district is seeking various solutions to hiring more TTOCs.

This includes speaking with student teachers, who are about to graduate, about the benefits of working at SD69; speaking with retired teachers to find out if they’d be interested in working again; and doing lots of interviews.

“I was interviewing all day on the Wednesday (the day after the board meeting),” said Wilson.

“That was from teachers that are student teachers as well as other teachers that applied to our website.”

Before the Nov. 28 meeting, the district had also hosted an orientation for student teachers who are about to graduate, and the district will also be at a Vancouver Island University career fair taking place Dec. 18.

“So we’re doing lots of things to recruit great teachers to our community,” said Wilson.

Send news tips to:

adam.kveton@pqbnews.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

71-unit rental apartment building proposed in downtown Parksville

Open house will take place before second reading of bylaw amendment

Construction to begin on new $2M fire hall in Deep Bay

Long-term debt will be financed over a 20-year period

Parksville Royals hurler earns scholarship to Nebraska school

Frank came to mid-Island from Terrace to pursue baseball dreams

UPDATE: Vancouver Island skydiving community mourns loss of one of its own

James Smith, 34, of Victoria, dies in Nanoose Bay incident

Beloved Parksville volunteer awarded key to the city

July 6 (her 90th birthday) proclaimed as ‘Joan Lemoine Day’

The pandemic is widening Canada’s workplace gender gap

Gender pay gap is incentivizing fathers to work while mothers watch children, a new B.C. study has found

Young tourist caught untying boats from Ucluelet dock

‘He was just untying the boats and watching them float away’

Feds announce $8.3M to deal with ‘ghost’ fishing gear in B.C. waters

Ghost gear accounts for up to 70 per cent of all macro-plastics in the ocean by weight

Saanich junior hockey team drops Braves name, First Nations logo

Club moves on after 53-years with First Nations logo

Ex-Okanagan Mountie forfeits 20 days’ pay after sexual misconduct review

A former Vernon RCMP constable made sexual comments, grabbed genitals of male officer in two incidents 10 years ago

Man found dead on Okanagan trail identified as Hollywood actor

GoFundMe campaign launched for man found dead at summit of Spion Kop

3 people dead in Prince George motel fire

Fire personnel believe the blaze was suspicious although investigation in early stages

B.C. sets terms to review police, mental health, race relations

MLAs to recommend Police Act changes by May 2021

Most Read