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Althouse College of Education, UWO, had eight thousand applications in 2007. You had to have a minium of a three year Bachelor Degree to be eligible to apply. Eight hundred students were accepted/ graduated this year.

The numbers are even more staggering across the province. Every year there are 16,000 applicants to Ontario Education programs. Of those 8,000 are accepted. As much as there's a teacher surplus in the province there's no shortage of people who want to be teachers.

I called Frank McIntyre , Manager of Human Resources for the Ontario College of Teachers to discover the truth/consequences of obtaining related employment for the grads.

"Many education graduates found lean picking when they searched for their first Ontario teaching jobs in the 2006 school year. Only two in five (41%) of the 2006 grads found regular employment by the spring of 2007".

The stats are not in for 2008 yet but Frank's prognosis is worse for this years grads. The gap between graduating and retiring teachers is at a record high. About 7,000 new Elementary/Secondary graduates are left out of the teaching profession every year. New teachers have to compete for jobs with large number of surplus teachers because of declining enrollments we have in Ontario.

With the decline in the graduate employment numbers you could assume that the colleges of education are cutting back on their student numbers. Wrong, They have kept the same compliment of student/professor class size. Student fees are in the $6,000. range to complete a Bachelor of Education degree.

The teachers who are under contract to the Board's of Education are not so keen on going into retirement when they reach the magic 85 factor ;years of service along with age will get you a full pension. In 2007 there were 12,434 newly certified teachers and only 5,325 retirements. Do the math and we have a difference of 7,109 new teachers looking for a teaching position.

Teachers who retire can in their first three years of retirement opt to be paid to substitute teach for ninety days a year. They still receive full pension benefits, with absolutely no penalty. Hard for a newly graduated student to get on the supply list.

In 2007 32% of graduates were hired on as a first year teacher. 38% were underemployed in their first year of teaching and 22% were not in a regular job by the third year after graduating.

French/Technical teachers are still in demand but there are dismal prospects for the rest of our young graduates of the Colleges of Education.

Parents and students you now have the facts on your future prospects of earning a living in teaching. Caveat emptor, let the buyer beware before you set your heart on teaching in Ontario. Please read the signs, 'NO HELP WANTED'.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com