Teaching math has its challenges, and yet it remains one of the most popular professions in Canada. Ask most math teachers and they will admit that while the workload can feel overwhelming and the resources are stretched thin, it remains a rewarding job that few would consider changing. There are few things that can bring you as much joy (and frustration) than working with kids, and there is something special and unique about managing a classroom and planning a good math program.
For those who are interested in jobs that involve math, teaching is one area where math knowledge is important. Nearly all elementary teachers will have to be teaching math for part of their day, as they will likely need to instruct students in all the core subjects, such as English, Social Studies, and Science. Keep in mind that it’s not enough to have a background in numbers or math history - you will need to get a Bachelor of Education to show that you have learned how to teach math and what the best math teaching strategies are.
So why is teaching one of the most popular math degree jobs? Canadian teachers are among the best compensated in the world, and get all the perks of having winter and spring breaks, not to mention an enviable summer vacation. Public school teachers in most provinces are unionized, meaning that teachers can enjoy some protection and security through collective agreements. Of course, teachers also have the stresses that come with growing class sizes, changing curricula, a heavy workload, and the frustrations that come with dealing with kids. However, the profession remains competitive, with many teachers working for years before securing a contract.
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Public school teaching jobs can be tough to get, and in recent years there are more teachers college graduates than open positions. Most teachers stay in the profession and are protected by their seniority, making it tough for new teachers to enter. Teachers new to the profession will often tell you how long they have been working as a substitute teacher or taking short term jobs, sometimes relying on tutoring math and other subjects to maintain a steady income.
If you’ve been thinking about becoming a math teacher, and have practical concerns about meeting the requirements and making a decent salary, you have come to the right place. This article will tell you all about being a math teacher and answer the following questions:
- What do you need to do to become a teacher?
- How much does a math teacher make in Canada?
- Do I need a teaching license to work in a school in Canada?
- Will working as an online math tutor help me get a teaching job?
Let’s get some answers to these questions and discuss some of the most common concerns of aspiring math teachers.
Online math teaching is a popular job for people with math degrees. Find out why.
How Do You Become a Math Teacher?
To be an elementary or secondary teacher in Canada in most provinces, you will need to have a solid academic background. You will need to complete a Bachelor of Arts or Science, and attend a teacher’s college or teacher training program where you can receive a Bachelor of Education. There are many masters programs that will enable you to obtain a teaching degree while pursuing research goals, so identify what you want to achieve in your education and choose the appropriate program.
If math is your preferred area, then it helps to take a math major while doing your undergraduate degree. Especially in the intermediate and senior grades, you will need an academic background in a ‘teachable’ subject. Should you prefer to work with little ones, a math degree is not required. If you don’t have a math degree but want to become a math teacher or improve your math teaching skills, you can usually find courses that will retrain you in the subject from a pedagogical perspective.
Becoming a teacher is a serious investment in time and resources. In addition to a 4 year undergraduate degree, you will need at least another year to get your teaching training completed. So you are looking at 4-6 years of full-time school before being able to enter the workforce.
It’s also important to remember that each province in Canada has its own curriculum and governing bodies for teachers. If you take your teaching qualifications in one province and move to another, you may have to apply to the college of teachers in your new province to get the documentation required to apply for jobs.
Becoming a teacher is a long term commitment and can be costly. However, everything will pay off once you get that first permanent contract.
What are the qualifications you need to be a math tutor? Find out if you have what it takes.
How Much does a Math Teacher Make in Canada?
Teachers in Canada are well compensated compared to many other areas of the world. Typically, entry level teachers will move up a salary grid with years of experience, and will make a maximum salary after the 10th year. Math teachers in the elementary grades will likely also be teaching other subjects, while secondary teachers can teach math exclusively or with other subjects.
Typically, salaries are agreed upon collectively through the work of teachers’ unions. You can, however, make more money in a number of ways:
- Having additional qualifications or a graduate degree;
- Being a department head (Secondary school only);
- Working in a leadership capacity;
- Teaching specific after school programs within the school board;
- Teaching summer school;
- Taking on additional, compensated work with the board like writing teams.
Let’s take a closer look at what teachers make across the country in 2019. Please note that data on the Yukon and Nunavut was unavailable at the time (Source: Statistics Canada).
|Province||Elementary Starting Salary||Elementary Salary after 10 years||Secondary Starting Salary||Secondary Starting Salary after 10 years|
|Newfoundland and Labrador||53,755||92,234||53,755||92,234|
|Prince Edward Island||54,435||88,106||54,435||81,106|
|Nova Scotia||53,011||84,405||53,011||84,405 |
|British Columbia||50,300||87,900||50,300||87,900 |
|Northwest Territories||79,386||113,002||79,386||113,002 |
Find out how to get more math tutoring clients and increase your income.As the chart indicates, Canadian teachers are provided with a salary that will give you a fairly comfortable life. This is why teaching in Canada can be competitive as it is a highly desirable job in terms of vacations and pay. Note that the Northwest Territories pays teachers a significant amount more - but you will have much longer winters! You should also note that the figures are based on pay scales where one has the most prevalent qualifications.
You should also notice that your salary increases significantly by year 10, if you have all the qualifications to be in that pay grade. In Ontario, for example, your pay scale is determined by your university education and the qualifications you have taken.
Many private schools will offer competitive salaries to ensure they get the best staff on board, though salaries are much more variable since their teachers are not unionized or publicly funded.
How much do you know about the history of Math instruction? Learn the history of Math teaching.
Which Qualifications do I Need to Teach in Canada?
There are many pathways to become a teacher in Canada, but nearly all of them will require you to get certified by the college of teachers in the province you want to work in.
Colleges of Teachers are essentially regulatory bodies for the profession that establish standards of practice and operate as a watchdog for teachers when complaints arise. You will need to contact each of the College of Teachers or a similar body to get certified to teach in that province. Once it has been established that your educational background meets the criteria for certification, you will receive a document (usually viewable online) that is required by most private and public schools hiring teachers.
How Do I Get Hired in a Public School Board?
To get a permanent position in a school or board, you will likely have to complete an interview process. Many boards have strict guidelines around hiring for permanent positions and choose from an existing pool of occasional teachers. To get a job, you will want to have experience in addition to your qualifications, and this can be gained through substitute teaching or volunteering.
Boards will also hire for longer term occasional contracts: for example, if a permanent teacher goes on leave and needs someone to temporarily fill their role. Your salary is usually determined by experience in the board as well, so start putting your time in so you can get the pay you deserve.
Of course, there are many opportunities you can take to grow your career that go beyond teaching. You can be an instructional lead in your board office, take a headship if you work in the secondary panel, work full time for your union or college of teachers, or work as an Educational Assistant if you have already gotten the training.
Are you thinking of becoming a math educator? Find out all you need to know about becoming a math tutor or teacher.
How do I get Started in Math Tutoring?
One of the best math jobs out there that also involve education is to be an in-person or online math tutor in Canada with Superprof. Superprof brings together tutors and students all over Canada in a beautiful, streamlined, and easy to use site. Superprof was developed with tutors in mind, and makes it easy for them to find the best clients. Imagine having all the work of promotion taken care of, and being part of a worldwide network of talented and highly educated tutors. This is what Superprof is all about!
Tutoring gives you a lot of freedom with your time, can supplement your work and income as a teacher, or get you the experience you need to land that first teaching job. Tutoring will also help you to become more aware of which strategies work best - a must for any aspiring math tutor. It is one of the few jobs that require math that enable you to have as much flexibility as you please, and is in high demand as families look for help with their kids’ learning.
Online math tutor jobs give you the most flexibility of all, as you can work from the comfort of your own home. While it’s a far cry from having your own classroom, it is one of the best places to start. The most important preparation for being a teacher is practical experience, which is exactly what tutoring provides.
To get started, visit Superprof.ca, where you can create a profile and start advertising your services. Not sure what to write? There are plenty of other tutors with listing you can be inspired by, or make something that stands out from the others. Of course, make sure you include a well-lit and professional photo. You may have to offer a free math tutor session or a free online math tutor session: use that time to truly showcase your skills and keep clients coming back.
How do you become a math tutor in Canada? It's probably not as hard as you think.
Check out Superprof and start your teaching career today!
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