Read This ..if you are a Teacher


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RESP   
Member since: Mar 04
Posts: 371
Location: Mississauga, Ontario

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 20-06-06 13:11:23

Published in The Toronto Star on June 19th, 2006

Jobs elude foreign teachers
Immigrant teachers enrich a school
So why are boards so slow to hire them?
Jun. 19, 2006. 06:04 AM
TESS KALINOWSKI
EDUCATION REPORTER


When Lal Singh Dhaliwal came to Canada last year, he already had an armload of science and teaching credentials and more than 20 years of experience ranging from classroom teacher to school superintendent.

Since then, he has added an Ontario teaching certification, upgrading courses, classroom visits and volunteer tutoring to his resumé. Still, he is working as a security guard, a fact that perplexes his mentor, Dufferin-Peel Catholic board education director Michael Bator.

"(Dhaliwal's) scholarship is significant. He's a hard-working guy, relentless in his pursuit of education," said Bator, whose board's policy of hiring Catholics excludes Dhaliwal, 51, who is a Sikh.

Dufferin-Peel equity officer Chris D'Souza thinks the Brampton immigrant is a victim of what some teachers refer to as Ontario's educational apartheid. Even though boards say they want to hire staff who reflect the growing diversity of their students, it's simply not happening. No one seems to know exactly why despite growing evidence of the benefits.

At Floradale Public School in Mississauga — where 90 per cent of students come from homes with a first language other than English — minorities are a visible presence on the staff, with at least seven teachers who speak some of the 145 languages and dialects found there.

Principal Rita Manners, who came from India 20 years ago, speaks French, Hindi, Gujurati and Urdu. Before she'd read the research proving a high level of literacy in any language contributes to students' success in school, she already knew it from experience. "I learned French fluently as an adult because I based French grammar on Hindi grammar which is masculine, feminine," she says.

"If you're speaking to your child in Tamil I want you to continue that at home," she tells parents, "because the English will be absorbed through osmosis here."

But when Manners came to Canada, school secretaries would chastise her for using French. She hid her other languages. Now she welcomes students who want to share jokes and secrets in those languages.

It was her predecessor, Lynda Sutherland, who retired in December, who hired many of the diverse staff at Floradale.

"If you hire people who have had that (immigration) experience, they have a deeper understanding of it," said Sutherland. "To me, it doesn't matter if a teacher has an accent if they have good English skills."

But with most school boards using electronic application systems that require principals to sort through as many as 600 resumés for a single position, it takes commitment and time to diversify staff, she said.

"I was the first brown here," says Grade 1 teacher Padma Sastri, who started at Floradale in 1998 as the teacher-librarian. When she heard researchers from York University and U of T were working on a multi-literacy project at another high-immigrant Mississauga school, she lobbied to get some of those resources at Floradale.

It was under her guidance that the library started stocking scarce dual-language books, so students could read in their home language while they learned English.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
`Multilingual books need to become a regular thing — not an exotic thing'

Padma Sastri, Grade 1 teacher

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"Multilingual books need to become a regular thing — not an exotic thing," says Sastri. The respect and warmth she shows her students and parents who are invited into her Grade 1 room at every opportunity, belie a vast store of academic expertise.

It's not enough to embrace these families' languages. "This community needs outreach as well," says Sastri.

Peel District School Board education director Jim Grieve said, "Children need to see themselves reflected in the literature they're dealing with. The same is true of the teacher or the classroom assistant or the principal being available in a situation where most of the children are from away. It's important for them to be able to feel they have someone who understands where they come from."

Still, research by the Ontario College of Teachers shows provincially certified, foreign-trained teachers are faring far worse on the job market than less experienced Ontario grads.

Only 20 per cent of foreign-trained teachers found regular positions in 2004, less than half the rate of Canadian grads. Forty-eight per cent of immigrant teachers got hired into casual positions, compared with 18 per cent of those who graduate here.

"One of the perceptions (of foreign-trained teachers) is that their experience teaching outside Ontario is not sufficiently valued," said Frank McIntyre, manager of human resources with the College of Teachers.

As the teaching market shrinks, the jobs are in science, math, computers and French, said Carol Norton-Sargent, project manager of Teach in Ontario, a program that helps foreign-trained teachers through the Ontario certification process. Among 92 recent job postings in the Durham District School Board where she last worked, 70 were for French teachers.

As well, Ontario classrooms and curriculum are far more interactive, less rote-based and less formal than those many of Asian immigrants have experienced, said Norton-Sargent.

Sometimes these teachers run into classroom management problems here, said Grieve. His growing board hires about 1,000 teachers a year, of which he estimates 40 per cent are visible minorities. Diversifying its staff is one of eight top priorities.

English fluency is another issue even though immigrants must pass a language proficiency test to get their Ontario certification. But sometimes it's not enough, he said. "This is borne out in South Asian parents. What they want is a teacher that has impeccable fluency. In many cases, while they're fluent, it's not perfect."

Bator at the Peel Catholic board doesn't believe that's the reason Dhaliwal, who has an accent but speaks clear English, hasn't been hired.

Says Dhaliwal: "I still have a ray of hope maybe one fine morning my qualifications will get noticed and I'll be a teacher."


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Charlie   
Member since: Apr 05
Posts: 538
Location: Canada

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 20-06-06 18:08:04

crap!!!!.....who ever writes it and those who read it with hope of overnight change in system. Reality is, you have to make your way and nobody else is going to help you.


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shannazahid   
Member since: Oct 03
Posts: 34
Location: lahore pakistan

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 09-07-06 15:38:54

if somebody can guide me that I am an engineer and having an experiwnce of teaching in engineering university in pakistan for 15 yyears i am a bechelor in mechanical engineering . i am going to migrate to canada. can somebody tell me what i would eb needing to join teaching.would I have to do any certification or i can get any job in private schools or islamic school due to my teaching experience


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Abseday   
Member since: Dec 22
Posts: 195
Location: United States

Post ID: #PID Posted on: 20-12-22 04:11:33

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bipliex   
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Contributors: RESP(1) Charlie(1) shannazahid(1) Abseday(1) bipliex(1)



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