Nfld. & Labrador

Nunavut not the only place struggling to recruit N.L. teachers, says association head

President of teacher's association says fewer N.L. teachers are heading north for jobs.

N.L. has all the teachers it needs but some areas of the province need subs, says Dean Ingram

Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers' Association president Dean Ingram says teachers from the province will always be in high demand. (Paula Gale/CBC)

Nunavut, which is scrambling to fill more than 60 vacant teaching positions before school starts, isn't the only place hoping to attract needed teachers from Newfoundland and Labrador, according to the president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Teacher's Association.

The need for instructors has even delayed the school year for students in Igloolik.

"Historically, there's always been a large number of Newfoundland-Labradorian teachers that actually do find their way to Nunavut," NLTA President Dean Ingram told CBC's On The Go.

Often, it's teachers who have retired in Newfoundland and Labrador, or new teachers looking for experience, who head north, Ingram said. 

Grades 5, 6, and 7 were delayed at Ataguttaaluk Elementary School in Igloolik because of vacant teaching positions. (John Van Dusen/CBC)

But lately, Nunavut has had a hard time recruiting teachers from the province, he said.

And the territory is not alone. Both New Brunswick and British Columbia are desperately looking for teachers right now, Ingram said. 

And teachers from Newfoundland and Labrador, who are in high demand in these places, are looking for good working conditions and good compensation, he said.

Substitutes needed in N.L.

Ingram said there aren't any teacher vacancies expected in the province in the upcoming school year, but emphasizes that doesn't mean there are enough teachers.

"Are there enough positions in the system to meet the needs of the education system? That's a different debate," he said.

Class sizes have been getting bigger and "class size issues persists."

Ingram says N.L. schools don't have vacancies for teachers, but that doesn't mean there aren't problems.

Some parts of the province are also in need of substitute teachers, he said.

In particular, Happy Valley-Goose Bay and Labrador City need substitutes available fill in when regular teachers need time off.

"It's not simply a rural issue," he said.

Ingram said there will likely always be a demand for teachers from Newfoundland and Labrador within the province, within the country and abroad.

"Our teachers are very sought-after," he said.

With files from Zach Goudie

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