B.C. school districts seek uncertified substitute teachers
Teacher shortages have forced several B.C. school districts to bolster their roster of substitute teachers with uncertified teachers on call, such as coaches and community members.
In Chilliwack, a bachelor’s degree is required to apply for a TOC position, with some teaching experience preferred. Other districts ask even less. A Prince George job posting calls an undergraduate degree an asset, in addition to experience with children.
“Can you really call them teachers if they’re not certified?” mused the head of the Chilliwack school board, Willow Reichelt.
With a short TOC list and high rates of sickness, Chilliwack is struggling to keep classrooms staffed, she said Thursday. While not “ideal,” uncertified teachers help fill the gaps.
Reichelt said the problem has been building for several years before reaching a breaking point this fall. Teacher retirement seemed to accelerate during COVID-19, while enrolment increased by 300 additional students in September.