Less than a week before school reopenes for the fall semester, Harnett was relieved to be offered a 75 per cent position at E.A. Butler All Grade in McKay’s.
She will become Ms. Harnett to kindergarten students and as a resources teacher, on a one-year contract.
“(Kindergarden) is the grade I always wanted to teach,” she said. “So I’m pretty excited.”
Luckily for Harnett, she does not have to relocate, and can continue to live in Stephenville, commuting 45 minutes each way.
“I don’t mind the drive at all,” said the 25-year-old. “And it’s fairly good highway.”
From the 25 positions she applied for in the Western School District, the only interview Harnett had was last Friday, for the position she was ultimately offered.
“I was getting a little worried,” she said.
Harnett said she has heard from a number of young teachers who do not have a position secured for the start of next week’s school year, specifically in the Eastern district.
She has heard that some qualified teachers in this area are also waiting on job competitions to close.
“I’ve heard the same thing, wait until the first day of school, before you really know (if you’ll get hired).”
George Keeping, assistant director (human resources) for the western district said officials will be continuing the hiring process up until Monday.
There are over 1,000 teaching positions in the region and there were 400 job competitions for the upcoming school year.
There are were not 400 jobs available, but filling one vacancy can cause a domino effect when a teacher moves schools, leaving their past position open, Keeping said.
“Sometimes you get caught in that position, where you have to fill positions late in the (summer),” Keeping said. “We try to get positions filled as quick as we can.”
When Candice Locke graduated with a bachelor’s degree in of education, she knew the chances of securing a teaching job in this province meant she would have to relocate.
But, the 24-year-old from Stephenville was OK with that.
Locke said she was very fortunate to get a position for this coming fall, having graduated less than a year ago.
She was offered a music and social studies teaching position at Belanger Memorial School in Codroy Valley in mid-July, giving her plenty of time to arrange living accommodations.
“I’m very happy about it,” she said.
Since attending a teachers’ job fair in May, Locke applied for 20 positions.
She only received two interview offers from those applications that were sent across the island and Labrador.
When she was offered the position in Codroy, she turned down the second interview for Corner Brook Regional High School.
“I figured why mess with a good thing,” she said. “I was happy with going to (Codroy).”