Teachers don’t see many job opportunities in this area

Diane Crocker dcrocker@thewesternstar.com
Published on May 13, 2014
Natasha Head, who just recently received her teacher certification and will graduate from Memorial next month, attended the 14th annual provincial teacher recruitment fair at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University Monday.
Star photo by Geraldine Brophy

Some teachers attending a recruitment fair in Corner Brook on Monday say the prospects of finding jobs in this area are not looking good.

“In this area I pretty much know that there’s no jobs here,” said Angela Oram after taking in the fair at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

Oram was one of between 30 and 40 people, including a current education class from Grenfell Campus, to attend the fair which was organized in partnership with Memorial University, the Newfoundland and Labrador Teachers’ Association and the Department of Education.

Oram has had her teaching certification since 2005. She spent a few years working away, including time in Labrador, before returning home to Corner Brook two years ago.

She has been doing some substituting, getting about one day a week, since being back.

Oram said when full-time positions become available around the city generally it’s the people working in the smaller towns on replacements who get transferred in. That results in most of the openings being in the smaller areas.

“So I pretty much know that I’m going to have to go to the smaller towns,” said Oram.

When asked what she thought of that, Oram said: “Well I have to because you spend all that money on your education.”

But with a one-year-old at home the thought of doing so is “nerve-wracking.”

Dawn Ryan-Finlay also knows the chances of finding a job will take her outside the city.

She was certified in 2013 and has already completed a four-month replacement in Hopedale and has been doing some substituting.

“I was always hopeful, but I pretty much knew I wasn’t getting a job anywhere close to home,” said the primary/elementary teacher from Corner Brook.

“It’s just something that you’re accustomed to now. You have to get used to it.”

Natasha Head said she’s been hearing a lot of the same things when asked about the prospect of finding work.

“I haven’t looked a whole lot yet, but it doesn’t look too great,” said the Corner Brook woman who just recently received her teacher certification and will graduate from Memorial next month.

She’d like to return to the east coast to teach, but recognizes she may have to be open to going wherever.

“You’ve got to do what you can to get a job,” said Head.

Meanwhile both Oram and Ryan-Finlay had been expecting to see greater representation from the regions covered by the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District at the fair.

“I was expecting to see someone from the eastern, the central and the Labrador areas,” she said.

“Just to be able to talk to them and see what positions they thought were opening up,” added Ryan-Finlay  

As a new teacher, Head had been hoping to see some job postings at the fair, but was told they should be available online at the end of the month.

The fair in Corner Brook was one of two that will be held this week. The second is scheduled to take place in St. John’s on Wednesday.