New opportunities, challenges for graduating teachers

Graduates of British Columbia teaching programs are facing new opportunities and new challenges.

As students finish their teaching practicums, they are faced with making decisions to which direction they will use their education and teaching degrees.

Alex Nichol recently graduated from SFU’s teaching program, after a practicum in the Surrey School District. In January, Nichol will join the company Engage Education to teach in England, a program she found at a school career fair. In England, Alex will substitute with the possibility of being granted her own classroom.

“I always wanted to teach abroad, and I just don’t have much of an interest in applying for jobs here, right now,” said Nichol, who also looked into teaching in Asia before settling on England.

“In England, I’ll be a public school teacher and the curriculum is, somewhat, closely related to what I would be teaching here,” she said.

Nichol’s international visa is only good for two years, but she explained, there is always the possibility to stay longer if she is hired by a school.

But while Nichol was lucky enough to graduate with a job – one that is abroad, to boot – this is often not the situation for the majority of teaching grads.

Ali Herold graduated from the University of Victoria with a Bachelor’s degree in Education (elementary,) last June. Since graduating, Herold has been looking for jobs in the Lower Mainland, but so far has been unsuccessful.

“I think there’s too many people working for the amount of positions available,” said Herold, about the possible reason for not yet finding a job.

She also highlighted the fact that many school districts in the Lower Mainland are not growing, lowering the demand for teachers.

But Herold remains hopeful in her job search.

“I think within the next five to 10 years all the baby boomers will be retiring, which will then open up positions for so many people,” she said, adding that people are more likely to work longer, these days, than in the past.

 “I’m not discouraged; my whole program we were warned about this,” said Herold, who also set a timeline for herself – if she hasn’t found a job within a year of graduating she would look into working in more rural areas in the province as a starting point.

Editor’s note: In response to the comment below, the original headline on this article has been edited to correct a spelling error.

Parker Lund

Parker is a third year University student at KPU, studying journalism and communications.


  • Avatar
    Reply December 9, 2013

    Ashley Ezart

    I have a friend who just graduated with a Bachelors degree in Education from SFU and they were told, like Herold, that they may have issues finding local jobs out the gate, but he was able to find one within a month of his practicum ending. I guess it depends on where you’re looking and extra skills one may have. I liked how it was written being short with simple words, however misspellings in the headline are something that shouldn’t be overlooked.

  • Danielle Himbeault
    Reply December 9, 2013

    Danielle Himbeault

    Anybody who finds a job in the lower mainland in elementary schools is a lucky duck right now. A friend had to move all the way up to Burn’s Lake in order to get a placement. The pickings are slim. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll all realize how important education actually is and be willing to put some funding into schools.

  • Avatar
    Reply September 4, 2015


    , as the norm’, not the exception. What powfreul learning opportunities for everyone!Did the staff talk about how they collaborated? Did they have built-in collaboration time to meet, discuss, and plan? As you said, isn’t that an environment that we want for all our students? I would agree, but I would go a step further isn’t that the type of learning environment we’d want for our own kids? We need to start thinking of all of our students as our own children and what we’d want for our own children. I wonder if that would make any difference in the way we taught and in the way we lead?Thanks for sharing your visit with us. I look forward to seeing similar learning in Calgary in May.Tia

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