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questions on future career as a teacher in edmonton

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  • questions on future career as a teacher in edmonton

    I am currently at Concordia studying for my first degree and have plans to do my education after degree next year. I have heard some bad stories and trends about the job field and therefore have some questions about the time commitment and financial side of teaching. I have done some voluntary work with younger kids as well as coaching for high school basketball. SO I have some experience dealing with kids in a school environment.
    Main questions are
    I have heard that the work load for teaching is very heavy and a lot of work is done outside of school. Is the work load similar to a 40hr/week job or is it actually as substantial as teachers say?

    I have heard many people talk about teacher salaries and while the figures online do look nice capping out at around 100k, how much of this salary is actually taken home? What is the net income? And what kind of lifestyle are teachers able to have in edmonton?

    I read an article online saying that a large number of teachers leave the profession after 5 years. Is this simply due to stress or other factors?


    How hard is it to get a contract in edmonton?

    Thanks in advance, any response are appreciated!!

  • #2

    You won't make $100k in your first year, you will make $65k, which is about $50k after tax. ATA dues are $1200 per year. You also get about $7500 in benefits (very good benefits), and you get two full months off in the summer. This is more than you will make in nearly any other field right out of university, but the $100k cap is less than other professions. The tradeoff is that you get more vacation, work less, and have better job stability.

    I have close friends teaching, and one finds it stressful/time consuming. The other thinks it is the easiest job in the world. They both did a student teaching assignment and got a contract at the school after, right out of school. Apparently it is hard to get a contract unless you get lucky like this and have an opening at the school you worked at.

    You will work more than 40 hours a week, just like you would in any other salaried profession. Salaried professionals do not "clock in and clock out", you work until the job is done. You might work the exact 40 hours sometimes, other times you might work 60 (around report card time seems to be a busy period).

    Lets just say with teachers, you will work far less and have less stressful deadlines than most other professionals. Having to spend your sunday afternoon marking papers does not make a teacher exceptional. Just ask your other friends how often they spend weekends and nights finishing up reports / cases.

    There is a thread somewhere on C2E with a big debate over teacher remuneration, you should look for it. Essentially, there is emotional rhetoric on both sides. You will have people who think teachers work far too much and get paid too little, and people who think teachers are lazy and are overpaid. The truth is somewhere in the middle. Some people love it, some don't. The hours are longer than 40 exact, but not even close to what other professionals will pull to get ahead. The salary is great to start, and comfortable with experience.
    Last edited by Jaerdo; 12-11-2015, 10:00 AM.


    • #3
      Teachers will always be necessary so it's a reliable profession in that regard.
      There are many options open to you with an education diploma beyond the classroom setting.
      One of my kids has a teacher who is in class part time and works part time with multiple school boards as a low vision/blind student specialist. He also coaches one of our sports teams.
      The amount of out of school time put in changes when your assignment changes. If you've taught grade 3 for 10 years changing to grade 6 will require more of your time to build up your plans and processes.
      There are also extra-curriculars to be considered, teams need coaching, singers need choral leaders, leadership groups and clubs need supervising and guiding. Concerts and student led teachers are generally required. Weekend field trips? Sometimes.

      I have four school aged children and many friends who are in the profession. My interactions within the school clearly indicate the teachers who are true professionals vs those that are simply going through the motions, and I don't mean simply the ones putting in the last year or two before retirement.

      You may have an easier time getting a contract if you're willing to work in more rural areas.
      Should you be catholic you really have double the options. I think, and admit that I could be wrong, you are supposed to be catholic to be hired by them. I think that's a huge issue, as the duplication in publicly funded education boggles my mind, but furthermore it's somewhat discriminative.

      I think the teachers that are lost in the first five years are ones that get married, have babies and decide to stay home, or weren't right for the profession in the first place.

      Though I know it will look like it, this last bit isn't directed to Jaerdo's comments.
      I think it's really unfair to compare professions.
      Teachers may spend less time working, given holidays, preps, benefits and what have you, than many other professionals.
      Accountants work very hard to earn their designations and continue to do so. But you never hear "well, it's not like they're education the next generation. They're not instilling inquisitiveness, a love of literacy and arts, an appreciation for STEM, encouraging a lifelong love of physical activity. They're just filing peoples taxes*."

      *I know that's not all accountants do, or what many/most do for that matter. It sure exemplifies the limited understanding of any profession though doesn't it?