Pamela Hutchins is taking the new school year head-on. Following the Supreme Court of Canada’s ruling to overturn legislation from 2002, teaching opportunities became abundant. It’s such a draw, the Maple Ridge resident enrolled at UNBC, moved to Prince George, and took the plunge.
“Teaching was always something I had on the back-burner, but the conditions didn’t seem right. Especially within the last 5 years, there weren’t a lot of job openings,” says Hutchins. “Because of the court ruling with Christy Clark, there were hundreds of jobs that opened up. Because of that opening, it has really made teaching a conducive career path for me.”
With so many vacancies, retired teachers went back to work in School District 57. “We do see some of that every year, this year likely we do have a higher level of teachers back helping us out,” says Marilyn Marquis-Forster, the Superintendent of School District 57. “We currently have 5.2 full-time equivalent retired teachers who have joined us on limited contracts. It actually is about 8 bodies.”
Since the retired teachers are on limited contracts [one-year], some of the filled positions may become available in the coming years. Meaning there is a good outlook for students in school right now, looking to start a career in education. “If you are coming out in the next few years, I think the prospects of teaching in British Columbia will remain very good,” says Marquis-Forster. “Teachers just entering now, looking at coming out in four or five years should not be discouraged. There is always room for talent, there is always room for folks who want to devote their lives to the profession.”
It’s encouraging for Hutchins, as she expects to graduate in 2019, and plans to work in the north. “I am excited to lay down roots and make good networking connections, it’s a really hospitable and kind community. They seem to really cherish their teachers and I think I can really grow and learn here.”