General FAQ

Doesn't Canada have a strong education system?

Overall, Canada has a world-class public education system. The successes of our education systems are in large part a credit to Canada's outstanding teachers.

Yet, Canada's aggregate educational outcomes don't tell the whole story. According to the 2006 census, only 39% of 20-to-24-year-old First Nations people living on reserve have a high school diploma. Among Inuit, the graduation rate was only 30%. In rural and remote communities, the drop-out rate is double the national average.

And, too often, schools in remote and Indigenous communities face challenges recruiting and retaining teachers. This is the specific challenge that Teach For Canada addresses.

Why are education outcomes lower in remote communities?

A combination of systemic under-funding of education, a history of oppression, a legacy of outside involvement in remote and Indigenous communities, teacher shortages and rapid turnover, and social challenges have combined to reduce education outcomes in remote communities. Much of the inequity that Teach For Canada seeks to address is itself the legacy of residential schools--the calculated destruction of Indigenous languages, cultures, and communities in the name of education.

Our organization's core values--humility, culture, collaboration, and transparency--indicate how we build community partnerships that are based on trust. Ours is not a top-down model; we do not impose our resources on any community that is not keen to partner with us, nor do we insist on any pedagogical method or teacher selection methodology that does not earn the support of our community and school partners. We also make a concerted effort to ensure that Teach For Canada teachers represent the backgrounds of the students whom we aim to serve.

Why are you asking for a two-year teaching commitment?

Many remote and Indigenous communities struggle to keep teachers in the classroom for one entire school year, or even for one full term. While two years is far from perfect, a minimum two-year commitment is far superior to a sequence of shorter-term teachers, or no teachers at all. Many Teach For Canada teachers will stay in the classroom after their initial two-year commitment. For those who do not, we recruit, prepare, and support another teacher to take their place.

Does Teach For Canada prioritize Indigenous teachers?

Yes. Recruiting Indigenous educators is a priority for Teach For Canada because it's a priority for many of our community partners. We are committed to addressing the social and political inequities that Indigenous students face, and we spend what energy and resources we have to work alongside Indigenous communities--and at their direction--to address this issue.

We will also recruit teachers from urban centres, where there is often a surplus of teachers. Our targeted recruitment efforts will offer outstanding educators a means of teaching in a community where their talents can make a meaningful difference.

Who funds Teach For Canada?

As a non-profit organization, Teach For Canada fundraises to cover all costs of our teacher recruitment, preparation, and support programming. At the present time, 70% of our annual funding comes from family foundations and 30% comes from corporate supporters. A full list of our donors can be found here.

Is this Teach For America in Canada?

No. We are a made-in-Canada initiative that works with schools in northern First Nations communities to recruit, prepare, and support outstanding certified teachers. All Teach For Canada teachers must have completed (or be in the final year of) a Bachelor of Education, Master of Teaching, or other teacher education degree when they apply.

FAQ for Teachers

FAQ for Teachers

Where will I live and what is the housing cost?

You will live in housing provided by the community for its teachers. This accommodation is called a teacherage, and it can vary from a single housing unit for each teacher to shared teacher accommodation within the same building. Rent varies by community, but it is typically between $300 and $600 per month per teacher.

What curriculum will I use?

The curriculum in Teach For Canada's partner schools and communities is the standard provincial curriculum used in public schools. However, Teach For Canada teachers receive training at the Summer Enrichment Program on how to adapt the curriculum to make it relevant for students in remote and Indigenous communities.

My partner is also a teacher. Can we be matched together?

Yes. There is space on the application form to indicate whether you'd be liked to be matched with your partner, should they also be a teacher. If you both meet Teach For Canada's selection criteria, and if you are both selected to become Teach For Canada teachers, then we will connect you with a community that requires two teachers with your qualifications.

I am a Canadian teacher, but my Bachelor of Education and teaching certificate are from a province/territory other than Ontario. Can I apply to Teach For Canada?

Yes. Teach For Canada has launched a national teacher recruitment campaign, and we hope to receive applications from committed educators across Canada.

Since 2009, the Ontario Labour Mobility Act has enabled the Ontario College of Teachers to certify teachers from other parts of Canada under the terms of the revised Agreement on Internal Trade. To teach in Ontario, teachers must:

  • Apply for OCT certification
  • Become an Associate Member of the relevant teachers association
  • Obtain a QECO salary evaluation for placement on the local salary grid

I only want to teach for one year. Should I apply?

No. One of our goals is to increase teacher retention in the north, and each Teach For Canada teacher makes a two-year commitment to a northern First Nations community. However, we hope that you will consider applying to Teach For Canada when you feel ready to commit to teach for two years in a northern community.

I am an internationally-trained teacher, can I apply to Teach For Canada?

Teach For Canada is proud to recruit a diverse range of applicants. At minimum, successful teachers must be:
  • certified or certification-eligible in a Canadian province or territory
  • qualified to teach K-12 in Ontario
  • have legal working status in Canada for two years.
  • available to teach full-time for two academic years
  • able to relocate to a rural First Nations community in northern Ontario. 
  • available to attend a three-week Summer Enrichment Program in July/August (all-expenses covered by Teach For Canada).
If you fulfill these requirements, we would love to learn more about you. You can learn more at teachforcanada.ca/apply.

Who employs Teach For Canada teachers and what is the salary?

Just like with any other teacher in the school, your salary will depend on your years of teaching experience, your QECO salary qualification based on your university experience, and the salary grid in the community.

For a brand-new teacher who has recently graduated with a Bachelor of Education degree and has 0 years of experience, the beginning salary in First Nations schools in northern Ontario is typically between $36,000 and $44,000. Though the funding gap between First Nations schools and non-First Nations schools puts limitations on salaries, teachers with more years of teaching experience can naturally expect a higher salary. In fly-in communities, additional northern allowances are common and include a northern salary enhancement, retention bonuses, relocation allowances and other salary perks that may range between an additional $3,000 and $7,000.