Teachers in the US, Canada, UK and Australia need to ‘think about how’ to prepare for online jobs
Teachers in Canada, the US and the UK are in the midst of an unprecedented recruitment crisis, with many employers scrambling to recruit teachers on the fly.
But for many, online jobs are still a distant dream.
“Teachers have been trained in many different ways over the years.
I don’t know of any organisation where teachers have a clear path to online employment,” says Wendy Loeffler, director of education for Canada’s Teachers’ Union.”
The problem is, most employers do not know how to train their staff, or what they can and can’t do with the teaching tools they have.”
Teachers can be trained to use tools such as video recordings, audio files and online tutorials.
They can also be trained in video and voice-recognition skills, and learn to apply the digital skills in class.
Many companies say they have no idea how to handle teachers in their own classrooms, or how to support them when they do leave.
But they say they need to start preparing for the new job market, which has seen a boom in online teaching since the start of the year.
“We’re seeing the kind of skills that are used in schools in many countries, and we need to ensure that we’re building the capacity to support and support teachers,” says Julie Hickey, director general of the UK’s National Union of Teachers.
In Canada, online job postings have exploded, with companies posting 1,400 new job openings in the first 24 hours of the new year, with more to come.
Many employers are also reporting increased demand for teachers in rural areas and in remote communities, as well as in areas with large numbers of students.
“It’s not that we don’t have a problem.
It’s that we have a huge amount of work to do to make sure we have teachers on our campuses that are well trained and equipped to do what they do,” says Donna Ebert, executive director of the US-based Teaching Assistants Association.”
But the fact that it’s coming in at the same time we’re seeing some of the best teacher recruitment in years, that’s just a really encouraging sign that this is a rapidly changing market.”
Job seekers can find more information on job search sites such as Glassdoor and Salary.com.au, which can help them find the best job for them.
Some companies, such as JobHunter, have created websites where they offer jobs in a particular state or province.
And there are also apps such as Skilltree, which will give you tips on how to hire teachers.
But teachers, like other workers, will need to learn new skills in order to adapt to the digital age.
“Some of the more recent advances in technology, such the iPad and mobile phones, have led to a lot of digital training, but there’s a huge disconnect between what teachers do on their computers and what they need in a classroom,” says Dr Loeffer.
“There’s a need to think about how to ensure we have people in classrooms that are in a position to adapt and work with the technology.”
For teachers, there are a number of online tools to help them prepare for the job market.
Some offer a free teacher training course, such to learn how to use the iPad.
Some offer online certification training.
Some are offering a paid online certification course.
And there are courses such as the Australian National Certificate in Teaching and the Canadian Teacher Training Service that teach students how to prepare to teach at the highest level.
The problem with that, some teachers say, is that the course is too expensive.
“That is not the ideal way to teach,” says Loeber.
“But what is the best way to get through that first two or three years of teaching?”
Some schools have also started offering online learning courses to prepare students for the teaching profession.
“I would have thought that that would be the most important thing in terms of a professional training,” says Ellen Denniston, principal of the New South Wales School of Education.
“If you don’t teach well enough, you will not get that degree.”
Dr Loeiffler also warns that many teachers don’t want to go through the process of going through the certification process.
“They think that certification is an unnecessary and expensive experience, and they feel it’s not necessary for them to go on and go to another school,” she says.
“You could argue that they do want that experience, but they’re not prepared for it.”
For many, the biggest challenge will be managing their own career.
“One of the challenges that we see in this country is that most teachers don’ think that they should be in a profession that is constantly looking for new jobs,” says Ebert.
“When I see a teacher come in and say, ‘I’ve got an internship here and I want to become a teacher’, it’s almost as if they are just waiting to see what the job looks