VSB signs on dozens of new teachers

Schools & Students

Dec 13, 2017

In one day last week, 26 newly graduating teachers all signed paperwork to join the teaching staff at the Vancouver School Board. Another six signed on this week as well. They were completing the professional development programs at Simon Fraser University’s Faculty of Education, and were able to go right from school into teaching jobs with VSB. In addition, three teachers were hired this week from other districts.

“I feel so fortunate to walk into a job before graduation,” says Caylan Piper, who is graduating from the Professional Linking Program at SFU. “I was still in my practicum when VSB offered me a job.”

“VSB were super quick and super timely in recruiting,” says Anne-Marie Bélanger, who is completing the Programme de formation professionnelle at SFU and will be able to teach French Immersion at VSB. “Other districts are coming to talk to our class but not as quickly. It was good of VSB to recruit us that way.”

Piper notes that VSB’s proactive recruitment made it very easy to apply. “We were invited to a meeting where were told about Vancouver School Board, and they had a sign-up sheet for interviews,” she says. “Even the online application, on Make a Future, with VSB is definitely an easier process than other districts. I’m impressed with how fast I heard back.”

Of the 26 teachers signed on last week, ten accepted full time on call teaching positions, while the other 16, including Piper and Bélanger, have opted for regular on call positions. Of the nine signing contracts this week, one took a permanent job while the other eight accepted regular on call positions.

“All of them were offered full time positions in VSB, but some have opted not to accept full time right now,” says Chris Hudson, executive director of Employee Services at VSB. “Many new teachers want to keep flexibility in their schedules.”

Both Bélanger and Piper are Vancouver residents, and grateful to land jobs in the city where they live. “I’ve applied to another school district, but I’m going to VSB because it’s my neighbourhood, I live here,” says Bélanger. “It’s a community I know, more than I would in another district.”

“I’ve already worked with VSB for a few years as a support worker, an SSA, and had a great experience in my practicum,” says Piper. “It’s nice to be working in the community where I live.”

Piper is one of 12 former SSAs with VSB, working with students with special needs, who have now joined the district as teachers.

Piper adds that VSB’s diversity also drew her to the district. “I love how diverse VSB is,” she notes. “It’s one of the reasons I chose VSB. Also, it’s a large district, so there will be lots of opportunities to choose from.”

Hudson says hiring this cohort from SFU is a great step towards easing the district’s hiring challenges, but VSB is still trying to solve its teacher shortage.

“Our recruitment teams continue to work flat out to identify and hire qualified teachers,” he says. “We’ve implemented a $1,500 moving allowance as an incentive for anyone arriving from another province, and we’re looking into providing temporary home stays to help candidates relocating to Vancouver. We still have challenges, but we are thrilled to welcome these 35 new teachers to our district.”