What does it take to become a teacher in Ontario?
“Teachers communicate, counsel, model and manage, using a wide array of methods and resources to guide students. They use a mix of traditional and technological approaches to spur student achievement, tracking student progress and refining their practices as they go. “ Teachers listen to and work with other teachers, parents, professionals and community partners to build an atmosphere of respect and collaboration necessary for academic achievement and character development.” From Thinking about teaching? www.oct.ca
Qualifications you need to teach in Ontario include:
- Teaching degree from an accredited institution
- Professional certification through the Ontario College of Teachers (to teach in publicly-funded schools)
What program should I take?
Three different types of programs qualify you for this registered profession:
- Master of Teaching (MT) or Master of Arts (MA) in Education: Such 2-year programs combine theoretical study as well as elementary or secondary teaching certification.
- Consecutive program: Complete an undergraduate degree then apply to an Initial Teacher Education Program. As of September 2015, all are 2-year programs in Ontario.
- Concurrent program: Usually entered from high school, Education courses are completed concurrently with Arts, Sciences or Business courses over 5 years. You receive your HBA, HBSc or BBA and your BEd at the same convocation.
When you apply to a teaching program, you will choose one from the following streams:
- Primary/Junior: Junior Kindergarten through Grade 4
- Junior/Intermediate: Grade 4 through Grade 10
- Intermedia te/Senior: Grade 7 through Grade 12
- Technological Education: Intermediate/Senior only
What are the common academic requirements for teaching programs?
- Completed undergraduate degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA * (for Consecutive and Master of Teaching programs)
- Two distinct and verifiable teaching related experiences
- Undergraduate courses in areas of teaching interests (these requirements vary considerably dependant on program and institution)
- Writing sample (Master’s level programs)
- Proficiency in English
Teaching programs require a minimum B average in your last 2 years/10 credits or your best 10 credits. * There are often minimum averages for your ‘teachable’ subjects as well. All programs look for experience working with children or youth
Improve your GPA:
Visit the AA&CC and the Centre for Teaching & Learning to improve your academic skills.
Get to know a few professors early so that they write a strong reference letter for you.
Gain volunteer experiences that demonstrate your skills and ongoing interest in a career in teaching.
Where can I study Teaching?
There are 13 publicly-funded OCT- accredited institutions in Ontario that offer initial teacher education:
- Brock University
- Lakehead University
- Laurentian University
- Nipissing University
- Queen’s University
- Trent University
- University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)
- University of Ottawa
- Western University
- University of Windsor
- Wilfrid Laurier University
- York University
- OISE/University of Toronto
Apply to these schools via OUAC’s TEAS or UofT’s SGS (see below).
There are 4 private OCT-accredited institutions in Ontario that offer initial teacher education:
- Charles Sturt
- Niagara University
- Redeemer University College
- Tyndale University
Applications to these schools will be submitted directly to each school.
You can find all accredited teacher education provider websites on the OCT website.
How much does it cost?
BEd and MT/MA programs are not ‘expensive’ by professional school standards. The website www.universitystudy.ca can give you a rough estimate on the cost of graduate studies at any university in Canada.
Future teachers are typically interested in the labour market.
How do I Apply?
Begin the application process one year before your desired autumn start:
- Create your TEAS online profile (for OISE’s MT, the SGS site) in October.
- Complete the TEAS and other applications by their deadlines, typically in the first week of December.
- Submit all the requested supporting documents by the stated deadlines.
Admission decisions are sent to applicants beginning in April.
Is an interview required?
For a few schools, an interview is required. You will be invited in Jan/Feb. Most schools do not require an interview.
What supporting documents may be required?
- Online and/or printed application form
- Two or three letters of reference (one must be academic)
- Experience profile and/or personal statement
- Official transcripts from all previous post-secondary education
- Vulnerable Police Sector Police Screening (after admission)
Where can I find more information and resources?
Professional Programs Guide accessible through CLN (Resources section)
Application & Personal Statement Resources
- Effective Admission Letters (U of T Writing Centre)
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab
- CTL’s Graduate School Application and Personal Statement Assignment Calculator
The AA&CC can help! Attend the Graduate & Professional Schools Fair (October), go to a Preparing for Professional & Graduate School workshop, meet professionals in the field through Extern, or speak with a Career Counsellor to learn how to get relevant experience!
Please note: While this tip sheet aims to ensure accuracy, requirements do change. Consider it a starting point for your further research. Visit individual Faculties of Education for detailed, up-to-date information about admission requirements and application procedures.
Last update: May 2015