Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Good jobs. Uh huh...

Ahahahahahahahaha. Funniest thing I’ve read so far this week.

Yes, there is a touch of bitterness with the laughter. But if any recent grad of MUN’s education facility thinks he or she is getting a job teaching in Newfoundland and Labrador except under extraordinary circumstances, then they’re sadly delusional.

By the way, extraordinary circumstances include the following:
1. Mommy and Daddy know a principal.
2. A willingness to work in rural Labrador for the rest of your career.
3. A specialization in a field for which there is a sudden shortage (which can be a crapshoot to predict)
4. A willingness to substitute for the next eight years, or work 1/8 positions for the next several years in the hopes of landing something eventually. Maybe.

Other than that, you might as well start packing your bags for Alberta or the North. Where, oh yes, along with giving teachers a job, actually pay them half decently. If I recall, the salary for teaching in Labrador is hardly wonderful in terms of compensating the challenges they have to face (isolation and challenging students for starters). If you’re going that far north, you might as well go all the way, where at least the money is better.

I really do feel bad for teachers in Newfoundland. It’s one of those positions where the provincial government has them by the short and curlies. If you don’t like how much you’re being paid or the conditions in the classroom or the curriculum, well you can feel free to leave. It’s not like there aren’t about 5,000 teachers waiting in the wings to take your job, so desperate is their need to either stay or return home. It’s one of the prime jobs where people are taken advantage of by their desire to be in Newfoundland.

And such is the desire of many to stay there that they will struggle for years on substandard salaries, eking out an existence. Not to mention I have no idea what it does to their pensions, but I can’t imagine it’s all that good.

So yes, a job fair for all the teaching opportunities in Newfoundland and Labrador. Dead funny, if not quite so bloody sad.

19 comments:

kodak said...

Apparantly not much has changed since at least the early '90's. I got a second degree as a high school teacher. The talk while in school was that there will be plenty of jobs in a few years because the baby boomers will be retiring. Well a certain number retire each year but there were more trained teachers than the demand wants. However, for me it didn't matter, I subbed for 1.5 years, got good experience, then applied and got a variety of other education related jobs. It came in very handy for a research job at MUN. I did the program because I wanted the skills but didn't necessarily want to stay teaching. People will no doubt put their degrees to good use, it is too bad that those who really felt like teaching was their calling, might not be actualized.

WJM said...

2. A willingness to work in rural Labrador for the rest of your career.

You make that sound like some kind of punishment.

"What's wrong with working in rural Labrador?", asked the guy who was born, raised, and educated in rural Labrador.

towniebastard said...

Kodak, it's the same bill of goods they've been trying to sell for years. "Don't worry, a whole bunch of teachers are about to retire and there will be plenty of jobs." I heard in the early 90s as well. Oddly, it still hasn't happened.

I'd be curious to see what percentage of MUN education grads get full-time jobs in the province upon graduation. I'd bet a small number.

WJM, it is a punishment if you don't want to be in rural Labrador, but feel you have few other options if you want to be a professional teacher.

If that's what you want upon graduation, to go and teach in rural Labrador, then that's great. But we both know that tends to not be the case. Most want to teach in more urban areas.

WJM said...

WJM, it is a punishment if you don't want to be in rural Labrador, but feel you have few other options if you want to be a professional teacher.

The same is true of rural Newfoundland, if you don't want to be there.

If that's what you want upon graduation, to go and teach in rural Labrador, then that's great. But we both know that tends to not be the case. Most want to teach in more urban areas.

Good for "most." But in any profession, you work where the work is, and teachers, of all professions, should not be looking down their noses at their own students.

And how are Labrador students any more "challenging" than those in Lawn or Codroy?

Anonymous said...

Teachers did retire, but that didn't open up opportunities because the out-dated denominational education system was ended mid-90s (so NF & LB needed less schools and less teachers). Many of the teachers who took early retirement with the system switch got bored and went back to teaching. I'm pretty sure they collect their pension and a paycheque at the same time. They should have developed a life, or at least a hobby.

M.

towniebastard said...

WJM, while I don't always agree with what you say, you've never struck me as being an idiot. So I'm assuming you're arguing for the sake of arguing or being a nuisance right now. Because honestly, if you can't see the difference between being a teacher in Nain and Lawn, then I honestly don't know what to think.

Anonymous said...

Wally is just being Wally, nothing new there.

The last place I would want to be sent to teach is in some remote area of Labrador. I rememer a news story about a teacher having had her apartment ransacked by the locals in Natuashish while she was away on holiday. She was pretty much traumatized by the whole thing as i recall (no kidding).

WJM said...

WJM, while I don't always agree with what you say, you've never struck me as being an idiot. So I'm assuming you're arguing for the sake of arguing or being a nuisance right now. Because honestly, if you can't see the difference between being a teacher in Nain and Lawn, then I honestly don't know what to think.

If you CAN see a difference between being a teacher in Mary's Harbour or North West River or L'anse au Loup, on the one hand, and Lawn on the other, than I *DO* know what to think. I think it's typical Newfoundland chauvinism rearing its head yet again.

WJM said...

The last place I would want to be sent to teach is in some remote area of Labrador. I rememer a news story about a teacher having had her apartment ransacked by the locals in Natuashish while she was away on holiday. She was pretty much traumatized by the whole thing as i recall (no kidding).

Typical, brave, anonymous Newfoundlander.

Why cite Natuashish? Why not Postville or Port Hope Simpson or St. Lewis or Red Bay or Makkovik?

Anonymous said...

Wally, The only portion of Labrador that makes any sense for a population center is lab City. As far as Happy Valley - Goose Bay is concerned, stick a fork in it, it's done. The NATO nations have pulled their armed forces out of Goose and I honestly can't see what usefull purpose it serves any longer. There are some talks about putting a contingient of the Canadian Forces in Goose but I don't see that happening in all honesty.

With regards to the smaller villages up along the coast of Labrador, and for that matter many of the small outports on the island portion of the province, there is no real future in any of them. The kids from these placesare opting to live in larger centers where they can persue post secondary education and find work. Some migrate to other parts of Canada and for that matter the world. The days of little Johny quitting school before getting his grade 10, 11 or 12, and fishing with his father is a thing of the past.

WJM said...

Anonymous: do you have a name?

towniebastard said...

I will maintain that it is considerably more difficult to teach in Nain, Red Bay or anywhere in Labrador than most of Newfoundland. Yes, a lot of people like living in rural areas. However, as census numbers are showing, a lot more prefer to be close to urban areas.

Thus if you want to get away for a few days and go shopping, relax or see friends and family, it is considerably more difficult in Labrador than on the island.

Labrador is considerably more expensive to live in and the rate of compensation doesn't make up for the extra costs from what I've read.

It's funny, but my "Newfoundland" chauvinism generally only comes forward when dealing with the incessant whining of certain people in Labrador.

Anonymous said...

Yes I have a name, but does that take away from my opinion?

WJM, do you think my opinion is wrong?

Most young people today prefer to live in larger centers with access to education, work, shopping conveniences etc. that they cannot avail of in smaller centers. This is not unique to Nfld & Lab by the way.

Rural areas in this province are wonderful places to visit if you are into fishing, hunting, hiking or other forms of outdoor activity. Unfortunately most people do not wish to spend their entire lives in isolated locations. The greater portion of labrador and rural portions of the island are for all intents and purposes isolated which makes it difficult to find Doctors and Teachers who want to live and work in such areas, that is just the way it is.

Anonymous said...

No reonse to my opinion WJM?

Anonymous said...

Complete silence from WJM aka Wally, I guess he is stumped!

WJM said...

Complete silence from WJM aka Wally, I guess he is stumped!

Or he hasn't checked in on this blog in a while.

Some of us have lives away from the keyboard, you know.

WJM said...

Labrador is considerably more expensive to live in

More than what? Even within Labrador there's a great deal of variation.

I don't think any part of Labrador is as expensive as Nunavut, though... ;)

WJM said...

Anonymous, what you said on the 13th is all true.

WJM said...

It's funny, but my "Newfoundland" chauvinism generally only comes forward when dealing with the incessant whining of certain people in Labrador.

Has it ever occurred to you to consider that much of that "whining" is, in fact, justified?