The links and resources below provide a wealth of information about the Ontario Curriculum, useful resource documents, and some supports for occasional teachers. Keep exploring the pages listed below, and you’re sure to find even more!
Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education website provides a wealth of helpful information. Choose the publications link on the right side of the screen, then the link for “Teachers” to go to publications that support Ontario teachers. From this site, you can access curriculum documents, exemplars for assessment, literacy and numeracy documents providing strategies and policy, code of conduct information, information about the provincial report card, special education procedure and many more helpful documents.
Ontario College of Teachers
The 2007 Transition to Teaching study reports that the underemployment of English language teachers in Ontario is not likely to improve in the near future. The new reality for teachers starting out in the province is a number of years of occasional teaching before landing a permanent contract. The most current information about this trend can be found on the College website.
Although this report is disheartening, it is important to be aware of the realities of the job market. The section from pages 30-39 focuses particularly on the challenges faced by internationally educated teachers.
Curriculum Services Canada
This website offers many resources for classroom teachers. Click on "Classroom Resources" on the left side of the page. To access free teacher-developed resources. These include assessment tools, literacy support documents and lesson plans for all grades and all subjects. There is also a link to secondary school course profiles that includes unit and lesson plans, as well as assessment strategies.
These resources will give you a better sense of curriculum and planning that is being used in Ontario classrooms.
Teacher Federation Websites
These sites offer many publications of interest to those who are entering the profession as an occasional teacher. Don’t limit yourself to one website to support your search for a job as an occasional teacher. There are many relevant resources available on other sites. Here is just a sampling:
- Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO)
ETFO website contains a link to resources. When you click on this link, you have the option of clicking on resources for occasional teachers. A publication of interest to those beginning as occasional teachers is entitled The Occasion to Lead: A Resource Guide for Occasional Teachers. This publication has a bit of everything: an introduction to the teachers’ federations and important workplace issues, professional resources, and lots of practical tips for occasional teachers about classroom management, discipline and emergency lesson plans.
For those wanting to gain insight into school workplace culture, the subject index provides countless brief articles, such as Advice for Members – Workplace Relations or Dealing with Conflict or Staff-Principal Relations.
- Ontario English Catholic Teachers’ Association (OECTA)
The OECTA website contains a publication entitled Essential Information for Occasional Teachers: Practical Advice and Support to Occasional Teachers and the Teachers They are Replacing. This document can be accessed by clicking on the bar entitled “For Teachers” located at the top of the page.
This helpful handbook has a section on "Professional Boundaries" that covers relations with students, parents, and your colleagues. Other helpful sections include a "Daily To Do list for the Occasional Teacher", and an information form that can facilitate communication between an occasional teacher and the regular classroom teacher.
This site also contains a publication entitled "How to Build Your Teaching Portfolio" that can be found in the list on the right side of the page. Although many employers prefer that candidates not bring portfolios to interviews, you never know when you will encounter one who would like to see some of your work. This page has a number of separate documents that you can download, such as “Creating your Teaching Portfolio” which provides some concrete suggestions on what to include in your teacher portfolio.
- Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation (OSSTF)
The OSSTF website contains a very helpful document for occasional teachers entitled Survival Skills for Occasional Teachers.
This document provides some very practical advice and can be used as a resource on many topics. ”Getting Hired” provides particularly helpful tips on where to locate the information that you need to help with your job search. The section entitled, ”How Students View Occasional Teachers” provides insight into the school culture here and the challenges faced by occasional teachers. ”Establishing Rapport with the Students” provides concrete and detailed advice on classroom management and appropriate discipline. Finally, ”You and the Law” provides an effective overview of many legal issues particularly relevant to occasional teachers in Ontario.
- Other Resources
New Canadian Teachers and Non-Native Speaking Teacher’s Resource Site at:
Our thanks to Michael De Angelis, D’Arcy Magee and OISE/UT Student Services for their contributions to this material.