Posts Tagged ‘OT’

Occasional Teacher Trainings

At Edcamp Ottawa this past weekend, there was a session all about occasional teachers, the process and the struggles.  I remember being an occasional teacher (OT) for the OCDSB and was so frustrated with the wait to get my own classroom.


During the session I talked about spending your time as an OT learning and getting ready for your future classroom and students.

Afterwards, I spoke to the two OT’s running the session, Jessica Davis and Courtney White. I told them I had the idea in the past of giving training sessions to OT’s who wanted to learn. We decided to put it into action.

We are sending around the below form to ask you what you want to learn about. We are hoping to put together a bunch of sessions that will help OT’s learn relevant information to help them in their future classrooms and with their future students. We are only collecting your email so we can email you when we figure out when these sessions will be.

Please fill out the form below and please share it with your OT friends!

The New LTO/Contract list for OT’s

In Ontario there is a lot of confusion and uncertainty about the new Long Term Occasional and Contract job hiring process.

Occasional teachers received an email stating that we had to apply to a list for occasional teachers to be considered for Long Term Occasional or contract jobs. They are making a seniority list for occasional teachers who want LTO’s or contracts. We have to apply by April 2nd and if we don’t, we will not be considered for these jobs this year. If you apply to the posting, you will be interviewed in April. There are two different lists- one for elementary and one for secondary.

The insulting part about this is that many of us have been supplying for years and are great supply teachers. If you have had many LTO’s or have part of a contract, you still have to be interviewed to be on this list. Whatever has happened in the past doesn’t matter. How hard you have worked in the past or present doesn’t matter because it is all about how you interview when you are called upon.

Why is this happening? The liberal government has imposed this process on us. Our union (OCEOTA) tried to get everyone who had successful LTO’s or partial contracts exempted, but the gov’t ignored their requests.

I heard that principals can only interview the top 5 OT’s based on seniority and they will choose one person from those interviews.

My questions are will we be able to see the LTO/contract seniority list and will it be constantly updated so we can see when our time is near?

What I wish I knew as a new Occasional Teacher for the OCDSB

It is now harder than ever to get a contract for the Ottawa Carleton District School Board. It is an immensely competitive job market and a long, long, looooong wait.  Here are some tips and advice I wish someone had told me when I got on the Occasional Teachers List.


During teachers college, I was told it would take 5 to 8 years to get a permanent job in the OCDSB. I was told this again and again, and I understood it. You don’t know how long 5 years can feel until you have been waiting for a job all that time. My advice is to use this time to your advantage. Supply for many schools and many teachers. Figure out how you want to teach, and what you definitely do not what to teach like. Use this time to learn from teachers you admire and to gather resources.

Additional Qualifications:

When you’re supply teaching, you will have a lot of time on your hands since you won’t work everyday or all day. Use this time to take Additional Qualification (AQ) courses. Yes, they do cost a lot of money, but it’s better to do them now, when you have the time. I focused on getting to the highest pay grid during my time as a supply teacher. This way, whenever I get a job, I’ll be earning the highest amount possible and I won’t have to bother with taking courses when I’m already stressed out with a job. Also, because there are so many qualified teachers, you need to take AQ’s to look more favourably for the job that you want.

Professional Development:

Professional Development aka PD is a great free way to learn more about teaching. OCEOTA has specific occasional teaching PD such as “Survive while Smiling.” I would suggest that these are great for your first year supplying. When you become more experienced you will want to learn more. This is when I was thrilled to find out about ePLC. It is the OCDSB workshop registration system. Go to, and look in the staff section for ePLC. Click on the link, and make a New User account.


Click on Register for Workshops and then Fetch All Workshops. This will give you a list of all of the workshops happening. Make sure you are allowed to attend. Some workshops will state specifically that they are not for Occasional teachers, but you can always email the person involved and ask to attend. They can only say no!


You can also check out Ontario Teacher Federation PD. They are offering free webinars that are so informative. Check out the PD calendar here.

Twitter is also a great way to get some PD anytime. There is always interesting discussions going on about education. I participate in #ntchat which is a chat for new teachers by Lisa Dabbs (@teachingwthsoul) that happens on Wednesday nights at 8pm. There are also a ton more. To learn more about the twitter chats, click here.


Supply Teaching is a really emotional job. It is like being on a job interview every day for 5-8 years. You constantly are trying your best, being friendly, and balancing a million things. You might work at a school all of the time, and then they stop calling you. You will wonder did I do something wrong, did I offend anyone? My tip is to believe in yourself. You are probably doing a better job than you realize. Smile at everyone, help wherever you can, clean your classroom at the end of the day, and leave a note or email for the teacher to let them know how it went. The truth is that you are going to have hard days, try to keep on focusing on the good ones!

Being Sick:

We all get sick. As supply teachers we are covering for sick teachers most of the time. I always felt so much pressure to go into work no matter how I was feeling. My advice is to only call in sick if you are really, really sick and cannot work. Try and give as much notice as you can, and explain that you are really sick and apologize. Most of the time they will be understanding.


Meeting new people and networking is a huge part of being a teacher. I would use BEAM to save contacts you meet. Put their name in your contacts folder with a note of how you met them and their information. This way, you can email them occasionally and keep them up to date with what is happening with you. Twitter is also an amazing way to meet other teachers from around the world or right here in Ottawa!

Free Stuff/Discounts:

As teachers we get some perks! Yay perks. With our OCT card we get some freebies and discounts. Check them out here.

Michaels lets us save 15%, you just have to show your OCT card.

Let me know what you thought about this post and if you have any other questions!