B.C. school superintendent fills in as substitute teacher due to shortage

Jim Cambridge steps up to take over classroom teaching duties for the first time in 10 years

  • Oct. 4, 2017 10:25 a.m.

When the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the B.C. Teachers Federation last November it was known the ruling would require the province to hire thousands of new teachers to meet the class size and composition requirements set forward by the court.

And while, at the time, educators were generally jubilant with the decision, the logistical consequences of hiring a significant number of teachers may not have been fully anticipated, said Jim Cambridge, the superintendent of Sooke School District.

That belief was demonstrated on Sept. 28 when the scheduling software used by the school district showed that no teacher was available for a classroom at Dunsmuir Middle School, a situation that led to Cambridge stepping up to take over the classroom teaching duties for the first time in 10 years.

“I’m always happy to get into a classroom and teach. It was a really great experience,” he said.

READ MORE: Big changes coming to Sooke schools

The situation is the natural consequence of having a number of on-call teachers move from on-call positions to full time teaching positions during the flurry of hiring that resulted from the court’s decision.

“We’ve hired about 130 new teachers locally and that’s gone a long way to diminishing the pool of on-call teachers available to fill in for teachers who are absent on any given day,” said Cambridge.

He added that the division always hires new teachers to replace teachers who have retired or left the profession, but the normal number would be between 20 and 30.

“We’re reacting to the situation by interviewing and hiring new on-call teachers and we’re hoping we’ll be able to resolve the problem very soon. We need to bring on about 30 to 40 new staff and to that end we’ve hired nine new teachers in just the past two days,” said Cambridge.

On the bright side, he said that the situation facing Sooke is not as dire as it may be in other jurisdictions.

“We have the benefit of living in a pretty desirable place and it’s not too tough to attract teachers to live here,” he said.

“I’m sure there are areas where they are having a much harder time.”

Even with the hiring blitz currently underway, qualified educators on the district’s administrative staff are prepared to step in and fill any shortfalls on the short term. Those staff members have been going out to classrooms at a rate of one or two a day and are rotating those duties as the need arises.

“It’s a short term situation, but I think it’s not a bad thing at all. Most of us are happy for the chance to get back into the classroom. It is, after all, why we became educators in the first place.”



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Minister announces funding to upgrade Kettle Valley Rail Trail

Kelowna - $500,000 will go towards project that will upgrade Kettle Valley trail

Residents pay tribute to city’s homeless

He was articulate and well-spoken. He was great at self-reflection. He liked watching the Canucks. And more often than not, he lived at the Howard House Men’s Shelter.

Day 2 of RCMP search at Silver Creek residence

Police use backhoe in ongoing search effort at residential/agricultural Salmon River Road property

Kelowna resident hopes to create more with haunted house

Paul Coxe’s haunted house will be on display at 945 Grenfell Road, Friday, Oct. 27

Expanding reuse and recycle programs

Curbside pickup pilot project launched in Kelowna, Peachland, Lake Country

Mixing up local talent and cocktails

The annual Okanagan Spirits Craft Distillery Mixoff takes place in Kelowna in November

B.C. search groups mobilize for missing mushroom picker

Searchers from across the province look for Frances Brown who has been missing since Oct. 14.

Search for missing B.C. man a race against winter weather

David Jeff of Williams Lake was last seen in Kamloops during the chaotic wildfire evacuations

Expanding your creative process at UBCO

Kelowna - Creative Days events will be held at the university Saturday, Oct. 21, and Nov. 18

Exercising her right to fight

Thinking inside the box helped push Geneva Kostashen through cancer treatment

Residents pay tribute to city’s homeless

He was articulate and well-spoken. He was great at self-reflection. He liked watching the Canucks. And more often than not, he lived at the Howard House Men’s Shelter.

Man steals police car, goes for a ‘slow’ ride

Mission RCMP say the motive of the theft is unknown

Dodgers punch ticket to World Series

This will be the first time the Los Angles Dodgers have made it to the World Series since 1988.

Surf group winning the war on plastic bags

The Tofino Co-op will no longer provide plastic bags, following in the footsteps of the Ucluelet location that already made the change earlier this year.

Most Read