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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 18, Number 5, March 2006

Teaching exchanges in Canada

Have you ever thought of travelling to other parts of Canada? Is your spouse being offered a temporary position in another province? Would you like your children to see more of the world while they are growing up? Have your children gone to an out-of-province post-secondary school?

There are many reasons why a teaching exchange might work for you. Unfortunately, there are a number of myths surrounding exchanges that make people think exchanges are not an option for them.

Myth #1: Teacher exchanges are only with other countries.

While it is more common to have exchanges outside of Canada, exchanges within Canada can also be arranged.

Myth #2: It’s very hard to arrange an exchange.

The Canadian Education Exchange Foundation (CEEF) is an organization wholly focussed on arranging domestic and international exchanges for educators and students. They make the process surprisingly easy. The CEEF will make every effort to match you with an exchange educator. You can even arrange matches yourself and let the CEEF handle the administrative work of arranging the exchange.

Myth #3: Pay and benefits will be impacted while on exchange.

Absolutely not. While on exchange your pay and benefits are maintained by your home board as usual, just like you were still teaching at home. Also, you will not have any break in continuous service on your pension.

Myth #4: Seniority will be lost.

Absolutely not. You retain your seniority rights and progression just like you were teaching at home.

Myth #5: Some exchanges turn into nightmares.

There are many organizations arranging overseas teaching positions. Unfortunately some of these are less successful than others.

The CEEF is the only not-for-profit organization arranging exchanges for Canadian educators and devolved directly from the Ontario Ministry of Education. Their sole purpose is to arrange teaching exchanges and they have been doing so successfully for over 13 years.

Myth #6: Schools or boards will never agree to it.

While you need to have formal approval from your principal and board, most boards have very supportive policies relating to exchanges. In almost every case it is just a matter of asking your Human Resources department and you will find that they are very open to an exchange.

Myth #7: I’d have to sell my house if I go on exchange.

Typically, exchange families trade homes for the duration of the exchange. The CEEF has more information on how this arrangement works.

For more information on exchanges, domestic or international, check out the Canadian Education Exchange Foundation web site at www.ceef.ca or call them in Barrie, Ontario at 705-739-7596.

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