Qualified substitute teachers turned down, despite understaffing in schools

Qualified substitute candidates refused, despite lack of staff in schools


A qualified teacher does not understand why her application as a substitute teacher was refused by a school service center which often has to resort to emergency replacement in the midst of a staff shortage.

“I'm swimming in a pool of incomprehension”, is surprised Karine Richard, 44 years old.

A week ago, she learned that her application as a substitute had been rejected by the Center de services scolaire des Mille-Îles (CSSMI), in the Laurentians.

The announcement came after a process of selection of more than a month, including a “very impersonal” and cold interview by videoconference, she says.

“Your application, despite the interest it represents, has not was not retained at this stage of our hiring process,” reads the email.

However, she has her certificate and a bachelor's degree in teaching French as a second language, two documents that Le Journal consulted.

Ms. Richard has 14 years of experience as a teacher, or 4 years in high school in schools on the North Shore and 10 years in francization in Montreal.

Not the only one

“I only want to do substitute,” she grows impatient. “It seems to me that I have nevertheless proven myself”.

She asked the CSSMI for the reason for the refusal. “Unfortunately, we do not do personalized follow-up with each of the candidates whose application has not been accepted,” he was told.

Ms. Richard is not the only qualified person to having been refused by the CSSMI in recent weeks.

Le Journal spoke to a retired engineer who also has his teaching certificate, who has already taught in secondary schools as well as at CEGEP, and whose application was refused as a substitute after the interview.

However, he asked to remain anonymous because he now works as a substitute in another service center.

Great needs

To the union of the education in the Basses-Laurentides, however, it is indicated that the shortage is real, the directors regularly having recourse to emergency replacement, that is to say a system which makes it possible to oblige certain teachers to replace in the class of another.

“We are in a context of labor shortage, but we do not want to lower our standards of excellence for all that,” explains Mélanie Poirier of the CSSMI by email.

The reasons that may explain that a candidate is not successful are numerous and can range from having “poor references”, “criminal background”, to not “matching the values ​​of the organization”.

No background

Karine Richard claims to have no blemish on her file, nor any criminal history.

The two former directors she had referred to have changed establishments due to staff turnover, she explains. -elle.

She took a 4-year break from teaching, in particular to devote herself to her three children as well as to other activities, such as her writing projects, she explains. -elle.

She will soon be moving to her husband's house in Sainte-Thérèse and therefore hoped to make a gradual return to teaching in schools near her future home, while keeping her current job in the middle of the catering.

“The only thing I see [that could explain the refusal] is if they searched social networks. They might have seen that I was a proofreader and editor for Summum,” a men's entertainment magazine, she assumes.

You're having trouble getting hired in a school service centre? Write to us at dominique.scali@quebecormedia.com