Attending Schools

Teachers and Staff

What are some of the roles of teachers and staff in Nova Scotia?



Here are the job profiles for Teachers. See more information in section 6.

Elementary School Teacher

Elementary school teachers teach basic subjects such as reading, writing and mathematics or specialized subjects such as English or French as a second language in elementary schools. Some of their job duties are:

  • prepare courses for presentation to students according to approved curriculum
  • teach students using a systematic plan of lessons, discussions, audio-visual presentations and field trips
  • lead students in activities to promote their physical, mental and social development
  • assign and correct homework
  • prepare, administer and correct tests
  • • evaluate the progress of students and discuss results with students, families and school officials
  • identify children's individual learning needs
  • prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help
  • participate in staff meetings, educational conferences and teacher training workshops

Secondary School Teacher

Secondary school teachers prepare and teach academic, technical, vocational or specialized subjects at secondary schools.  Secondary school teachers who are heads of departments are included in this group.  Secondary teachers may specialize in areas such as mathematics, English, French, special education or second language instruction. Secondary school teachers of vocational and trades subjects may specialize in areas such as auto mechanics. Some of their job duties are:

  • prepare subject material for presentation to students according to an approved curriculum
  • teach students using a systematic plan of lectures, discussions, audio-visual presentations and laboratory, shop and field studies
  • assign and correct homework
  • prepare, administer and correct tests
  • evaluate progress, determine individual needs of students and discuss results with families and school officials
  • prepare and implement remedial programs for students requiring extra help
  • participate in staff meetings, educational conferences and teacher training workshops
  • may teach and evaluate students through distance or online courses
  • may advise students on course selection and on vocational and personal matters
  • may supervise student teachers

Educational/Career Counsellor

Educational/career counsellors advise students on educational issues, career planning and personal development, and coordinate counselling services to students, families, teachers, faculty and staff. Some of their job duties are:

  • counsel students on course and program selection, time tables and scheduling, school adjustment, attendance problems and study skills
  • help students with career exploration and planning, resume preparation, job interview skills and job search strategies; provide educational and occupational information
  • coordinate co-op and school-to-work transition programs, professional development sessions and exchanges with other educational institutions
  • consult with teachers, families, community agencies other professionals such as psychologists, speech therapists and social workers on various student issues and concerns
  • counsel students about personal and social issues such as substance abuse, sexuality, family problems, relationship and interpersonal skills, emotional problems and mental illness

School Support Teachers

Here are the job profiles for School Support Teachers. See more information in section 6.

English as an Additional Language (EAL) Teacher

EAL teachers are responsible for providing specialized language instruction and support to students whose English proficiency ranges from beginner to advanced levels.  Some of the job duties are:

  • assess newcomers’ English language skills—listening and speaking, reading and writing
  • recommend grade level placement
  • design EAL programs to address individual language needs
  • work with classroom teachers to make sure students succeed
  • provide ongoing informal and formal assessment
  • work with school staff and community groups

Resource Teacher

Resource teachers work with students who require support in addition to support provided by the classroom teacher.  Some of the job duties are:

  • assist teachers in selecting and adapting teaching strategies to meet students’ needs
  • • work with school administrators, teachers, families and student in the design, implementation and review of individual program plans (IPPs)
  • contribute to the assessment of students by using a variety of formal and informal tests

Substitute Teacher

Substitute teachers take the place of regular teachers when they are absent.  They are expected to carry out all the duties of the absent teacher.

Additional Support Staff

Here are the job profiles for Additional Support Staff. See more information in section 6.

Education Program/Teacher Assistant

Education program/teacher assistants support students, and assist teachers and counsellors with teaching and non-instructional tasks.  They assist in areas of personal care, teaching and behaviour management under the supervision of teachers or other child care professionals.  Some of the job duties are:

  • assist students with integration into the classroom and school setting
  • help students individually or in small groups with assignments and reinforce learning and retention concepts under the supervision of classroom teacher
  • assist students with special needs using techniques such as sign language, braille and remedial programs
  • assist students to move about during the school day, including lifting and positioning students, exercising and supporting
  • assist students with feeding, as required
  • assist students with personal care and hygiene
  • administer medication and carry out medical procedures under the direction of the principal
  • monitor and report student progress to classroom teacher
  • accompany and supervise students during activities in school gymnasiums, laboratories, libraries, resource centres and on field trips

Library Support Specialist

Library support specialists are responsible for the operation of the library facility with direct service to students and/or teachers. They support students and volunteers under the supervision of the teaching staff in coordinating library activities and the use of library facilities. Some of the duties are:

  • process, store, loan and retrieve all library materials
  • re-shelve books and other library materials
  • organize and maintain periodicals and serials
  • issue and receive library books and other materials
  • facilitate student and teacher use of library and library material
  • place book orders ➢ operate and maintain automated library catalogue
  • assist staff in coordinating library activities


YMCA Settlement Staff

YMCA settlement staff helps to integrate immigrants and refugees into Canadian society.  They link newcomers with the school and the community by:

  • providing settlement services, information and resources about the community and schools
  • assisting the school staff to identify the needs of newcomer students
  • supporting cross cultural competency involving schools, families and community
  • bringing newcomer families and schools together
  • advocating on the client’s behalf
  • arranging interpretation and limited translation
  • helping with homework

Speech Language Pathologist/School Psychologist/Social Worker

(Regulated Occupations)

Schools have access to other support staff such as speech language pathologists, school psychologists and social workers. 

Student Support Worker

Some examples of this position are African Student Support Worker and Mi’kmaq/Aboriginal Student Support Worker.  Some schools have student support workers who serve as cultural role models for students.  Some of the job duties are:

  • develop a learning environment and school atmosphere that supports learning for all students
  • if necessary, establish contact with families through phone calls or home visits
  • work with teachers and school staff to monitor students’ academic progress and communicate with families as needed
  • work proactively with students, staff and families to encourage positive behaviour and participation in school, staying informed of possible student discipline issues and providing intervention or support if appropriate

Lunch Monitor

Lunch monitors provide support and assistance to students for lunchtime activities.  The lunch monitor will oversee students in a variety of settings including the classroom, lunch area and outside play areas.  Some of the job duties are:

  • supervise students to ensure a safe environment
  • provide feedback on his/her observations of students to the principal
  • assist students getting ready for outside play and/or activities
  • assist students with getting ready for lunch (i.e. warming food if a microwave is available)
  • general clean-up/pick-up after lunch
  • oversee outside play and/or activities


See Types of Positions & Alternative Careers in section 6 for employment opportunities.

  • Source

    Source 1: Search Job Profiles

    Careers Nova Scotia Search Job Profiles Webpage