Canada’s public education system is free and open to all children in Canada.
The public education system is the responsibility of each province and territory; there is no central authority.
Each province and territory has a department/ministry of education that manages the school system for that province or territory.
Public schools get more than 90% of their funding from the government through local and provincial/territorial taxation. The provincial/territorial government provides funding directly to the schools.
Each province and territory has the exclusive right to make laws related to education under the Canadian Constitution Act of 1867. These separate education acts (legislation) outline regulations, guidelines and policies for the public school system within the province or territory.
Provinces typically organize their school systems around geographic districts.
Primary and secondary education in Canada is often referred to as K-12; a short form for the school grades. These grades are kindergarten (sometimes called pre-school/pre-elementary) and the 1st through the 12th grade (junior & senior high school).
No, Canada not does have a national curriculum; rather the provincial governments are responsible for setting the curriculum for their schools and each province has its own ministry-established common curriculum.
The public schools in Nova Scotia are managed by the provincial department of education called Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD).
Nova Scotia uses the Education Reform Act (effective April 1, 2018) to govern most of the public schools; the Education (CSAP) Act is used to govern the administration of the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial.
Free, pre-primary education for four-year-olds will be available across the province by 2020.
There are 7 regional centres and one provincial francophone school board. Yes each one has a website with information for students, families and teachers.
- African Nova Scotians
The NSTU represents more than 10,000 public school teachers, teachers who work for the Atlantic Provinces Special Education Authority and Community College faculty and professional support staff. The NSTU serves as the primary advocate of its members as well as to promote and advance the teaching profession and quality public education.
Yes, Nova Scotia has more than 20 private/independent schools; many of which are in Halifax.
Yes, in the Education Reform Act it states that any parent has the right to home school their child.
To enter primary school, children must be five years old on or before December 31st of the calendar year in which they are being enrolled. Families of children turning five on or before December 31 do not have to enroll their child in grade primary if they believe their child is not ready to begin formal education. Families can choose to wait an additional year.
School principals and vice-principals plan, organize, direct, control and evaluate the activities of teachers and other staff of an elementary or secondary school.
Elementary school teachers teach basic subjects such as reading, writing and arithmetic or specialized subjects such as English or French as a second language in elementary schools.
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.
- English as an additional Language (EAL) Teacher
- Resource Teacher
- Substitute Teacher
- Education Program Assistant
- Library Support Specialist
- YMCA Settlement Staff
- Speech Language Pathologist/School Psychologist/Social Worker
- Student Support Worker
There are 195 school days.
Nova Scotia has a Class Size Guidelines Policy that came into effect as of 2017-2018 school year.
Visit here to see the class sizes.
Yes, on October 1, 2017 a new student attendance and engagement policy took effect in Nova Scotia to address the growing concern of student absenteeism.
It is student-centred which focuses on the student’s unique needs, abilities, interests and learning styles.
The learning outcomes framework is made up of a number of curriculum outcomes statements describing what knowledge, skills and attitudes students are expected to show as a result of their cumulative learning experiences in the primary-graduation path.
Yes, there are French First Language programs and French Second Language programs.
Nova Scotia School of Adult Learning (NSSAL) provides several options around the province for adults to get their high school completion or equivalency.
The Program of Learning Assessment for Nova Scotia (PLANS) includes the following provincial assessments and examinations:
- Reading and Writing in Grade 3
- Mathematics in Grade 4
- Reading, Writing and Mathematics in Grade 8
- Nova Scotia examinations in Mathematics 10, Mathematics at Work 10 and English 10
Yes, students in grades 1-9 receive at least three report cards each school year. Students in grades 10-12 receive four report cards each school year.
One example is the Parent Teacher Association/Organization (PTA/O). This organization is a partnership between parents and educators who work to increase student learning and make the lives of the students better within the school. It is also a place for parents to get knowledge and voice their opinions about what is happening in their school.
It is common to address colleagues by their first names, even managers and supervisors – use both first and last names when introducing someone however.
Yes, it is very important and in fact you should arrive 10-15 minutes early for work, meetings, interviews, etc.
Unwritten rules are not documented under any policies or procedures. They are generally learned by observing others and asking. For example: In general work email and phone lines are intended for work purposes. In most companies it is best to avoid using them for personal reasons, except for emergencies.
- Teaching individuals and groups
- Communicating caring
- Communicating to familes
- Interacting with colleagues and supervisors
Equity means there should be no discrimination because of race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, citizenship, religion, gender, sexual orientation, exceptionalities and family status.
Bullying is taken very seriously in school. Bullying happens when a student or group of students focus on an individual again and again over time, using physical or psychological aggression to hurt the victim. This includes use of e-mail or internet to harass and/or intimidate others. Every reasonable effort is made to protect students from threats of violence or physical harm.
The Office of Teacher Certification with the Nova Scotia Department of Education and Early Childhood Development is responsible for processing teacher certification applications.
A Bridging Teacher’s Certificate, This may be given by the Registrar to a person who:
- has not previously been given a teacher’s certificate by the Minister
- does not satisfy the requirements for an ITC
- holds a valid teacher’s certificate given by an authority in another district on the condition that the person has satisfied the academic and professional studies requirements outlined by that district
- has completed a minimum of 4 years of undergraduate education (equivalent to 120 Canadian credit hours) including an approved Bachelor’s degree from a recognized university; an approved program of professional studies, completed in another district consisting of a minimum of 30 credit hours of course work including a practicum
Visit here for the application package.
Generally it takes approximately 6 weeks for the processing of the application once all the required documents have been received.
Teachers in Nova Scotia are expected to be fluent in English or French.
Teaching standards provide a common framework that describes what teachers should know and be able to do, from initial certification and throughout all stages of their careers, as they support student learning.
Professional learning is important for teachers to keep current with pedagogical practices, to develop their skill in using these practices and to expand their existing content background in subject areas that they teach. In Nova Scotia, all permanent or probationary teachers are required to complete 100 contact hours of professional development every five years.
Labour market information can help you make a good decision when you want to change jobs or move to a new place. It can help you find out what the labour market is like for that job or that city.
An informational interview is not a job interview. It is an informal meeting arranged by you with someone who may be in a position to help you get a job in the future, either directly or indirectly.
The job requirements are:
- A bachelor's degree in education is required.
- A bachelor's degree in child development may be required.
- Additional training is required to specialize in special education or second language instruction.
- A provincial teaching certificate is required. Additional certification is required to teach English or French as a second language.
- Membership in a provincial or territorial teachers' association or federation is usually required.
Visit here for details on registering as a substitute.
Term positions have a specific start and end date and typically happen when the regular classroom teacher is not receiving pay from the school (i.e. unpaid sick leave, deferred leave, parental leave in excess of 40 days). Permanent teaching positions happen as a result of attrition - resignation, retirement, death, a newly created position or permanent assignment to another school.
There are two different positions available: Group Leader and Program Team Leader.
- Preparing a professional portfolio
- Writing an effective cover letter
- Preparing a focused resume
- Practising interview skills
Alternative careers provide IETs with the opportunity to find meaningful occupations related to the regulated teaching profession. These alternative options allow IETs to use their skills and experience while pursuing licensure in the teaching profession or to pursue a new career path.
Canadian Teacher Magazine keeps Canadian teachers aware of current trends in their field by offering informative articles on instructional strategies and methodology, classroom management, professional and personal development and national and international issues. Find links to this magazine and others in See Section 7.
Review Teach in Nova Scotia: An Orientation for Internationally Educated Teachers. Also use the checklist in Section 7.