New Teachers

Welcome to teaching and welcome to your union. We have designed a guide for new teachers working in English-language public schools in the province of Quebec to help make the transition into the profession as smooth as possible. Our hope is that this handbook will become a trusted friend as you continue to develop the professional skills of your chosen career. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: If I have just graduated from university, is substitution my only option?

A: Although substitution is an excellent way to gain experience, contracts may be given out may once the recall list has been exhausted. It is possible to have a contract upon graduation.

Q: Is the principal considered my employer?

A: You are employed by the school board, not the principal.

Q: If I would like to work with a mentor, should I just wait to see with whom I am matched by my school?

A: Ideally, you select your own mentor based on the particular needs you have.  Don’t be shy to approach a colleague; he or she may be honoured to accept your request.

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New Teacher Profile

Nikki De Crescenzo

I chose to become a teacher because I love helping students strive for success; however, it wasn’t until I stepped foot into a classroom as an educator when I learned that there is much more to teaching than simply “teaching” the material. As a new teacher, the first lesson that I learned is that teaching involves much more than following a lesson plan. A teacher must become involved with each of their students’ learning process. Curriculum must be adapted and revised to help each student reach their academic potential, which in turn will help them grow into mature, caring and educated individuals.

The biggest lesson that I learned is to always stay true to myself. It becomes quite easy to simply follow the pack, and copy what everyone else is doing. I realized that there is something special about being a new teacher. I have the opportunity to bring new and fresh ideas into the classroom, which may not have been done before. I am given a platform to encourage uniqueness amongst my students, therefore, it is only right that I practice being unique as well.

I understand that what makes me unique as a teacher is my passion and how I choose to inspire young minds. I could never stand all day and teach in front of the class. Instead, I utilize variety of strategies to help make the lessons interesting. I want to make the material something that the students want to learn, not forced to learn. I like to have fun and engage my students in different ways. I am a strong advocate of peer-group work as well as hands-on learning which makes for authentic learning experiences. I even have lessons that take the students outside, showing them that learning can be anywhere.

I think that what makes me unique is how I introduce a topic to my students as well. I believe that I have a limited amount of time at the beginning of each and every lesson to achieve and maintain my students’ interest and attention. I usually begin with a humorous story or anecdote which leads into the topic that will be covered throughout the class. I believe that by making the material meaningful; students are more likely to enjoy the lesson and will increase the likelihood of remembering the content.

I also aim to create a comfortable environment for all of my student’s learning styles. I do this by seeking to understand my students’ needs, instead of labeling them. I am able to meet my students’ needs by getting to know them as individuals and by not discouraging mistakes, but welcoming them.

Making a difference by helping students learn is truly the best feeling in the world. My favourite moment is the delight in my students’ eyes when they understand a concept. It has been the driving force inside of me to continually adapt my instruction for all students. I am excited to begin my career and I look forward to the future where I can transform children into tomorrow’s success.

I have been an academic tutor for several years and often tutor students during the summer to prepare them for high school. I have recently seen that there is a market for having an educational camp specifically designed for students beginning high school. This summer, I realized that it would be great to have a place where students can come together to prepare themselves academically and see that other students may share similar questions or concerns about beginning this new chapter in their lives. Students may feel overwhelmed and anxious about beginning high school; therefore, this led me to create 1 Step Ahead.

My goal is to provide opportunities to engage students in academic and recreational activities during a three-week period, which will prepare students for Secondary I. I will also provide opportunities to develop and foster independence, self-confidence, self-esteem and a sense of belonging in group settings. Students will be in a classroom learning Secondary I concepts in math and English during the morning and one period after lunch. Students will then participate in recreational activities for the rest of the afternoon.

Support and Mentoring

For information on support and mentoring, click here.