Sooke school superintendent fills in as substitute teacher

Jim Cambridge steps up to take over classroom teaching duties for the first time in 10 years

When the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the B.C. Teachers Federation last November it was known the ruling would require the province to hire thousands of new teachers to meet the class size and composition requirements set forward by the court.

And while, at the time, educators were generally jubilant with the decision, the logistical consequences of hiring a significant number of teachers may not have been fully anticipated, said Jim Cambridge, the superintendent of Sooke School District.

That belief was demonstrated on Sept. 28 when the scheduling software used by the school district showed that no teacher was available for a classroom at Dunsmuir Middle School, a situation that led to Cambridge stepping up to take over the classroom teaching duties for the first time in 10 years.

“I’m always happy to get into a classroom and teach. It was a really great experience,” he said.

RELATED: Big changes coming to Sooke schools

The situation is the natural consequence of having a number of on-call teachers move from on-call positions to full time teaching positions during the flurry of hiring that resulted from the court’s decision.

“We’ve hired about 130 new teachers locally and that’s gone a long way to diminishing the pool of on-call teachers available to fill in for teachers who are absent on any given day,” said Cambridge.

He added that the division always hires new teachers to replace teachers who have retired or left the profession, but the normal number would be between 20 and 30.

“We’re reacting to the situation by interviewing and hiring new on-call teachers and we’re hoping we’ll be able to resolve the problem very soon. We need to bring on about 30 to 40 new staff and to that end we’ve hired nine new teachers in just the past two days,” said Cambridge.

On the bright side, he said that the situation facing Sooke is not as dire as it may be in other jurisdictions.

“We have the benefit of living in a pretty desirable place and it’s not too tough to attract teachers to live here,” he said.

“I’m sure there are areas where they are having a much harder time.”

Even with the hiring blitz currently underway, qualified educators on the district’s administrative staff are prepared to step in and fill any shortfalls on the short term. Those staff members have been going out to classrooms at a rate of one or two a day and are rotating those duties as the need arises.

“It’s a short term situation, but I think it’s not a bad thing at all. Most of us are happy for the chance to get back into the classroom. It is, after all, why we became educators in the first place.”



editor@sookenewsmirror.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Man hospitalized after early morning Sooke Road crash

Police say injuries are non life-threatening

Premier John Horgan announces improvements to Highway 14

Construction on the $10 million project is set to begin immediately

LETTERS: Sooke preschool celebrates 30th anniversary

Kingfisher Preschool to hold anniversary event May 26

Strike could start Monday for handyDart

BC Transit warns users to find alternate transportation

WATCH: Giant waves smash Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point

Folks made their way to Ucluelet’s Amphitrite Point Lighthouse on Thursday, Jan.… Continue reading

RCMP nail sex toy thief

Shop owner plays a role in arrest

Ice-cream-eating bear draws controversy

An Alberta Wildlife Park posted a video this week of one of their bears going through a Dairy Queen drive-through

LETTER: The sewage spiral continues in Greater Victoria

My left brain has been trying to digest the news and comments… Continue reading

Fernie, RCMP go to court over city log books in fatal ammonia leak probe

Log books center stage in clashing of investigations between the city and RCMP

Renowned Comox Valley sasquatch researcher passes away

A renowned biologist and leading Canadian sasquatch researcher who called the Comox… Continue reading

B.C.’s biggest pot plant planned for Oliver

Co-founder Tony Holler said the 700,000 sq. ft. facility would produce 100,000 kg of pot per year

Train derails in Northwest B.C.

CN reports no injuries or dangerous goods involved after coal train derailment.

Double-doubles and demonstrations: Employees rally outside Tim Hortons

Protests held in response to Ontario franchise owners cutting employee benefits and breaks

Most Read