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Teaching In Quebec With A Graduate Degree But Without A Teaching License Or Certificate

Teaching in Quebec with a Graduate Degree but without a Teaching License or Certificate

by Susan Molnar, Graduate Career Advisor, CAPS

As the Graduate Student Career Advisor at CAPS, the number one question I am asked is “what kind of teaching opportunities are there in Quebec for a graduate student without a teaching license/certificate?”  In this article, I will point out that there are many teaching opportunities in Montréal and Québec for you to consider.

Teaching at CEGEPs
If you have at least a Master’s degree, CEGEP teaching is an option. There are 48 French and 6 English CEGEPs in Quebec. You can find most teaching and non-teaching job postings at the Federation of CEGEPs’s main job listing database. But most people who get teaching jobs at CEGEP have done some networking and have at least tried to meet the Chair of the relevant department.

There are non-teaching positions in student services, such as an Academic Advisor and Student Success Specialist, which often satisfy the need to advocate and work directly with students and serve as a toehold into the CEGEP system. There are also possibilities for teaching non-credit/interest courses that are offered through Continuing Education. You simply propose a topic and if there are enough registrants, the course is held. Topics can range from astrology to dog grooming or perhaps a watered-down version of your dissertation.

Teaching at High Schools (Public & Private)
It IS possible to teach at public high schools. If they have no qualified teachers available and need someone to do substitution work or possibly take over a class, they will apply for a “tolerance” which will exempt you from  having to have a teaching certification. For your information, there is a particular demand for math and science teachers.

There are 9 English School Boards in Quebec, and over 70 French ones.
You can apply directly to the high schools and to the school boards. But-remember-the best way to get “known”, if possible, at schools is through networking. You can find a complete list of all Quebec School Boards on the Ministry of Education’s website at

Another possibility is to apply to private schools. A list of private schools in Montreal can be found at

Adult Education Centers, Summer Schools, Community Centers
Do not neglect to apply directly to adult education centers and get informed about which courses are mandatory for a high school leaving diploma. Canadian History and Physical Science are two subjects in which many students require summer school, tutoring and adult education courses. Think about before- or after-school programs and what you may be able to offer in terms of extracurricular programming or work as a monitor. Community centers also offer recreational programming you could take part in or contribute to through new initiatives. Teach your favorite sport, craft or language. Don’t rule out daycares, if your preferred audience is under four!  

From LEARN Quebec, here is a list of Adult Education Resources
and of English-language Community Learning Centers in Quebec. The City of Montreal provides a list of different types of community centres here.

Language Schools, Teaching Overseas
Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) is also possible by contacting language schools. A simple way to get a listing is to use the Yellow Pages at . Select the “find a business” tab and type in “language schools” for the category.

Teaching overseas can also offer a unique travel-cultural opportunity. There is a particular demand for English teachers in Asia. Usually no previous experience is required, beyond having an undergraduate degree. For example, the JET Programme, supported by three Japanese government ministries, places participants in host institutions. For more information about international language teaching opportunities, consult and See also CAPS’ page on teaching abroad for a list of books available in our resource centre and other websites to explore

Private Tutors & Tutoring Centers
Tutoring can be a lucrative alternative and ideal for the entrepreneurial spirit. Contacting potential referral sources such as elementary and secondary schools, summer schools, CEGEP guidance counseling centers, as well as posting classified ads at university and community-based websites can lead to a steady client base.  Don’t forget to offer your services to local tutoring centers. You can find a list of tutoring companies at University tutoring centers also employ tutors; McGill’s Tutoring Service  is in need of  tutors in all disciplines. For more information, contact Lorraine Bush at If you do turn this into a business, you may also consider creating your own documentation/workbook, which will add increased revenue to your tutoring business.

Less formal teaching opportunities exist outside educational institutions. Jobs that require you to train, facilitate, or mentor in any way will also likely satisfy the need to guide and serve. Tour guides, consultants and coaches are all roles that lend themselves to providing you with opportunities to share knowledge and use the transferable skills you most enjoy. On the CAPS Career Tools and Info page we have a section called Information by Degree and the Education segment offers many additional sites that will be useful in your search.

Academic Applications
For those of you pursuing academic jobs and who are “building a teaching portfolio”, you can drop by the Teaching and Learning Services to pick up a handout with samples of teaching statements. They also offer “Learning to Teach” workshops for graduate students several times a year. They are located in the McClennan Library, 3459 McTavish, Suite MS-12.

The Tomlinson Project also offers training in science teaching to graduate students with an upcoming session starting in January 2009. For a list of academic employment websites, you can consult the graduate section of the CAPS website at , where you can also view our academic CV templates. This year all TA positions have been posted on myFuture. For CV and Cover Letter review, be sure to take advantage of our drop in hours Tuesdays and Thursday from 3-4:30 p.m. and Fridays from 10-11:30 a.m. 

Teaching Certification for Math, Science & French Bachelor degree holders
Universite de Sherbrooke,  and the Université de Montréal and Université du Québec à Montréal (jointly) offer a Masters program that leads to teacher certification designed for professionals who are teaching in the field without a teaching license but have a Bachelor in one of the following teaching subjects: Math, Science and Technology or French.