What’s in the cards for your career?

September 25, 2017

Roughly 1-in-5 of our members under the age of 30 are occasional teachers. In those first years of your teaching career you’ve probably been dealt a hand that involves hustling between jobs and navigating new schools. We’ve been listening to new teachers and have a few tricks that just may prove to be aces up your sleeve as you begin your career.

Play every card you can

While working a night shift in hospitality won’t help grow your pension, teaching night school likely will. The fact is, any time you spend working for a participating employer will add to your credit. The more credit you have, the bigger your pension will be. Keep this in mind when weighing your options for supplementing your income.

Deal from more than one deck

While you’re searching for that full-time permanent position, you don’t have to limit yourself to just one employer. If you end up supply teaching for more than one school board, you’ll grow your pension with every pay cheque you earn.

It’s not just public schools that count. If you’re considering a job with an independent school, check to see if they participate in our plan. You can find a list of private schools here and designated organizations here.

Roughly one-in-four first year teachers apply to four or more school boards, according to the Ontario College of Teachers' report 'Transition to Teaching 2016.'

You can be a jack of all suits, or in this case, trades

If you’re a certified teacher in Ontario, and a school board asks you to do some non-teaching work, like admin or support work, you’ll be building credit in the plan. If you find yourself answering phones, helping out with filing, or helping to herd youngsters, remember, every gig, as long as it’s with a school board, counts.

Classtime, our app, helps occasional teachers keep track of where and when you worked, as well as when you get paid. Download it on Google Play and on the App Store

Playing from the same deck

Even as an occasional teacher you have all of the same pension plan features as full-time permanent teachers. That’s why it’s so important to designate a beneficiary, which you can do online once you sign up for an online account. Call our Member Hotline (1-800-668-0105) and we’ll get you going. We hosted a Facebook Live on pre-retirement survivor benefits, and we fielded a lot of questions from OTs about this. Check out the broadcast here:

When you’re ready, call our Member Hotline (1-800-668-0105) and we’ll get you set up with an Ontario Teachers’ online account.

Stack your social deck

When you don’t have a home base school, we know it can be tough to build relationships and find mentors. Teachers tend to lean on one another, and while your fellow OT colleagues offer you lots of support, there’s also a bastion of seasoned veterans out there who are happy to share some of their experiences with you.

When you have a moment, head over to www.facebook.com/myOTPP and check out the community of teachers from across the spectrum, you’ll be able to connect with fellow newbies, educators who are midway through their career, and those who have retired.  You’ll find posts like this one, this one and this one.

And we’ve got a Pinterest board with tips and tricks just for you. You can find it here.

5 quick tricks

Check out the video below to see five things you can do now to strengthen your financial future.