The best Additional Qualification (AQ) courses for you to take in Ontario depend on why you are taking AQ courses. Do you want to get a permanent teaching position or a better teaching position or a raise? Do you want to teach something specific or is it simply for personal interest? I mean, if there was an astronaut AQ, I would take it! AQs are expensive, so it’s good to be wise when planning which ones to take.
If you are simply taking AQs for personal interest or because you know you want to teach a specific subject, then your interests will dictate your course. Salsa Dancing AQ it is!
If you are taking AQs to get a raise, then QECO will give you guidelines you need to follow in order fulfill the requirements.
If you are looking for AQs that will help you to get a job, here are a few recommendations. If you are able to get qualified to teach French, you will be able to get a job anywhere you want in Ontario. Taking a Special Education AQ is also an excellent way to increase your chances of being hired. Be careful, though. Once you start teaching French or Special Education, it can be difficult to leave and teach something else. Pas bien!
Some positions are only open to those with qualifications, for example, ELL, Library and Instrumental Music. So if these interest you, they certainly increase your chances in being hired. Schools are also looking for people with technology skills, and so a Tech AQ can also be helpful. Be ready to be in charge of the school’s computers, though. (And for teachers to expect you to be able to fix their computers, photocopiers, curling irons…)
If you would like to become an expert at a topic, Reading, Math, or Kindergarten, for example, you will be interested in taking more than one AQ in the subject and then the Specialist AQ. These people often become coaches to other teachers in boards. Many principals and vice-principals are specialists in a subject or area.
Just a couple of closing thoughts. Some AQs require pre-requisites, so be sure you are qualified to take a course. Also, there are often grants offered by the government, unions or boards to take specific AQ courses so be sure to check around to see if you can get some help paying with your course. Most teachers take one or two AQs at a time while they are working. Have fun at your pottery AQ!