Looking for a New Opportunity? Teach a Vocational Program!
A state-of-the-art mechanics’ workshop sits on the first floor of the new Mistissini Sabtuan Learning Centre. The bright room features tall ceilings, fully stocked toolboxes, and workstations for students to tinker and learn. Vocational consultants are busy at work, ordering final equipment and putting finishing touches on the space. In an office nearby, a staff member checks the application portal, counting over 50 local applicants eager to take the Auto Mechanics program.
The workshop is nearly ready. The students are waiting. There is just one catch – Sabtuan Adult Education Services needs a teacher.
In fact, SAES needs several vocational teachers. Not only for Auto Mechanics, but for a range of programs including Secretarial Studies, Construction Business Management, and Carpentry. As the sector seeks to offer more programs and build capacity in Eeyou Istchee, finding Cree people to teach vocational programs is a growing priority.
The good news, says Nian Matoush, Director of Adult Education, is that many professionals in the Cree Nation already have the qualifications to teach a program. Unlike in the youth sector and adult general education, vocational teachers do not need a brevet, teaching experience, or even a post-secondary diploma. Instead, experience in the field is what matters most. SAES has even taken steps to make the job easier for new teachers, offering teacher training, planning support, and even flexible class start dates to attract new candidates.
Now, Matoush says, they want to get the word out about these opportunities.
"There are so many Cree professionals who could be incredible vocational training teachers. We want them to know these jobs are available to them. Maybe it’s someone looking for a less physical job as they get older, or someone who wants a more family-friendly work schedule. Maybe, it’s a person who is looking for reliable work after the construction season, or who wants to give back after having a successful career.
There are many reasons someone might be interested in working as a vocational teacher. We want our local professionals and tradespeople to know these jobs are here for them, that we want them to work with us…and we are ready to give our teachers all the training and support they need to be successful."
Elaine Drouin, HR Advisor for Teacher Recruitment at the CSB, says there are many attractive aspects to teaching a vocational program with SAES. Teachers work convenient daytime hours and are off during Goose Break, Christmas break, and summer vacation. The work is also contract-based, so teachers can take some time off between contracts while keeping their position as a priority hire for future programs. Experienced tradespeople may be particularly drawn to these teaching opportunities, Drouin says, because the years in their profession will move them up on the pay scale.
Most importantly, of course, working as a vocational teacher is a deeply rewarding job. Teachers make a real impact in the Cree Nation and have a hands-on role in building Cree capacity.
"Even after a program is done, you get to see the students go on and get jobs, get promotions, start businesses, support their families. The ripple effect is truly amazing. Teaching just one program can make an incredible difference to a community."
Sabtuan Adult Education Services is currently seeking teachers for the following programs: Construction Business Management, Auto Mechanics, Secretarial Studies, Carpentry, and Protection & Development of Wildlife Habitats. To apply for any of these jobs, visit Join Our Team! page. Community members in other fields of work who would like to teach a vocational program can text Elaine Drouin at 514-688-4200 or email to discuss future opportunities.