Project Overview

Project status

Project manager or
resource person

Association canadienne des professionnels de l'immersion (ACPI)

“Reach for the Stars” career launch program

Reach for the Stars is a career launch program for new teachers with less than five years' experience teaching French Immersion. The initiative is focused on teacher retention and aims to support teachers in their careers by offering them a variety of tools, including

  • Personalized support from an experienced teaching "coach."
  • The New French Immersion Teacher's Guide created by ACPI.
  • A social and local sponsorship program (for participants who have moved more than 200 km from their previous place of residence).
  • A mobility grant of up to $2,000* (available to participants whose employment contract is more than 200 km from their place of residence or in a rural area).
  • Practice-sharing sessions for new teachers (4 per year).
  • A directory of educational activities developed specifically for French Immersion.
  • Access to exclusive virtual training sessions.
  • A free annual A+ subscription from ACPI.
  • Free access to ACPI’s National Conference.
  • Practical gifts to develop a sense of belonging (L'Immersion en français au Canada book, ACPI t-shirt, welcome card...)
  • Regular follow-up and discussion with the project manager.

Program impacts

  • First year of program implementation (COVID prevented roll-out in 2020-21)
  • 13 participants: 2 from NWT (Yellowknife and Fort Smith), 1 from NB (St. George), 7 from Ontario (Kenora, Cambridge, Ottawa, Stittsville), 1 from Saskatchewan (Warman), and 2 from BC (Vancouver, Kelowna).
  • 5 mobility grants distributed (5 participants moved more than 200 km from their place of residence for their employment contract).
  • 3 participants have a social sponsor in their new adopted city.

Targeted Results

The objective of this program is to promote the reception and professional integration of teachers who have less than five years of experience in French Immersion.
ACPI uses a variety of means to support new teachers in their work as French Immersion professionals and in their personal lives with a view to promoting their engagement and retention.
The Reach for the Stars / Vise les étoiles Career Launch Program is for teachers with less than five years of experience in a French Immersion program and those who have recently been hired as French Immersion teachers for at least 10 months (or one school year).

Main takeaways (learnings)

  • The number and exceptional quality of the teaching coaches.
  • A great deal of interest from experienced professionals in becoming coaches.
  • Demonstrated need from school boards for coaching services (17 of 18 school boards interested).
  • Need to create an agreement with school boards to retain their new teachers (e.g., release them to participate in certain activities).
  • Spontaneous communities formed between young teachers despite the fact that they were dispersed (to break the isolation).
  • The richness of the relationship between coaches and coachees.
  • The diversity of candidate profiles (e.g. recent graduates, teachers from immigrant backgrounds, experienced teachers accepting a first job in French immersion).

Potential/desired collaborations

Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA)
  • For promotion of the project to members.
Provincial Francophone organizations
  • To facilitate the recruitment of local sponsors.
  • To integrate new teachers into the local Francophone culture.
Faculty of education career centers
  • For promotion to graduates.
Universities and training institutes (e.g. Institute for Innovation in Second Language Education (IISLE) - Edmonton Public Schools, and the Second Language Research Institute of Canada - University of New Brunswick)
  • To offer "flash" training sessions, with a training logbook leading to recognition, on specific topics for new teachers (e.g. classroom management).

Digital platforms and documents for consultation or sharing

Digital platforms and documents for consultation or sharing

Welcome guide for new French Immersion teachers (to be published for sale in the fall of 2022).