Project manager or
Association canadienne des professionnels de l’immersion (ACPI)
Recruitment strategy for French Immersion teachers: Teacher5étoiles - La Grande virée
La Grande virée (The Great Tour) is a cross-Canada tour from west to east in a caravan decked out in the colors of the Teacher 5 étoiles campaign. A team went out to meet nearly 4,000 students in 49 high schools with French immersion (FI) programs and 724 students on 22 university campuses to promote careers in immersion.
The tour featured three types of activities:
- Scavenger hunt for high school students ;
- Career job dating for graduating B.Ed. students (76 candidates interviewed);
- Career quiz for university students.
One $1,000 education bursary per province was drawn from among the 506 participants who completed the "Am I a future 5-star Teacher" test during the Grand Tour.
The western portion (Victoria to Ottawa) of the tour ended in fall 2021. The eastern portion (Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Quebec) took place in September 2022.
In all, 19,500 km were covered in 10 provinces, with stops in 47 cities. To offset the carbon emissions created by the tour, 42 trees were planted by Tree Canada.
Main takeaways (learnings)
- There's a great immersion community in Canada.
- Stakeholders hosting the caravan demonstrated just how much need there is for this kind of initiative.
- More remote communities recognize immersion as a national asset.
- It's important to prepare the technical logistics in advance of the tour so that everything runs smoothly.
- Participants enjoyed the "lounge" where job-dating meetings between employers and potential candidates took place.
- Students recognize the importance of the preparatory interview in French.
- The students who took part should be recognized.
TAKEAWAYS FROM THE FIELD
- The language level of students varies greatly from place to place - the leadership of the teacher AND the principal makes all the difference.
- Teachers are sometimes isolated and have few opportunities to enrich their French skills - the feeling of competence in French has a real impact on the quality of the offer and the desire to persevere in the program.
- "Flexible" universities are more successful with students - their ability to innovate and adjust to the changing profile of their educational clienteles is key to recruitment and retention.
- French immersion teachers are alumni of FI programs - the role of ambassador for today's teaching profession is a treasure to be tapped.