Canadians looking to transition to public schools

Hi, everyone. I’ve been a long-time lurker and Forumosa has been a tremendous asset over the years. I came to Taiwan with a BA in Linguistics and have worked at buxibans ever since, but I recently got my APRC and have been thinking about what my next move should be if I plan to make a career out of teaching. It has been my experience that the cram school industry tends to favour younger teachers, although exceptions abound, and given that I’m now thirty, it might be advisable to transition into a more stable job market. It seems clear from what I’ve read on the forum that MA degrees are more limiting in that they don’t qualify one to work for public schools, so I’d likely need to look into getting teaching credentials from my home country, Canada. Several of my American friends were able to get substitute teaching licenses with minimal effort, but as far as I’m aware, no such option exists for Canadian citizens. I’m quite happy with my life in Taiwan and I’d rather not have to go back to Canada to get my BEd. Not a question of being unwilling to put in the work, but it would be fantastic if I could get it done in Taiwan without uprooting myself. Would any Canadian K12 teachers be able to chime in and share their experiences? I know that there are some online programs such as Moreland University that seem to accept non-American applicants, but I haven’t seen reliable evidence that any degree from them would be accepted by the MOE. And it’s not possible for foreigners work in public schools with a degree in education from a Taiwanese university, is it? Perhaps there’s no option but to suck it up and leave Taiwan for a couple years?

Hahaha, I worked in cram schools for much longer than that. I don’t know Canada’s laws, but are you sure you need a BEd to get teaching qualifications? Is there not another route? Even the toughest states in the US have some alternative. Also I assume just getting a BEd doesn’t automatically qualify you as a licensed teacher. If not, you may need to spend some time in Canada if you can’t get a quick sub licenses like the Americans.
As for the university, there is a list of foreign schools whose credentials Taiwan accepts. It keeps moving but maybe someone can find you the link. There is some rule someone that more than half of classes can’t be taught online, but I haven’t seen how the MOE enforces this.

From what I understand, a BEd is a four-semester program which includes a practicum, after which one can apply for certification from the Ontario College of Teachers. So, successful completion of a BEd and practicum seems to be about it, but if anyone knows something to the contrary please let me know.
As for “alternative routes”, there doesn’t seem to be a substitute teaching license per se; I found a few announcements from provinces such as PEI saying that the local school board was allowing schools to hire students enrolled in a BEd program for substitute positions before receiving their license due to teacher shortages during COVID only for 2020-2021 and that they would issue temporary permits that would expire after a year, but this seems to be something that is only possible in extenuating circumstances if a school were unable to fill a position, and wouldn’t serve as something I could use long-term to teach in Taiwan.

How would you manage that with an online course? I’ve seen TEFL courses that claim to have one, but they usually need the cooperation of a school which hires the teacher and has a TEFL qualified teacher oversee their work. I doubt you’re going to get that outside of Canada, and certainly not in Taiwan where you need the certificate to get the job in the first place.

By the way, teaching in a public school is a step up from cram schools, but it’s still a lot of work and there are major headaches. Unless teaching is your calling, you (the OP) might try moving into a different or related industry.

Yes, that’s the dilemma, and why I’d be interested in hearing from licensed Canadian teachers working in Taiwan to find out whether a) there aren’t any workarounds, such as obtaining a license from another English-speaking country, or b) whether my understanding of the teacher accreditation process in Canada is accurate.

Teaching is definitely my calling. I’m just reluctant to leave Taiwan if it’s not necessary to further my career and teach outside of buxibans, as my American friends have that option.

I’m not Canadian, but I do know two non-native English speakers who got jobs in public schools after getting either a PhD or Masters in education from a university in Taiwan, so that might be another option. I don’t know if they had to get Taiwanese teaching accreditation, but I don’t think either of them spoke Chinese well enough to. I forget the university they went to, but the courses were taught in English.

Teaching 5 years in a buxiban qualifies you to teach in public schools in my opinion. There might be a work around for your teaching license since you have an ARC. Now would be the time to inquire with teach taiwan or run he because there is no way all of the positions are getting filled.

That being said, public school teaching ain’t all sunshine and rainbows.

As someone with over 10 years of teaching experience and an APRC, I can say it absolutely does not qualify you. Not even if you have TEFL certification. The only “work around” I’ve known is to have a PhD in education, and I’m not 100% on that.

I’m an American working in a public school here (also got in with the easy sub license after several years in cram schools), and I’m doing the Moreland licensing program now.

Moreland doesn’t actually grant you a degree, they just fulfill the teacher education coursework and practicum requirement for state licensure. Once you finish the Moreland program you then take the praxis test in your content area and use the results of that + the Moreland coursework to apply directly to the state education board for licensure.

So what you get in the end is absolutely accepted by the MOE, because it’s the same professional educator license that everyone gets.
I checked with a contact of mine in the MOE to check about this too before I did the program.

However, if you ever want to return to teach in Canada, I’ve heard that it’s impossible to transfer a US state teaching license to Canada. I believe in Canada you need the whole B.ED degree to get it.

You can, however, transfer your US license to full QTS status in the UK, which is also accepted by the MOE/international schools and never expires. So if you just want to stay teaching internationally that path would work. That’s what I plan to do.

I have an impression that the countries that issue your teacher license and passport can be different, so if you can get a US license somehow, it may allow you to teach in Taiwan. If you have a Korean license to teach English in Korea, it may also be accepted.


A foreigner who is employed as a teacher in the category referred to in Subparagraph 3 or 4 of the preceding article shall have a degree recognized by the competent authority, from a domestic or foreign university or independent college, and possess qualifications in or be qualified to teach the subject they will teach. The qualifications must indicate that they are permitted to teach the subject involved in the country that issued their qualifications.
The foreign language taught by a foreigner who is employed as a teacher in the category referred to in Subparagraph 3 of the preceding article must be the official language of that country that issued their passport. Language in which a subject is taught reffered to in Subparagraph 4 of the preceding article also must be the official language of that country that issued their passport.

Almost anywhere else in Canada is less than a two year program. Part of the motivation for Ontario to move to a two year program was they had an oversupply of poorly qualified teachers, so moving two a two year program seemed like a good idea. My university simply doubled everything they were already doing, but in some cases that meant the same professor teaching the same thing (same slides even) for part I and part II of a course. Unless you get into OISE at U of T, or Nipissing, don’t go to Ontario for BEd.

Yes, every province has this requirement. You could almost certainly use a BEd from the US to get the certification for the province, but without the BEd it would be difficult to get a job and I think impossible to join the powerful teachers unions that have all the perks

I don’t know what this is, but I know it is possible to get distance/mostly distance teaching qualifications from the US (my American buddy in Thailand did it, now he’s at an international school in Turkey after a few years in China). You would almost certainly have to pay an international student rate (double, or more), but it must be possible for you to get qualified to teach somewhere in the states while living in Taiwan, and then get that recognized in Taiwan. The only hitch is that you have to make sure it is a distance program that they can’t know is a distance program, because then it won’t be recognized AFAIK.

As always, @Tando is the best.

That looks true. I didn’t look at the website at first/ The OP only mentioned a degree, but they help you work towards certification as well. There’s just one issue I see:

Even when school is back in, how are you going to swing the teaching in a school part while in Taiwan? I assume it has to be a primary or secondary school, not a cram school, and that the mentor needs to be a licensed teacher. Labor laws might restrict you from working at a school without an APRC even if you aren’t getting paid. You’d have trouble find a school to work with as well.

In my class there are students from the US, UK, Canada, Egypt, and China. Everyone pays the same tuition amount. There is no international student rate.

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Actually it can be done in a cram school. One of the teachers in my class is doing her practicum at her hagwon in Korea. The only requirement is that you need to be teaching the age level and content area that you want to be licensed in. So if you want to teach general elementary or ESL and you work in a kids cram school, that is accepted. If you want to teach high school chemistry you need to do your practicum in a high school chemistry classroom.

I even know someone who got their ESL K-12 licensure by doing their practicum teaching English online. They’re very flexible.

Moreland will assign you a virtual mentor if there’s not a suitable one at the school where you’re doing your practicum.

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That’s almost too good to be true. I might have done that if it was available years ago. Any idea of the price to get qualified for teaching credentials?

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The total cost is $6,000 USD. It’s a 9 month program

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That’s interesting because my public school contracts have explicitly stated that degrees where “some coursework is completed online” must be completed at least 51% in person. I’m not sure if COVID changed that, but up to the 2019-2020 school year, a fully online degree was invalid.

And for those who say “who would know?”, when I applied to grad school here, I was required to provide entry and exit data from both TW and the US immigration people, along with dates of classes from my US undergrad, to prove, along with the transcripts sent directly from my university, that I had, in fact, been in the US at the time (which I told them would be moronic, since I’m American. They didn’t budge). So if you get your degree fully online and MOE wants to enforce the “51% in person” rule, you’re going to be SOL. For the time being, however, it’s Ok, since it looks like no one is enforcing it

online degrees are not accepted, but they don’t care how a teacher license was obtained as far as it is a valid license. OP already has a BA, so no need of additional degree.


Cool, well, thanks everyone! I think that answers my question. It’s nice to know that the Moreland program is theoretically an option, although I worry that having to conceal that I took the courses online would eventually bite me in the @ss, so it looks like going back to Canada to get licensed would be the safest option. Thanks to @TT as well for the intel on
the length of Ontario programs vs. those of other provinces

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as per @tando’s post, because it is a license and not a degree it might not matter. i’d look into the reasonably priced moreland program if i were you

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