Before a teacher stands at the front of a classroom at Durham College with a barrage of assignments and tests, he or she must first prove to the school why they deserve to be there.
With more than 130 full-time programs offered at Durham College, there are many full-time faculty needed to teach courses within the school’s programs.
According to Chris Hinton, director for the Centre for Academic and Faculty Enrichment (C.A.F.E), hiring teachers is an in-depth process.
“It’s expensive to hire a full-time person,” he said. “You want to make sure you hire the right person.”
Durham College hires every new teacher through a panel, instead of a one-on-one interview.
Teachers must walk the panel through a typical instruction, essentially teaching a lesson for between three and five individuals, depending on the size of the panel for the teaching position.
To hire a full-time teacher, the dean of the program, the vice-president of academics and the president of Durham College need to approve the candidate, said Hinton.
All new full-time teachers receive a probationary period of up to two years, and are evaluated each semester until their probation is finished.
“The quality of your learning depends on the quality of faculty,” said Hinton, adding that full-time teachers have an in-depth evaluation every two years.
Each semester also brings new contract teaching positions at the school.
According to Hinton, enrolment for a course must be confirmed before a contract teacher is hired to ensure the program will be continuing.
Kevin Baker, dean of Interdisciplinary Studies and Employment Services, says contract teachers can be hired and “un-hired” before the semester even begins.
“We’re planning for hundreds of students,” he said. “This winter, we probably laid off five faculty before the semester began.”
Hinton says there are more full-time teachers than part-time at Durham College.
Contract positions consist of about six hours per week, and in some cases contract teachers pick up a few more hours depending on the demand of the course.
Full-time teachers already employed by Durham College who are looking to change to a different course are given about a week to apply for the position before the job posting goes public.
Current Durham College faculty see the posting before the outside world, but they must go through the same hiring process as an outsider.
Hinton described the postings as competitions, as each teacher must prove his or her worth to the school and its students before they are considered to teach.