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Montreal | More and more teachers are leaving

More and more teachers are resigning in Montreal: on the island, the number of teacher resignations increased significantly by 53% in three years, and a thousand of them left the school. The point is that in times of shortage, teachers have the luxury of choosing where they want to work.

Posted on September 2nd

Marie-Eve Morasse

Marie-Eve Morasse

If 259 resigned in 2019-2020, in 2021-2022 this number rose to 397. In the only center of school services in Montreal (CSSDM), 103 teachers resigned from January 1ahem last July. A number that includes permanent professors, but also those who had temporary jobs and substitutes.

Catherine Fortin made the leap at the end of last school year to settle with her family in Sainte-Adèle in the Laurentians.

“It was the job that kept me in Montreal, I was in a wonderful school,” says Ms.me Fortin, who taught for five years in Montreal. The mother of two small children would like to have a schedule of four days a week, which her employer did not allow.


Catherine Fortin, a teacher who left Montreal for Sainte-Adèle, in the Laurentians

With the teacher shortage that is everywhere, I no longer found myself with my hands tied. It was super easy to go elsewhere, people are happy to welcome us.

Catherine Fortin, teacher

At the Montreal Association of Principals of Schools (AMDES), we note that many schools have recently had to deal with a teacher resignation or two.

“One of the peculiarities of Montreal is that many of its teachers do not live on the island,” said AMDES President Kathleen Legault. When it was announced that work on the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel would continue until 2025, for example, “we had a lot of resignations in the east of the island”, illustrates M.me Legault.

Three Montreal school service centers explain that the main reason for their teachers’ resignation is relocation. Where are they going ? Are they staying in Montreal or leaving the region altogether? Impossible to know.

The school service center in Pointe-de-l’Île, where about fifty teachers leave each year, explains that “several resignations are related to the geographical context and the labor market, where it is now possible to get a job close to his home.

Departures between young and old

Only the ČSSD provided us with data on the seniority of retiring professors. As of 2019, almost 50% of them had worked for less than five years.

Young teachers, says the president of the Montreal Teachers’ Alliance Catherine Beauvais-St-Pierre, observe what is happening in the school service centers around Montreal where their friends work.


Catherine Beauvais-St-Pierre, president of the Montreal Teachers’ Alliance

They see that some teach in a new and good school and can work four days a week.

Catherine Beauvais-St-Pierre, president of the Montreal Teachers’ Alliance

For the teacher, Montreal is “dilapidated schools, lack of services, lack of professionals, multi-ethnic classes, children who don’t speak French”, according to M.me Beauvais-St-Pierre.

“It can happen that a teacher who starts teaching says to himself: hey, it’s hard,” he continues.

It’s no less serious when it’s experienced teachers leaving Montreal schools, notes Kathleen Legault of AMDES. “It’s a loss of expertise,” he says.

“Working in the Montreal environment has specific challenges and we rely on experienced staff to welcome newcomers, whether they are qualified or not,” she recalls.me Legault.

Several reasons

Regardless of the school service center, the main reason teachers give notice is a change of city or region.

The desire for a better reconciliation of work and family, promotion, dissatisfaction with working conditions, a change of career or a return to studies are also among the reasons why teachers leave.

“Contrary to popular myth in education, very few teachers at Marguerite-Bourgeoys School Center leave the education sector after resigning,” says Chrystine Loriaux, spokeswoman for the service center.

Catherine Fortin did not leave teaching, but there were several reasons that led her to leave Montreal. There was work-family balance, yes, but also exorbitant housing prices in the city. She bought a house in the Laurentians.

“We would like to become owners in Montreal, which would not be possible,” notes Mme Fortress.

Nevertheless, she says that it was in Montreal that her dream of teaching at an alternative school came true. “I can’t believe they couldn’t keep me,” says the teacher.

Learn more

  • 9600
    Number of teachers in the school service center in Montreal

    Source: Montreal School Service Center

    Number of full-time teaching positions remaining in the province as of August 24

    Source: Quebec Ministry of Education

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