OTTAWA -- The Ontario College of Teachers (OCT) warns there is a shortage of certified teachers in the province during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the college, the teacher shortage has been magnified by smaller class sizes since the start of the school year.

In a letter sent to former and retired members, OCT is asking people to reinstate their memberships and return to work if they can, to help provide relief in the classroom.

"In short, you are needed. Your significant and specialized knowledge and skills are needed," said the letter.

The letter encourages people to pursue job opportunities with local school boards.

CTV News Ottawa has reached out to several Ottawa school boards about this shortage.

Both the Ottawa Carleton District School Board and Ottawa Catholic School Board have positions posted on their websites for occasional teachers.

The Conseil des ecoles Catholiques Centre-Est has job positions for substitute and permanent teaching positions in Ottawa, Carleton Place, Kingston and Pembroke.