Employment musings – oh, what to do…

I’m at the year and a half mark of my Master’s program.  One more semester of seminars, one major research paper to write, one more practicum placement & I’m off into the world of employment.

This week, OISE is hosting an employment preparation conference. It’s Day 2 of 3, and I’ve realized that I have a strong grasp of my teaching philosophy and practice.  I am aware of my strengths as an educator.  While I sit in lectures about application tips and resumé formatting, I realize that I’m not daunted by the application and interview process.  I’m actually more concerned with where I want to teach.

This brings me to my current dilemma.

I am torn between staying local (either a public or an IB/independent school) or going internationally.

I’ve developed such strong relationships with a small group of innovative, effective, and collaborative Ontario educators, and I cannot imagine starting my first year off without them   (for face-to-face interactions).  Many of them are consultants or teachers with whom I can seek formal mentorship if employed with their boards/schools. This would supplement our informal yet powerful ongoing collaborative learning.

[side note: Teaching opportunities aren’t abundant in Ontario, though I think I have a good shot at landing employment.   I’m entering the profession with a Master’s, a range of technology integration and support experiences, a strong focus on inquiry and collaboration with colleagues and students, and have embedded equity and diversity education in all that I do.]

On the other hand, the possible adventures and “fresh start” that an international placement provides is something to consider.  I have nothing to tie me down.  Most of my closest teacher friends have recommended that I go abroad for a few years.  They say (rightly so) that I am young, energetic, and can learn and teach in amazing environments.  The past few weeks, I think I have been trying to conjure up reasons – *ahem, excuses – for staying local.  But realistically, I can enter a school community that is collaborative, innovative, and forward thinking in instruction, especially if I choose to seek employment at an international IB/independent/private school.

Anyway, I write this blog post to avoid crisis mode. Please share your thoughts, friends.

3 thoughts on “Employment musings – oh, what to do…

  1. Hi Monica,

    I went overseas for three years when I first graduated and it was the best thing I ever could have done. I was at a private bilingual school in Colombia that really had nothing. I developed the program and learned to be able to teach on the fly. I highly recommend it.

    • Thanks for sharing your experience, Sarah. How did you feel about leaving home? How was the settling in process? I think I’m a bit afraid of that initial leap…

      • I was terrified to leave home, and cried the whole time I was in the airport, but I also had no doubts that I wanted to go. I had been raised with the idea that living in Canada is like living in Disney World, so I had to leave the Magic Kingdom. My heart told me to go to South America, so that’s what I did.

        Settling in was fairly easy (except for the earthquake that destroyed my apartment). The school arranged living arrangements and I shared an apartment with other Canadian teachers. The most important thing I learned was to see the world through new eyes. I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. Even now, my students from then are important to me and we all keep in touch through Facebook.

        I actually found coming home much harder than leaving. The culture shock on returning to Canada was worse than when I went to Colombia.

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