||Volume 18, Number 6, April 2006
New teachers' conference
Some of the 350 attendees at the recent conference have shared their thoughts on being new to the profession.
Why did you choose to be a teacher?
I have always believed that children need a global vision. I feel that teachers have the ability to change society into integrated and environmentally conscious people. I have a deep empathy for children with challenges and children from troubled homes. I deeply want to provide these children with a caring and belonging atmosphere. School is a second home. Teachers can provide positive interaction and build confidence in children. Teachers can change their lives. Teachers can change the world.
Rosemary Scott, Student teacher, UNBC
During the course of my son’s life, I volunteered for sports, Beavers, Cubs, Scouts, etc. Furthermore, I developed a program on Friday nights for children to meet and take part in games. This program ran for five years, and on average there were 20 children in attendance; they ranged from K–7.
It was through these experiences that I realized I needed to change careers if I wanted to do something that I could be passionate about.
Although I have only completed one practicum, I know this is what I want to be a part of, and having one more year of school ahead of me seems a little daunting but the end result will be worth it.
Beverly Morrow, Student teacher, UNBC
In elementary school, most of my friends wanted to be veterinarians or race car drivers; I wanted to be a teacher. I never had a real reason for this until I was in university where I had the opportunity to work with disadvantaged and at-risk students. I learned that the traditional education system simply does not work for many of them and discovered that I had a passion for reaching out to these kids and trying to build structures and relationships that will facilitate their growth and success.
I currently work in an Alternate Ed program that works to transition at-risk students in their first year of secondary school into the traditional classes by fostering the necessary skills and attitudes required and I couldn’t imagine a better job!
Jeremy Inscho, Alberni District Secondary School
Who influenced you the most in your first year of teaching?
My father has definitely been an inspiration not only in my first year of teaching but in my decision to become a teacher. He offered me guidance, criticism, and story. He even came to visit me in my class for the day.
The other person who has most influenced me is Nathalie Ladouceur-Thomas. I have been fortunate enough to work in a district that offers a mentorship program. With our time we planned, laughed, collaborated, and were able to establish a strong professional as well as personal relationship. Not only was she able to mentor me while teaching full time, she was also one of our district representatives, held workshops at various conferences, and maintained her duties as a loving wife and mother of five. She definitely showed me that no matter how challenging things may seem, everything always seems to work itself out. I am forever grateful for her guidance and kind words throughout my first year.
Erica Mendez, Ecole EJ Dunn Middle School, Port Alberni
I have found my first year working as a TOC in two districts to be extremely positive and rewarding. The staff and students have generally been friendly, welcoming, and supportive, sharing with me ideas, resources, and always checking in with me to see how I am doing. I really do feel that I am a teacher and that I am valued and appreciated in the schools I have worked at.
I have learned so much from my work as a TOC and highly recommend that all new teachers give TOCing a try!
Becky Harris, TOC, Saanich and Gulf Islands