Home: Windsor, Ontario
Subject Area: Physics/Mathematics
What Leading Out support and service have you enjoyed the most?
Leading Out has been there the entire way! If you need someone to support you, you can count on Leading Out. Before departing Canada I was more than prepared thanks to their services. They realize that it is difficult to come half way around the world so they are willing to do whatever it takes for you to settle down and get comfortable. There is always someone there for you and their service is very reliable. Frequent emails and events will keep you up to date on what to do around the city. Mentoring and other programs are available for extra support and cash flow. Social gatherings occur to meet new people and to share your experiences. They are there to help and support you and to make things stress free.
The best place travelled within Australia:
Before I left Canada I hadn’t done a whole lot of research about what to do in Australia, let alone places to visit while being here, but let’s just say that so far my experience has been a huge eye opener! I have only been abroad for just over three months now and there are heaps to do out here. Taking a drive down Great Ocean Road to the Twelve Apostles was only one of the most spectacular things I have ever done thus far. The scenery is just so breath-taking and beautiful it feels as if you are in a dream. I also got a chance to do a quick weekend trip to Phillip Island where I saw the koala’s, the nobbies, and the penguin parade. Again the scenery was just spectacular! Cannot wait to take a trip up to the East Coast during the next break to experience more of Australia!
Tips for International Teachers?
If you are coming from a small city as I did be prepared to be amazed at how beautiful this country is, but at the same time feel a little overwhelmed with the adjustment. Settling down may be stressful at first, but once you get a chance to explore the city or the area which you are situated, you will realize that everything here is so convenient. I must admit the public transportation system here is pretty straight forward and the scheduling is fairly accurate. It is very easy to go from place to place, and over time the system will only get better with more trains, trams, and buses coming more frequently at your convenience. Melbourne is definitely a busy place so expect to see heaps of people roaming the streets wherever you go!
Keep in contact with your family and friends as often as possible. Being half way around the world can be a little bit tough if you haven’t been away from home like I have. The world of teaching is not perfect and things aren’t always going to go as planned so expect a lot of ups and downs, however take these good or bad experiences and learn from them. Talk to people back home or other teachers within your school, as someone will be there to support you the entire way. Take the time to vent your anger/frustration or wonderful times to your family and friends because everyday you will come home with a story to tell!
Be prepared to spend a little bit more money than expected, as things can be a bit pricey! Everything seems to cost a bit more around here, especially food and clothing, but remember…no tax! The prices you see are the prices you pay. Also another thing to remember when eating out is that you don’t have to tip the waiter/waitress as it is not expected. I suggest that you pack enough clothing/supplies to get by at first, but eventually you will end up buying if you want to be up to date with the latest styles and fashions here…Melbourne is regarded as the fashion capital of Australia.
Last but not least when teaching out here remember that kids are kids. You are a new teacher from a different country at the school so expect the kids to test you a little bit. They may crawl under your skin and try to get away with a lot until you get to know them so have patience and don’t stress! Get involved with as much as you can at your school and in no time the kids will open up and become so attached to you. I always keep in mind that the first few years of teaching are going to be the hardest, but remember it’s an experience that you are never going to forget! Stay positive and keep an open mind, and from there you will figure out what kind of teacher you want to be…
What have you enjoyed most about teaching in Victoria?
I am happy to say that the one thing that I have enjoyed the most about teaching in Melbourne is getting to know the students and learning their sense of humour. Thanks to Leading Out I was fortunate enough to have landed a contract position within the first week of term 2. My first day of teaching was a little bit nerve racking, however the students here open up to you very quickly and are just so mesmerised by our Canadian accents! They have so many questions to ask and are super curious about what the similarities and differences are in Canada. Needless to say their sense of humour here is very entertaining, but it is the one thing that I look forward to when coming in to work each day.
Seeing as this is my first year of teaching in my own classroom without an associate present, I do notice some similarities and differences when comparing it my experience back home. One main difference is that high school begins in year 7 here. This still tends to throw me off a bit because there is a mix of students between the ages of 12-16 who are in the same building…weird! I work in a multi campus school which splits up students from year 7-10 and year 11-12 at different campuses. Another difference here is that high school students get time for recess, whereas recess ended for me after grade 8. In terms of teaching you may be a little bit shocked with the student-teacher relationships here. Teacher’s tend to be a little bit more layed back compared to Canada. For one thing, students here may ask for your first name, and it is not unusual for students to be calling teachers by their first name. There are also some differences in the curriculum here compared to back home, but all in all they cover most of the same topics and requirements needed for post secondary education.