Home: Pembroke, Ontario
Subject Area: English & French
What Leading Out support and services have you enjoyed, or have assisted you, the most?
For someone who took the chance and came to Australia to teach, it might strike you as odd that I am a person who doesn’t like the unfamiliar and unknown. Because of this, I took advantage of everything Leading Out had to offer; they found me an apartment before I got here, they set up a bank account for me, they organised my interviews and found me a job. Seeing as I started work the day after I landed in Melbourne, knowing everything was in order really put me at ease and allowed to jump head first into my adventure!
After my contract ended, Leading Out immediately helped me get the ball rolling on CRT work. I’ve also taken advantage of their travel discounts to help me book trips. And if it wasn’t for all the different activities organised by the social committee (trips to Phillip Island and the Great Ocean Road, learning to play footy, surfing lessons, etc.) I might not have experienced my own city or met other Canadian and Leading Out teachers.
Tips for International Teachers?
DO EVERYTHING!!! At school, volunteer for everything; take advantage of field trips, camps or sport days. If an activity comes up on the weekend, take part in it! If you’re travelling and you have the opportunity to do something out of the ordinary, try it! Whether your teaching experience is good or bad, if you dive head first into anything that is presented to you, you will have the most amazing and rewarding experience possible!
The best place traveled within Australia:
How can I narrow it down?!? I have been to some of the most amazing places since I arrived that I don’t think I can pinpoint one that is the “best”. Some highlights include camping at Mt. Sterling, hiking up to the top in the rain and seeing the peaks of the surrounding mountains shrouded in mist; driving around Fraser Island and visiting Lake Mackenzie with its crystal waters and sand like baby powder; sleeping under the stars at Kroombit Cattle station, eating fire grilled steak and drinking billy tea after a day of rounding up goats on horseback; also at Kroombit, riding quad bikes through the outback as the sun sets; sailing the Whitsundays and finding Nemo on the Great Barrier Reef…and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!
What have you enjoyed most about teaching in Victoria?
The first and most obvious difference I saw between teaching in Victoria and teaching in Canada was the role of the teacher; back home it was the teacher who had immediate contact with parents if a child was performing poorly in class, or if there were constant discipline problems. Here in Victoria, that role is passed on to pastoral team leaders and junior and senior school heads. The teacher can then focus on delivering the lesson instead of who they have to contact after the lesson is done, who they have to chase for homework, etc. This was certainly a big help to a new teacher still trying to learn the ropes of a different evaluation system. Speaking of which, that is the other major difference I noticed; there is a lot of material packed into the curriculum that must be covered as well as a high number of evaluations to be completed. It seemed like there was some sort of evaluation task, test, or essay every week. The content of the material covered was very similar to what I was teaching in Canada, but it seemed to me that, back home, I had more time to cover it.
During both my contract and CRT work, I have been blown away by the support given by the school’s staff. Coming to an unfamiliar country with a totally unfamiliar system can be extremely overwhelming, but when there is someone there to answer every question, big or small, to provide teaching ideas and activities, or even just to ask if everything is going well makes that transition so much smoother (and more enjoyable!).