Teacher Appreciation Spotlight: Liz


Liz is another fellow blogger who can be found over at http://thisbusylifeblog.wordpress.com/ I met her through a blogging group I am in and was happy when she jumped at the chance to help me spotlight wonderful teachers and get some insight on teaching in a different country!

What grades and/or classes do you teach?

I teach French as a Second Language to intermediate students (grades 5-8)

How long have you been teaching?

I graduated from teachers college 5 years ago.  I did occasional teaching and some contract teaching. I will be starting a permanent position in September when I am finished my maternity leave.

What other grades/subjects have you taught, if any?

I have literally taught everything! Kindergarten to grade 12, special education. phys ed, language, math, science, religion! 

Why teaching? What or who inspired you to be a teacher?

I knew from a young age that I really enjoyed French.  In Ontario it is mandatory to take until grade 10.  I thought long and hard about how to make a career out of French and it led me to teaching.  Here in Canada teachers are well paid and supported so it is a very coveted career and can take a long time to find a position. Once I started teaching I could tell right away that it is what I am meant to do! 

Was teaching your first choice in career? If not, what else did you consider?

I have not worked in any other jobs as an adult, but in high school I considered being a dietitian.  

Have you thought about changing careers since becoming a teacher?

I am not sure that this is my final career decision.  I know I want to work in education and likely for a school board, but I am not sure if I will be in the classroom forever or work in a position that allows me to support teachers and students. 

What was your college major and how has it helped in your teaching career?

I studied French as a major and took History as a minor.  I am also working towards my Masters in Education.  Having a French degree has been the number one thing that has helped me get a job.  There is currently a very limited job market for new teachers and unless you have French, it is very hard to get hired.

What is your favorite part about being a teacher?

I love the daily structure that comes with being a teacher. I like that I can have the freedom to decide what I want to do each day and the flexibility to change directions when something isn’t going as planned. I also love working with students and seeing how creative and brilliant they can be from such an early age. 

What is your least favorite?

I hate conflict and have found that I don’t like dealing with parents in any negative way.

What are the biggest challenges you face as a teacher?

Planning lessons and not having to stay at school until after the custodian can be quite challenging! There are so many responsibilities a teacher has each day and teachers usually try to do their work well.  This can mean skipping lunch with coworkers in favour of marking or creating a worksheet and it can mean staying late to finish up instead of getting home early to spend time with family. Finding a balance is a challenge some times but so important and so worth it!

What are your goals for your students?

My goal for my students when leaving my classroom at the end of the school year is to be able to say with confidence that they know more French now than they did in September.  I want them to feed confident using their French in real-life settings and get excited about doing so! 

What do you want your students to remember about you as a teacher?

I want my students to remember how ‘real’ I was. I have hard days and I have great days. I experience struggles and challenges just as anyone else might and just because I am teaching them something doesn’t mean that I am a perfect person who knows everything and never makes mistakes. And I want them to know that this [is] ok. 

How do you spend your school breaks?

I love spending time with my family and in the summer we go camping pretty much every weekend! We also do lots of outdoor winter activities on winter and Christmas holidays! 

Give your best advice for someone who may be thinking about a career in teaching.

Just keep going! Do your best and know that someone will notice, whether students or parents or administration and if you are putting in lots of effort because your job matters to you it will pay off! 

Any fun or favorite story you want to share?

[No answer]

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