Teaching in the Surrey School District Elementary (French, 2009)
After completing the BEd French cohort program—FSL focus, I was employed by the Surrey School District as a Teacher On Call (TOC). For one full year I was called out every day to work in classrooms ranging from elementary to secondary, English to FSL to late French immersion to early French immersion. My favourite classes were the ones I was requested back to because I was able to build a relationship with the class. Sometimes I would be requested back to several classrooms in one school, and to walk in and see so many of the kids run up to say hi gave me such a wonderful feeling.
I began to apply for jobs the following year and with the French experience from acting as a TOC and the French focus from the UBC BEd program on my resume, I got a full-time job in one school as a regular Grade 5 classroom and intermediate FSL teacher. It was interesting to see the theory from the program come together with the practice. My first year was a whirlwind—overwhelming and a lot of hard work, but also incredible, emotional and it left me with much learning to take away for the next year. Having spent a full year teaching in one job posting, I had earned my continuing contract with the district and was asked to teach a Grade 4/5 class in the same school where I was able to use many of the skills I learned from the previous year.
The second year came much more easily and I was able to pick and choose what I had learned from Wendy Carr et al in theory from the French cohort of the UBC BEd program, all while focusing on the practical connection and impact that I had with the students. The year after, the same school requested me back, but the only position available was a Kindergarten one. Going from intermediate to the youngest grade level was almost like starting my first year all over again, but teaching Kindergarten has in turn taught me to be a better teacher. So many skills that I have learned to apply to the little ones come into play with not just all the other grades, but with people that I come across in daily life.
This coming September, I have once again been requested back at the same school to teach a K/1 class. It is such a great opportunity to teach a grade more than once, as I get the opportunity to put into play everything that I learned the year before, and improve upon it.
UBC’s BEd program has allowed me to obtain a job where it is possible to see the positive impact that the education system has on a variety of children—truly a sight that is not commonly seen in other careers!