The world is your classroom

KAIT WARD

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Graduation is both a scary and exciting time. With the ‘real world’ looming, you have to begin to think about what your next move will be. After graduating from Brock between 2008 and 2012, my associates Laura Wilson, Kate Mills and I found ourselves in that exact position.

After five years of post-secondary education, including a Bachelors of Education and frequent visits to Isaac’s, we were admittedly ready for a change of scenery. The job market for teachers in Ontario was bleak, to say the least, and we were all eager to explore another part of the world. So, we decided to accept positions teaching with Engage Education in England.

My time at Brock University was absolutely incredible and it gave me the confidence to explore the world. I also learned about teaching with Engage at Brock’s annual Education Career Fair.

Thankfully, we were successfully hired by Engage Education during our final year at Brock and prepared to relocate to the UK only months after graduation. There were a variety of contract options available to us as new graduates, including full time positions along with regular supply work. Laura, a concurrent education science teacher, taught math and science full-time in a small town outside of London. Kate and I taught in urban London schools as daily supply teachers.

The prospect of teaching abroad is daunting, but with the right support it can be an incredibly rewarding and enriching experience. Teaching in England is a great opportunity to learn about a new culture while gaining valuable in-class experience which is well regarded by Ontario school boards. It is no doubt wildly different than living in St. Catharines, and though there is an element of culture shock, the opportunities are plentiful and the work is rewarding.

“I decided to go teach in England for a variety of reasons,” said Wilson. “Obviously for a job but also because I felt I owed it to myself to travel after five years of studying at Brock. It opened my eyes to all the different types of teaching jobs I could get around the world.”

Upon returning to Canada, we all connected with Engage Education and currently work in the company’s Bowmanville office. Engage employs teachers all over the UK, and provides frequent support and advice to their Canadian workers. Returning to Brock for information sessions, interviews and Brock’s annual Education Career Fair is always a gratifying experience. Kate, Laura and I owe a lot to the school and credit them with providing an international education which has served us well both abroad and at home. We thoroughly enjoy coming back to Brock to share our experiences with students, opening their eyes to the opportunities readily available to all willing participants.

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