Updated: Jan 27
Can you believe it? It seems like just yesterday that I was introducing myself to everyone on this blog, writing down my experiences of teacher's education, and going along for the ride. But now, with only one semester left at OISE, I am officially in transition mode: occupied with wrapping up my courses, making sure that I finish up my degree, while also preparing to get certified as a teacher and hoping to get a job in the real world. So many exciting changes!
And so, I figured I would list out my roadmap to graduation so everyone can see what is left for me to do! Note: These items will not be in any particular order.
1. Take my graduation photo!
I've booked my sitting session for the beginning of January and am super psyched. I think after this step, I will really begin to feel that the end is near.
2. Apply to OCT
OCT stands for Ontario College of Teachers and basically, I must be a member of the OCT in order to be qualified to teach in Ontario. So as I am preparing to be a student (ONE LAST TIME), I gotta get this process going :) Also, how many times am I going to be mentioning my last semester in this post? -I hope not too many more haha.
3. Apply to the different school boards
Since I live in Richmond Hill, I plan to apply to TDSB (Toronto District School Board) and YRDSB (York Region District School Board). As a starting teacher, it usually takes a few years before you can establish a strong network of schools and community, so applying to multiple boards will help with the cash flow.
4. Attend Career Fairs + Professional Development workshops
December marks the end of my fall semester, and what better time to attend PD (Professional Development). Teachers should always have the mindset of furthering their own expertise, and PDs help to broaden our understanding on a variety of topics. OISE hosted a 2 day event called the Professional Preparation Conference, dedicated specifically to pre-service teachers. I am definitely going to be attending it and checking out their massive career fair as well.
5. Finish my last academic semester
This semester involves no practicum placements (woaahh!) and I will just be catching up on my teacher education courses. Particularly, I am looking forward to my courses on teaching Mathematics and Language & Literacy to my students.
6. Volunteer at my internship school
Though my internship is over, I still intend to go back and volunteer. I have already spoken to my associate teacher, and we have agreed that I will return every Friday. Also, through communication with the Grade 1/2 teacher at the same school, I will also be volunteering in her classroom as well! The current plan is for me to spend the mornings in my Grade 1 French Immersion classrooms, and my afternoons in the Grade 1/2 class. I will have the opportunity to explore yet another classroom!
7. Figure out OSAP + other loan repayment policies
As my post-secondary education draws to a close, I have to now put on my big girl pants and figure out the not-so-fun aspects of adulting, aka, the finances. I will have to straddle the balance of graduating in June, while still having to wait until September before I receive my first paycheck. This thought definitely scares me, so I will be figuring out my loans and establishing realistic payment options way before that time in order to not feel like I am falling behind.
8. Practice my interview skills
I know what you are thinking and no, I have not yet applied or gotten an interview yet. But can I still practice and sharpen my interview skills? Most definitely! Though I do not know what questions will be asked at the interviews, I can think of the general themes that might be given during a board interview. For example? Probably questions on classroom management, equity & diversity, and many more that have already been discussed at length in our teacher ed courses. For my plan of attack, I intend to look back on my teacher experiences and come up with personal examples of how I have contributed and made a difference in all of these areas. By having already done some of this prep work beforehand, I won't have to scramble during my interviews to come up with these examples.
9. Apply for graduation!
The portal on Acorn to apply has not yet opened, but it is definitely a process that I am super excited about. My convocation will be sometime in June, and honestly, though June is still about half a year away, it somehow feels so close.
My journey at UofT and OISE is quickly coming to a close, and while the time has flown on by, I am just enjoying these moments now and savouring every bit.