Reflections on my first year in MT

*This post was written by Susan He, a MT student in the Intermediate/Senior stream.

I will be going down memory lane to summarize my year in the MT program. This year has been a fun roller-coaster ride.

What was first year like overall?

Time went by so quickly. I still remember the Cohort Meet-and-Greet in June before classes began, the September welcome week, and unwrapping the famous pod chairs OISE classrooms are known for. Through all the classes, assignments, extra-curriculars, the people in your cohort and the OISE faculty and staff become your ultimate support system.

2. What was tougher? Courses or Practicum?

Both courses and practica came with a different set of responsibilities and they were challenging in their own ways. For example my courses required lots of time management over long periods to coordinate group work with other cohort members. Most people commute or have work and family commitments so becoming familiar with everyone’s schedule actually ended up saving time when major assignments were due. As for practicum, there is a lot of learning to do in such a short span of time. You transition from sitting and listening in class to all of a sudden the teacher for a month. Learning to switch gears and walking into the classroom as if it was my own was the toughest.

Toughest part of MT: learning to constantly switch gears from courses to practicum.

3. Do you like the courses you are taking?

To be honest, I was a bit skeptical about the courses because its been pre-selected to meet the teacher certification requirements. My expectation originally was that the courses were like a rule book you needed to memorize in order to be a teaching professional. As the semester progresses, you see how all the courses compliment each other like certain wines with cheese…my point is I saw the relevancy in these courses over time. The courses promote working with each other, a practise that is not utilized enough in schools to help teacher plan lessons and get input from other disciplines. Teaching is a soft skill and what teachers do is teach soft and hard skills. There is no other program out there that teaches you how to teach.

4. Has the program changed your mind about teaching?

Not at all. My practicum placements has allowed me to work with grades I had previously thought would not be a good fit for me. I am in I/S that means grades 7 to 12, but typically that means high school grades 9 to 12. I experienced working with grade 7 and 8 students and now I am open to all ages, elementary and post-secondary teaching. Teaching is an aspect of a job that I find motivating!

If you would like to see the perspective of a Primary/Junior MT, please see the previous ambassador Caitlin’s blog. Please check out her “FAQ: Frequently Asked Email Questions for the MT Program” post and other posts regarding Primary/Junior divisions of the program.