Two years ago, I finished a 5 year undergrad at York University and was faced with a decision. Teachers College at York University or the University of Toronto? I decided to get out of my comfort zone and chose UofT, and just like that, it is already over.
Reflecting on my decision, I am satisfied! I am an individual who likes to be challenged and pushed out of his comfort zone, as I personally believe that this is essential for growth, and I myself am happiest when in a period of growth. From the get go I was challenged. I pushed anxieties aside and socialized, made new friends, got a part time job teaching elementary students (despite me being a high school teacher), became an S-Trip leader and became an OISE Ambassador. If that wasn't enough, I was consistently tested across all my placements and bettered myself as an educator each time.
In summary, these were my favourite things about the program!
My cohort was my rock. We laughed, went out for excursions after big assignments, sent voice notes complaining about everything and heard each other out whether through laughter or mental breakdowns. I feel quite fortunate to have met these people. They are one of the prime reasons why I survived this program and why I am happy with having chosen the University of Toronto.
In addition to an awesome cohort, I was very fortunate to land awesome teachable classes with great people in them as well. Jane Forbes was nothing short of amazing in teaching us Biology, and Carolyn Temertzoglou is the leading candidate for Phys-Ed teacher goals! If you have the opportunity to work with any of these individuals, consider yourself beyond lucky. I learned the most in these classes and I admire both these individuals a ton. Also, don't be afraid of not having most of your cohort members in your teachable class. It happened to all of us and look, we turned out great (See photo below).
Non Teachable Classes
The teachable classes were hands down the greatest classes. However, a few non teachable classes stood out. If you are ever fortunate enough to get Lisa Dack for Child Psych, hit a dab because you just hit the lotto. Land Andrew Campbell for your Anti-Discrimination class? Prepare to feel mind blowingly inspired! Got Rebecca Hughes for your Technology course, well you are about to become the tech god. Not only was the content of these classes great, but these individuals provided me with an awesome learning experience and I am truly appreciative of that.
Although I cannot say this about every instructor, there were a select few who truly looked out for us. Some gave us a soft deadline and a couple extra days to submit an assignment, others were aware of the exhaustion levels in the classroom and let us leave early. Through their decisions, whether they knew it or not, these instructors did their best to protect our mental health and well being. In a program that is so dense and taxing, I am beyond thankful for these individuals.
Aaaaaaa, the associate teachers. I still cannot process the fact that I have completed 4 placements and have had 4 different associate teachers. Each one of them provided me with valuable lessons and opportunities to focus on my teaching, differentiate my instruction, improve my behavioral management and empower my students. These individuals have shaped me into the teacher I am today and I am super looking forward to reconnecting with them soon!
...And there you have it, just like that my time at OISE is done. Having now completed 7 years of university, I cannot wait to get into the field and start working. Luckily, I have already passed interviews and gotten into two school boards...so come September i'll officially start supply teaching!
I hope my blog posts were of value to you and that they provided you with the insight you were looking for. I am thinking of continuing with my blog posts this summer as a hobby on my website that I created in the Technology course (Shout out to the one and only Rebecca Hughes). If you'd like further insight on teaching and other valuable topics, check out my blogs (soon to be up) on my website at:
And now we part ways. No those aren't tears in my eyes...I'm just...you know...allergic to the internet, it makes my eyes water up that's all. It's been wonderful writing these blog posts. I wish you all the best and not only hope that you attain all of your goals, but that you help those who need it most to do so as well. Signing off for the last time from the OISE Blog, here is a heartfelt goodbye from a soon to be certified teacher.
- Jordan Guerrero Martinez
Soon to be OISE Grad | Supporter of Student Success | Pursuer and Facilitator of Growth