Career Expo 2012

January 13, 2012

Despite snow and superstition, the Faculty of Education’s Career Expo on Friday, January 13th this year was an enormous success.

From 11am-3pm, almost exhibitors gave presentations and hosted booths to provide teacher candidates with information on local and global job opportunities in education. Participating employers included school boards as well as national and international companies. Throughout the day, candidates honed their networking and interviewing abilities as they spoke with representatives and recruiters, who shared “insider information” about the skill sets that are currently being sought after by teaching institutions.

Teaching candidates Amy Hoefler, Evelyn Wrobel, and Danijela Vidovac said that their time spent at the Expo was informative. “It eased some of my anxieties regarding interviewers and the application process,” Wrobel explained. All agreed that direct face time with exhibitors was also encouraging. “We talked to two principals from Durham,” Wrobel noted. “We hope they remember us!”

Exhibitor Kathleen Brown shared her experiences teaching overseas with visitors to the Resource Education Australia booth. “Contracts are much more readily available in Australia than they are here [in Ontario]. I had submitted my resume and someone responded in 36 hours. At the interview, I was hired on the spot,” she recounts. According to Brown, there are many differences between the Ontario school system and the Australian system, including the fact that teachers are hired throughout the year. “The best part is it’s flexible. You can join us at any time.”

International contracts afford teaching candidates not only timely employment but also opportunities for personal and professional development. Jen Rosati, a founding member of Impact Teachers, observed one benefit of international teaching is travel experience as well. “When you teach in England, during time off you can travel and train in Africa and Asia.” According to Rosati, Impact Teachers is selective about whom it hires, and Rosati advertises at the Career Expo because, as she noted,“Our schools love Ontario teachers!”

Many types of educational careers begin with international teaching contracts. Laura Wilson, the Canadian Resource Director of iday, explains that her career in teacher recruitment began with many rewarding teaching experiences in England: “They paid for me to do extra workshops while I was there. They were willing to invest in me because I was willing to invest in them. ” In Wilson’s view, Ontario teachers return from international teaching contracts better prepared for work in the Canadian system.

The Career Expo serves the valuable purpose of what Director of Practicum Matt Bazely describes as “broadening the scope of what’s available to Ontario-trained teachers.” Counter to the assumption that there are few teaching jobs, candidates see that “there’s a lot of jobs for teachers, once they are exposed to other options.” Such an event, in Bazley’s view, helps teaching candidates to realize not only what else may be available but also the benefit of what is available. Bazely added, “Ontario school boards are starting to recognize the value of such candidates” as well.

Students mingling with Exhibitors at Career Expo