Monthly Archives: December 2014

Resources for International Students

Wook
by Wook
Master of Education student
Developmental Psychology and Education

For the past 10 years, I’ve been studying in Canada as an international student. Throughout my academic adventure, I was able to experience Canadian life in four different provinces. I completed my middle school in Alberta, high school in British Columbia, undergraduate degree in Quebec, and I am currently pursuing my graduate degree in Ontario!

At this point, I am a very ‘seasoned’ international student who is familiar with Canadian school system and culture. My aim is to introduce some services that are available for international students at the University of Toronto and share some resources that can be useful for international students who are considering coming to study at OISE.

Center for International Student Experience (CIE) has various programs available for international students. CIE student advising office can help you on how to apply for study permits, work permits, and how to get a Social Insurance Number. They can also assist you with income tax process!

In addition to resources that CIE provides, the center also has a mentorship program where international students can get paired with students at the University of Toronto. Through mentorship program, mentees can have a smooth transition into Canadian culture. Another way to connect with other students at the University of Toronto is by participating in CIE language exchange program. Students would be able to interact with other students and teach them their culture and language at the same time!

At OISE, an International Transition Advisor comes in every Monday to assist international students with their concerns. International Transition Advisor can directly assist students with various problems and she can also direct students to the right resources if she is unavailable to resolve the issue. Many international students get overwhelmed when they first move to Canada. It is important to know that there are resources available for international students. Students should take advantage of these resources so they can have a positive experience at OISE!

Are you  curious about the OISE student experience? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

Beyond Graduation: Professional Preparation Conference Recap

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

Every winter the, OISE Social Services department hosts a Professional Preparation Conference for Consecutive BEd, Concurrent BEd, Masters of Teaching, and Masters of Arts (CSE) students. The conference is a three day event that features different workshops and talks from employers, teacher unions and school boards.

I had the pleasure of attending the three day conference. Although this conference is directed towards graduating BEd students and year 2 Masters students, I wanted to familiarize myself with some of the material to better prepare myself for next year’s conference. And how selfish would it be if I didn’t share this information with you! Whether you are in year 1 or an incoming student, the facts I share with you can help you familiarize yourself with the education network and information.

The Schedule

Day 1 was to prepare the Teacher Candidates(TC) for interviews, whether its for the Public, Catholic or Independent board. TC’s were involved in mock interviews where they could practice answering interview questions. TC’s were also involved in the following workshops/seminars: Resume Writing & Interview Skills, Transferable Skills Exploration and Understanding Online Applications. To read more about the online applications workshop, click here for my advice on accessing it.

Day 2 was dedicated to prepare TC’s for issues or problems that may arise in the classrooms. There were mini-sessions targeting various issues in the classroom. I hope that next year I will be able to attend more mini-sessions that I am interested in. This year the snow storm caused many of the mini-sessions to be cancelled. In the afternoon, there were seminars held by the Teacher Unions in Ontario: Ontario Teacher’s Federation, Elementary Teacher’s Federation of Ontario and the Ontario English Catholic Teacher’s Association. The day was wrapped by a panel for Alternative, Innovative and Inspiring Career Paths for Teachers. I was incredibly inspired by this panel that I expanded on 3 key points in this blog entry here.

Day 3 was reserved for the Employment and Professional Information Fair. I found great resources and contacted some future employers at the fair. I compiled a list of every organization at the fair, and you can check it out here. While the fair was running, there were seminars by the Ontario College of Teachers, OISE’s Continuing Education and the Qualifications Evaluation Council of Ontario.

If you missed out on the articles I have written about the Conference, check them out below:

Are you curious about OISE student life? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

Exploring Careers Outside of the Classroom: Stepping Outside of the Comfort Zone at the Professional Preparation Conference

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

On the second day of the Professional Preparation Conference, the final seminar was a panel of OISE alumni/students who have chosen alternative career paths. These three speakers were inspirational and made me proud to be studying at OISE. These individuals decided to use the skills they acquired from OISE and pursue innovative careers other than teaching.

The three speakers were:

  1. Tracey King, Aboriginal Human Resources Consultant at Ryerson University
  2. Josh CardozProducer at SwissVBS
  3. Lindsay RedmanEducation Consultant for the International Baccalaureate

I found the seminar inspiring especially because I am always looking for alternative and inspiring opportunities for myself. (Side note: this was one of the reasons why I applied for the Student Ambassador position). Although I don’t believe it was intentional, I found three overarching themes which each speakers touched upon during the panel.

  • Transferable skills- We learn about transferable skills in our classes at OISE. Which means the skills and abilities that we learn can be used to alternative settings outside of the classroom. Whether we use these skills in the classroom or in the real world, these skills gives us the ability to be flexible and resilient when faced with adversity.
    • Passion and learning- As these individuals spoke, I could just feel how passionate they were about their careers. These people were ambitious and intuitive about their non-traditional route. Some of them exclaimed how choosing a non-traditional route was ricky, but their passion and focus made them stay hungry and rise to any challenge.
      • Networking- Most of the speakers found their jobs by using their contacts. They reached out to different people and were able to convey their creativity and passion. I would suggest you to start networking with people if you want to work in a certain field. If you haven’t seen the list already, I have compiled a list of the attendees at the Employment and Professional Information Fair. This would be a great start for those of you who have not made any connections or contacts in the field yet.

Are you  curious about OISE student life? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

Expanding Your Career Options at the Professional Preparation Conference: Oh The Places You Will Go…

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

The last day of the Professional Preparation Conference was dedicated to workshops hosted by the OCT, OISE’s Continuing Education and QECO. While these workshops were being held in the Auditorium, there was a professional and employment fair running in multiple rooms at OISE. There were over 48 booths, and let me be honest with you…INFORMATION OVERLOAD. These were just a small sample of the information booklets I received.

As you can tell from the above picture and extensive list of employers below, this fair can be extremely overwhelming. The best way to navigate the websites is to find out what your goals are and then explore from there. I have created a list of questions to consider before you start going through the websites:

  • Do you want to stay locally? Or do you prefer to work nationally, or even internationally?
  • Do you want to teach in a classroom? Or would you like to supply teach? Or even take up a tutoring position?
  • Do you want to work right away or would you like to continue your professional development?

Here is the list of the local/national organizations, and their websites where you could find more information about them:

Also, there was an International Employment Fair in the OISE Library. I visited most booths, including the following:

Are you  curious about OISE student life? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

OISE Preparing Us the Future: The Professional Preparation Conference 2015

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

I had the opportunity of attending the Professional Preparation Conference 2014. The conference is to help OISE students prepare for the professional field and network with future employers.

The conference is intended for OISE students in their final year, but I thought it would be good to familiarize myself with the conference so I could be better prepared next year.

Here are my tips on preparing for the 2015 Professional Preparation Conference:

  • Its a professional conference, so dress professionally. I know this sounds simple but its true. I attended the first day in jeans and a sweatshirt but I stood out like a sore thumb. Most students dressed up in blazers, dresses and dress pants as they were meeting potential employers and/or had interviews following the conference. If you are trying to make a great first impression with your future employers or peers to network with, you should be dressed appropriately.
  • Visit the student success centre prior to the conference. Some employers may request to set up interviews or accept resumes for their open positions. Jackie Button was the speaker for Resume Writing & Interview Skills. She advises students to take the alternative, non-traditional approach for their resumes. Making them look and sound dynamic sets you apart from the competition. To learn more about alternative, non-traditional approaches to resumes and CV’s, head to the student success centre and make an appointment with them.

    ApplyToEducation.com helps you find a job in 49 countries!

  • Read the employment section of your desired school board for restrictions. I learned that most school boards have teachers use the database ApplyToEducation.com to apply to their boards. 75% of Canadian school boards use the database to seek out potential candidates. It would be beneficial to check out which school boards use the database. (As of December 2014, TDSB and YRDSB do not use ApplytoEducation.com) Additionally, some school boards may also have page restrictions for the resumes they look at. This may be the time to condense or expand your resumes.
  • Keep your options open. I was blown away by the vast number of speakers, employers and professional support available at the conference. There are employers from various settings:  local, national and even international. Its amazing that there are many options outside of the classroom. To see the list of organizations in which attended the conference, view my blog post: Oh the Places You Will Go…

Are you curious about OISE student life? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

Wook
by Wook
Master of Education student
Developmental Psychology and Education

Last week, I had my last class of the semester. Final papers are submitted and I am officially done with my first semester at OISE! Over the past 3 months, I not only learned so much about development and education, but also found a new interest in the field of applied psychology.

One valuable lesson that I learned was that there is a disconnect between research and actual practice in the field of education. Although there are many researches being published in various areas of education, the process of changing existing curriculum and implementing new programs takes a long time. Many of my fellow M.Ed. students who are current teachers recognized the situation and they took it upon themselves to learn about the current theories and researches that can be integrated into their classroom settings. By pursing M.Ed. in Developmental Psychology and Education, I realized that I can explore the ways to integrate what I know about psychological development into community education.

In addition to learning a valuable lesson, I found a new field that I thought I would never be interested in. Ethics courses are known to be dry and boring. After taking Ethical Issues in Applied Psychology, I now think that ethical issues and dilemmas are the most interesting things! Over the past 3 months, the course covered materials related to confidentiality, consent, use of information and many other topics that are related to applied psychology. Practitioners face many grey areas when they deal with clients. The course brought up some thought provoking issues and the entire class was extremely motivated to solve the problem by taking different approaches. In the process of critical thinking, some conflicting questions came up. Rather than shying away from these issues, we investigated them thoroughly. Sometimes, we couldn’t find a satisfying solution for some complicated scenarios. However, we learned that the best way to overcome these challenges is to think in different ways and look into various resources.

Just by studying at OISE for a single semester, I learned how to think critically and consider integrating research to broader areas in the society. OISE has given me so much already and I am very excited to start 2015. I feel as though I am going to become a entirely different person (in a positive way) by the time I graduate next year!

 

Are you  curious about the OISE student experience? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

November Recap from a Master of Teaching Point of View

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by Caitlin
Master of Teaching student

It’s beginning to look like the end of fall semester….

As I say in every monthly recap, but where did November go? I wanted to share one memory that has stuck with me since leaving practicum.

One day during a classroom discussion, one of my students raised their hand and asked “Ms. Cheung, would you rather have a million dollars or be a teacher?” All the students looked at him and then to me for my response.

I was stunned by this question. For one, we were taking up the math homework. Secondly, this question always pops into my mind when I’m contemplating what my next “step” is. The teaching profession is not the most glamorous, in demand or a respected field. At the end of the day, this world is driven by profit and capitalistic ideals. Why not enter a different field that allows for a more financially stable lifestyle?

Before I could think of a response, a student broke the silence and said “She obviously would rather be a teacher if she’s here.” I wouldn’t have responded exactly in that way, but it captured the essence of what I was going to say.

Everyday of practicum, I woke up excited to get to school and teach my students the lesson that I prepared. I got to see my smiling, sometimes not awake, students file into the hallway. The best part was hearing them scream from the hallways “GOOD MORNING MS. CHEUNG!” And after a gentle reminder we are not outdoors, I have the students come and get ready for their morning schedule. The day would carry out with the same intensity and energy as we had started. And by the end of the day, I had to sit down and really reflect what happened in the class.

I am busy by nature. I am always up and about doing something. I am always standing and walking around because I get to anxious if I sit for too long. I don’t think I could pick a better field than education. It just fit right into education, and education fits right into my life. I am deeply passionate about teaching my students new things, sparking their curiosity and having them become more conscious of the world around them.

I am sorry to say if you are not passionate about education, you have chose the wrong field and the wrong school. OISE is for passionate, dedicated and diverse students that want to learn and keep up with the ever-changing landscape of education. OISE really prepares you to view the world in a different way, which in turn makes you look at education differently.

And so I end this what I told that boy in the middle of our math lesson. “I wouldn’t chose any other job than teaching. Even if they offered me two million dollars, three million dollars or four, I would chose to come to see you guys everyday and teach you. And I know this can’t happen just yet because I am not a teacher yet, but if I could I would. And now, who can tell me what number 4 is?”

 

Are you  curious about the OISE student experience? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca

Graduate Profiles

Wook
by Wook
Master of Education student
Developmental Psychology and Education

Here are some profiles of our 2014 graduates!

Max (M.A. Language and Literacies Education)
What drew you to OISE’s program?
As an experienced ESL instructor, I wanted to deepen my understanding of learning and teaching. Being located in Toronto, it was natural to apply to OISE.
What did you love about the program and/or your professors and peers?
I enjoyed the support of my peers who shared the same professional background.
What did you learn about yourself at OISE?
I work better under pressure.
Tracy (M.Ed. Humanities, Social Sciences and Social Justice Education)
What drew you to OISE’s program?
The program and faculty.
What did you love about the program and/or your professors and peers?
The Humanities, Social Sciences and Social Justice Education department is unlike any other. There is a strong focus on community learning and a strong passion for equity.
What did you learn about yourself at OISE?
I learned that not everything is black and white, and there are many grey areas. Our focus on equity within education is a perspective that is unique to OISE.
Sonia & Emily (M.A. School and Clinical Child Psychology)
What drew you to OISE’s program?
OISE has the best program in the country for my area of study. The combination of clinical and school psychology drew us to OISE.
What did you love about the program and/or your professors and peers?
OISE has a very supportive group of professors and staffs.
What did you learn about yourself at OISE?
We matured as a person and learned a lot about our field.
 
Don (M.Ed. Educational Administration)
What drew you to OISE’s program?
Wanted M.Ed. for principal qualification for Ontario or British Columbia and wanted to take educational law classes.
Agnes (PhD Leadership, Higher and Adult Education)
What drew you to OISE’s program?
Wanted to do community development
What did you love about the program and/or your professors and peers?
Freedom & Flexibility. Amazing classes.
What did you learn about yourself at OISE?
To finish your degree you got to motivate yourself.

Photo credit: OISE Alumni Association (OISE Alumni & Friends facebook page)

 

Are you  curious about the OISE student experience? Contact me:

Email: oise.ambassador@utoronto.ca