Applying teaching skills and knowledge in non-traditional settings.
By Michael Salvatori, OCT
Photo: Matthew Plexman
Why did you become a teacher? Many of you, like me, are often asked what motivated you to join the profession. Our answers are likely quite varied depending upon our academic studies, life experiences and professional goals.
During the summers while I was a university student, I worked as a summer camp counsellor and as a tour guide. In both cases, I was attracted to the jobs because they allowed me to work outside and to engage in creative activities. However, the opportunity to work with young people became the most rewarding aspect. Consequently, by the time I finished my first degree, my career choice was set.
Teaching offers a number of pathways and choices, as do the professional learning resources that help prepare members for these changes. For example, the College’s professional advisory Additional Qualifications: Extending Professional Knowledge ( oct.ca/Resources) provides helpful information on AQs that can lead to different career options.
Beyond school and district leadership opportunities, teachers may consider positions that would draw on their knowledge and skill at provincial and national organizations. Our College employs a number of members as program officers in accreditation or standards of practice and as external relations officers (visit oct-oeeo.ca/careers).
We are also learning through our own research that many members work either full or part time in non-traditional settings, including independent learning centres and in museums and art galleries offering student programs.
The Institute for Performance and Learning offers certification programs and an annual conference that explores learning and development within public and private sector companies. At one of the Institute’s events, I met several members of the teaching profession who are applying their skills and knowledge to learning and development projects at firms in the private sector.
While the vast majority of College members remain employed in district school boards and private or independent schools, there are options throughout a career to use our teaching skills and knowledge to explore short- or longer-term opportunities in other environments.
Just as our professional skills and talents contribute to our capacity to expand the vistas for students in our care, they also allow us to seek out new pathways that will enrich our professional and personal lives.