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2014-01-24 at 16:01

Double opportunity?

By Matt Vis,
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Brook King has an advantage that might help him get a teaching job in Thunder Bay.

Set to graduate in April, the Lakehead University student hopes his ability to teach in both of Canada’s official languages will help him get a job in his hometown.

“You have to identify where the need is going to be and right from the start I knew there was going to be a need for French immersion teachers in Thunder Bay,” he said.

“I decided to take the five-year program at Lakehead and become a French immersion teacher and it’s looking pretty positive right now.”
King was one of many soon-to-be graduates from the university’s Faculty of Education that met with representatives of school boards across the country and the world at their annual Education Fair, held on Friday in the Agora.

Teresa Socha, chair of undergraduate studies in the Faculty of Education, said while job prospects are not strong in the city, students still have plenty of opportunities.

“It’s pretty much a global market right now,” Socha said. “Last year we had 11 students hired in China, we had three hired in northern Saskatchewan so the jobs are there, just not so much locally.”

She added that looking exclusively in one place can restrict employment opportunities and students are encouraged to expand their horizons.

There were school board representatives present at the fair from Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia, as well as China and the United Kingdom.

Many students attending the fair, such as upcoming graduate Brittany Kennedy, were eager to explore the different options.

Kennedy, originally from Newfoundland, was inspired by some of her courses and plans to pursue a career working with First Nations students.

“I am really interested in the First Nations school boards and the northern parts of Canada,” Kennedy said. “I just feel as a Canadian I need to stand strong and do my part as a teacher and impact these students.”

Job prospects in northern communities are greater than those in other parts of the country, Socha added.

Some of the students received not only interviews with the board representatives, but job offers as well.

King knows what he wants to accomplish in his career, wherever he may end up.

“You can make a huge impact on somebody else’s life just by being a positive role model and listening to their stories and helping them growing up,” he said.

“That’s what it’s all about. I was fortunate growing up that I had teachers who had that positive impact upon me, and I feel like I owe it to the future generation to carry the ball for them too.



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