Fit for a King

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Not being one who readily seeks out change for change sake (professionally that is), I had managed to accumulate many weeks of long service leave leading up to the end of 2005. This was a huge comfort when changing continents and would give me some breathing space before needing to ‘get back to work’.

Dave Grace had given me contact details of the Halton District Catholic School Board back in November last year, the aim being to begin the classification process as soon as possible. Once classified, you are then on a list which covers all the catholic schools in the region.

By February 2006, I was keen to launch my casual teaching career - or as I have learnt to say here in Canada, supply teaching - and was sure my classification would be granted shortly. It seemed though, that this was not the case. Small beaurocratic obstacles were playing havoc with the process and as the weeks crept by my frustrations were mounting.
By mid March it was clear that the red tape from the Halton Board was not going away in a hurry, so another tactic was needed. I would make enquiries at local independent schools. So armed with resume and piles of documentation, I wandered into the office of Kings Christian Collegiate here in Oakville and was warmly greeted by two lovely office staff Susan and Sharon. They directed me towards Rick, one of the Vice Principals who arranged an interview with me the following day, and my life as a supply teacher was on the way.

Kings Christian Collegiate is a relatively new co-educational school with numbers around 320 students from grades 9 to 12. Set in an almost rural environment, a massive building plan is underway, due for completion after the summer break. Unlike in Australia where casual/supply teachers are brought in for the whole day, at Kings I only teach the lessons which need covering. This might mean starting at lunchtime or perhaps only working the middle part of the day.

At what stage I am up to with the Catholic School Board, I have no idea. I haven’t pursued this option any further, as I have been fortunate enough to be working steadily at Kings and enjoying the continuity of being at just one school. I am enjoying feeling part of the Kings community with students who are friendly and co-operative and seem to be genuinely amused by my accent. Each classroom is fitted with a SmartBoard and data projector which makes life a breeze when it comes to showing DVDs and videos. (that’s when I finally learn how to connect the leads!)

As I watch Chris mark papers, set tests and attend meetings, I am totally convinced that ‘the casual approach’ is definitely the way to go. Thanks Kings!

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