Science Teacher, Paul Rowe Jr/Sr. High School
I was born/grew up in: Boxey, Newfoundland
I now live in: Manning, Alberta
I completed my training/education at: B.Sc., M.Sc, B.Ed. at Memorial University of Newfoundland
Describe what you do at work.
As a teacher I do a lot of public speaking and managing students but what does not get as much attention is the amount of planning and organization that goes into making good lesson plans, tests, assignments and such. If you walk in without a plan everything will fall to pieces really quickly. My background in research has really helped me know how to deal with situations when things don't go as planned and work out the cause and effect of a variety of actions.
Teaching also involves a lot more technology than it used to, both in delivering lessons and in the general lives of our students outside the classroom. Being aware of technology and the way things are moving in the outside world can really help keep you in touch with your students and make my lessons more meaningful in a lot of ways as well.
When I was a student I enjoyed:
How does your job affect people's lives?
I know it sounds corny but I really think teaching is one of the more important jobs out there today. The material is one thing that needs to be taught but in a lot of ways the stuff in the book is less important than the other big picture things like how to treat people and how to behave in a workplace. Without good teachers things start to fall apart in a hurry in our society.
What motivates you in your career?
Teaching is really the biggest chance I have to make an impact on the world long after I'm gone. If I can help make someone a better or more well-rounded person I am happy with the work I did at the end of the day. Along those lines my favorite part of being a teacher are the ah-ha moments when a student just "gets" something or does something in their personal lives that makes me proud. It's those moments when my students really shine that makes all the hard days and long nights worth it. I really can't imagine doing anything else, the variety, spontaneity, and all around unpredictable nature of teaching really makes me tick.
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
Describe your career path to this career.
I got to teaching in a very roundabout way. I did a degree in marine biology and genetics and then did a 2 year MSc. in human genetics. I was on track to become a genetic counselor but I did not think that I could handle that job emotionally. My now wife was a teacher at the time and I had always been interested in teaching. I tried spending some time in a classroom and now I couldn't imagine doing anything else.
What activities do you like to do outside of work?
I enjoy target shooting, hiking, curling, softball, yoga, and pilates.
At the same time I love reading comic books, playing video and board games, and I have a special love for Magic the Gathering.
It's a bit of an odd mix in some ways but I like to just go with the weirdness.
What advice or encouragement would you give others seeking a similar career?
It's important to remember that you don't have to teach the way you were taught.