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Students put best foot forward at Ed-Expo 2014

January 29, 2014 — 

The University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Education Student Council (EdSC) hosted Education Exposition 2014 (Ed Expo) this week. This exposition provided soon-to-be teachers the opportunity to meet and interview with local, rural and international schools, divisions and educational organizations.

Once again, David Mandzuk, Dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba, was pleased to welcome the many representatives from the school divisions and other hiring agencies to Ed Expo. In his words, “This is an excellent opportunity for our Teacher Candidates to see who is hiring and what they are looking for, but also to gain a better understanding of the unique needs and priorities of various school divisions and independent schools.”

Peiki Loay, a 2013 graduate of the Bachelor of Education program and an active community volunteer accepted a teaching position in the Seine River School Division during Education Exposition 2013, agrees that Ed Expo is a great way for organizations and candidates to get to know one another.

“The opportunities available through Ed Expo should be taken seriously,” Loay advises. “Students have a wonderful opportunity to meet professionals looking for students who fit the culture of their schools, and students should be looking for employers that are well suited to them as well. Through Ed Expo, schools and divisions stand an excellent chance of finding the teachers that can diversify their schools, even if at the time of the event they are not hiring. Students should keep in mind that a good impression could be rewarded even after Ed Expo has ended.”

Every year Ed Expo provides candidates the opportunity to demonstrate how the faculty’s emphasis on Aboriginal perspectives, inclusive practices and up-to-date curriculum and teaching practices has influenced them as educators. Also, students can point to examples based on the opportunities they have been provided though student teaching or service learning in rural and Northern Manitoba and abroad.

Typically, the Faculty of Education at the U of M graduates about 300 people a year, and according to data collected by Manitoba Education, approximately 70 per cent of them become employed in the K to 12 school system. However, Mandzuk acknowledges that, “Increasingly, graduates are finding employment as educators in non-traditional settings such as private business, adult EAL programs, alternative community-based programs and even within the correctional system. In other words, we are confirming anecdotally what we have known for a long time-that the Bachelor of Education degree program provides not only an excellent route to teacher certification but a way to develop pedagogical and communication skills that are of interest in a broad range of fields.”

Mandzuk also notes that with a new After-Degree B. Ed. proposal on its way to Senate, “The Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba will continue to prepare qualified candidates who understand the challenges of the profession and the realities of today’s classrooms while continuing to be well-positioned to prepare the next generation of educators for wherever their careers take them.”

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