Testimonials

O.U.R Ecovillage was an amazing hands on experience. This experience opened my mind to learning in new unique environments. Education is coming from all around you, every one is a teacher and everyone is a student, including the environment. I found how curriculum could fit into real world settings that brings us closer to our basic roots of living. The community is warm and inclusive and filled with amazing home cooked meals.
– Jessica Downie, Elementary (Rural)

I consider myself lucky to have been placed at the UBC Learning Exchange. Looking back on the three short weeks I spent there, I have to say that it was a true learning exchange not just between students, staff and patrons but also for me personally and for my teaching career.
 
The UBC Learning Exchange is an excellent place where people can teach and learn from each other in a friendly, non-intimidating environment. It gives people an opportunity to learn a skill they need in everyday life or work such as speaking English, using a computer, socializing with others, keeping healthy, etc. All this is done by facilitators whose task is to engage the learners and help them with what they are struggling. I enjoyed working in such a relatively stress-free environment. The patrons feel free to ask questions and participate in all kinds of activities: from playing games such as Mahjong, to singing, to playing an instrument to learning more advanced computer programs.
– Joanna Alexis, Secondary

The CFE experience was very enriching to me. I had the opportunity to experience different teaching environments. I worked at a museum, I visited different schools and I worked in a neighbourhood community project. [The CFE] gave me the opportunity to see the Cuban Education System from another perspective. Now I’m able to evaluate it as a teacher, and more than that, to compare it with the Canadian Education System.
– Jeiyn Morejon Jimenez, Secondary (Intl)

Through our own learning, we experienced first hand the beauty of learning outdoors. I truly believe my CFE has taught me to teach from a “non-traditional” perspective and has given me a more holistic approach to my teaching. It was my objective during my CFE to exemplify the First Peoples Principles of Learning by creating a sense of community and encourage students to think critically about who they are as individuals, in relation to the community and to the world around them.
 
As an educator, I believe I have had limitless power to positively change lives for children. This opportunity was humbling, thrilling, terrific, fearsome, but extraordinarily momentous.
– Stephanie Vaughan, Secondary

My time at CABE secondary school was eye opening, intense, inspirational and very enjoyable, and I went from being nervous about alternative education to wanting to work in that area some day!
– Cassandra Pentland, Secondary

My rural CFE was terrific for many different reasons. One reason is that it gave me the ability to compare and contrast two different educational systems. It wasn’t that one school or district was better than another, but rather, that the new and foreign experience allowed me to reflect on education in much more complex and useful ways. I also found my school to be a very open and welcoming place where teachers and admin looked forward to my arrival and new energy. Overall, I would definitely recommend a rural [CFE] to anyone who is independent and able to connect with all types of people. My rural experience was awesome!”
– Zach Mathews, Secondary (Rural)

The CFE was the best part of my UBC experience. Having had the chance to teach art at Thunderbird Elementary gave me qualifications to teach elementary art in the private elementary education sector. The CFE helped me get a job [and] I now work one day a week at Boundary Bay Montessori Elementary.
– James Kemp, Secondary

Your students are shining stars! They are a great addition to our team. They have jumped right into the program and have already created resources and materials to support our ELL learners! I feel so fortunate to be working with them and learning from them. Thanks again!”
– Jennifer Reddy, Program Coordinator, Engaged Immigrant Youth Program

I was at Mountainside Secondary alternate school in North Vancouver. While there, I built a great rapport with the teachers and administration. They were vital in getting me an interview [with the] North Vancouver School District and I wouldn’t have a TOC position with them if I didn’t have the chance to show them my skills over the three-week CFE.
– Megan Tolliday, Secondary

I did my international CFE in Melbourne. I’m now teaching in north London and it’s a full-time year 3 class and I’m really enjoying it. Going on my CFE definitely played a huge role in terms of [assisting me with] thinking I could teach in an international context, as well as preparing me to a certain extent for the school system here in London.
– Imderdeep Elementary (International)

I totally loved my CFE! I believe it was the best part of my UBC experience [and] it was good for me to learn other things I could do as a teacher. I was hired in Langley and part of my interview was showing them my CFE video I made and talking about how I wrote lesson plans and tours for the park about the Aboriginal history and culture. I am now an Aboriginal District teacher in Langley.
– Carolyn Roberts, Elementary (Rural)

I think that the fact that I did my community field experience at an outdoor school was something that was valued by the district that hired me. My CFE was also a great networking opportunity as I met many teachers and administrators from the Greater Vancouver Area who brought their students to the outdoor school while I was there.
– Rebecca Thomas, Secondary

The CFE was an experience that could not have been more helpful in terms of teaching experience, exploring education outside the classroom setting, and being able to develop a new set of skills to be applied to collaboration as well as teaching experiences. The opportunity I had allowed me to work in diverse settings from the resource room working one on one with students with learning disabilities, engaging in quality learning experiences with students with developmental disabilities, and working with community teams to develop leadership groups for students at risk in the community.
 
Being able to teach and engage with students in a variety of settings has allowed me to form deeper educational relationships with many students as well as experience many different teachable moments. The CFE reaffirmed that teaching is my calling and that I can’t wait to begin a hopefully long and fulfilling career.
 
Be open to opportunity. Don’t be afraid to take initiative. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t be afraid to succeed. The more we learn as educators, the more we can help others learn.
– David Edwards, Secondary

I was part of the Secondary Music Education cohort, and I completed my CFE in the VSB, in an Elementary Itinerant Band program. I wanted to do this CFE to increase my employability by demonstrating interest and skills in Elementary music. It was the only way to do a practica-type experience during my BEd program, in an area where I would not otherwise have an opportunity. My combined 12 weeks of continuous employment teaching elementary classroom music since the schools opened in September seems to me to be linked to my experience in the CFE, and I think it contributed directly to my current employment.
– Gord Robertson, Secondary

I am currently teaching at Canadian Secondary Wenzhou (CINEC) and I do believe my CFE had a lot to do with getting my job. I was able to visit two CINEC schools and got a good feel for the CINEC company, the schools and the cities. The teachers and admin were also able to determine whether I would be a good fit. The CFE allowed me to have three weeks to showcase my qualities through action whereas an interview would only be half an hour and heavily dependent on verbal skills.
– Roger Zhai, Secondary (International, China)

Another teacher candidate and I had the pleasure of completing our CFE in a K-9 school with 20 students, all of First Nations ancestry. Naghtaneqed School is located three hours west of Williams Lake in a very remote community. We had the opportunity to work in mixed grade classrooms, and teach outside of our subject areas and grade levels. Secondary CFE took place during the schools annual culture week where activities included traditional crafts, medicine hikes, horse management, and preparing meat for smoking and preserving. The school and community were extremely welcoming, and taught us a lot about the customs of the Xeni Gwet’in First Nations.
 
Be comfortable with the outdoors if you are heading on a rural placement! We spent a lot of our time off hiking and enjoying the spectacular scenery in the region. It was normal in the area to encounter animals everywhere we walked including dogs, cows and horses. We also saw deers and bears throughout our trip. The students spent way more time outside than they do in a city.
 
If you have an opportunity to teach outside of your subject area/grade level, take it! We had great experiences working with primary grades for the first time.
– Amy Frederick, Secondary (Rural)

The head teacher at my [London] CFE school recommended me for a position at a nearby school. I interviewed for it and was hired on the spot! I was with Uteach [for my CFE] and would definitely recommend them.
– Hayley McDonald, Elementary (International, London, England)

My CFE was the key to the door that led me to where I am now. The positive experience I had from the CFE practicum [in a Manitoba Deaf School] was essential to getting a full time teaching job. Additionally, the CFE gave me different opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have been possible during regular practicum and that experience was invaluable. In my opinion, the CFE experience is a necessary part of BEd program.
– Heidi Feestra, Elementary

My CFE was with Handsworth Secondary School in North Vancouver. I am currently working for the North Vancouver School District on a continuing contract at Handsworth Secondary as a drama/dance teacher. I can positively say that my CFE helped me get the job and make connections with the principal, staff and students before starting to work there full-time.
– Elizabeth Isabelle, Elementary

I found my CFE (rural placement SD84), was extremely beneficial to getting a job. The rural aspect as well as the work with First Nations were indicated as key qualifications that led to being hired [in Prince George School District].
– Laurel Arness, Secondary (Rural)

Essentially, my time at Stanley Park Ecology Society was spent leading school programs in an outdoor classroom. This new environment gave me a fresh perspective towards how children learn. It certainly convinced me on the importance of outdoor education and experiential teaching. In every program, the students were in awe of their surroundings and were engaged in all of the activities. Programs were lead in the forest, on the beach, and in the marsh- all areas in which many of the students had never really explored before.
 
This experience at SPES has given me new skills, new knowledge, and the confidence to get my future students involved in outdoor education.”
– Sarah Stephenson

I experienced two entirely different school environments, an opportunity to compare and contrast how different school programs, policies and specific educational strategies impacted the community as a whole.
 
I learned that I have a passion for teaching students in an outdoor setting and I gained several valuable hard skills that will hopefully assist me in one day constructing an outdoor classroom for future students. Perhaps the most valuable part was that it provided me with perspective. It was refreshing to switch gears. I felt reinvigorated as an educator by my experiences in the outdoor classroom and was refreshed by the different school environment.
 
It gave me the opportunity to build a new skill set that will assist me in finding a job. I now feel more confident with my abilities as an educator. I feel more adaptable, prepared and reflective than I would having only been through one placement.
– Scott Campbell


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Heather Klassen, TC, Skyline Alternative School, Williams Lake



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Victor Giberti — Surprises and Challenges



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Jackie Kim, multiple rural placements, School District 27



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Chris Pettman, Program Manager, Cariboo Family Enrichment Centre


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Stephanie Soto, TC, multiple placements, SD 27



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Michael Franklin, Principal, Skyline Alternative School



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Stephanie Gobin, Executive Director, Educo – TC’s role



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Brazilian TC Vitor Giberti tells international students to “Go Rural”


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Rumnik Muker, rural CFE at multiple locations



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Meghan Mattock, TC, Educo (SD 27)



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Rumnik Muker, TC, Skyline Alternative School in Williams Lake.



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Heather Klassen on the benefits of doing a rural CFE