One Massive Content Dump: Looking Ahead to 2014
I planned on getting this blog up and running after Christmas. However, I didn’t really want to put it off. The new year will be an interesting and busy time for me. I am hoping to line up some more stable work. Either way I’ll have a job, the hours just might not be consistent. I decided to backlog some pieces I wrote on my former blog to help fill out my catalogue on WordPress. I think it’s important to categorize your writing, and help your readers choose what topics they like reading about. I apologize if some of the articles are dated, most of them should still be relevant.
2014 is going to be an exciting and interesting year. I feel as though I have entered a comfortable phase in my life, where I see the benefits to continue working and maybe not following through with higher education. I work in education, however I’m not a teacher. I was considering going back to school to finish my degree, then attending teachers college for two years. Recently in the province of Ontario changes were made to increase the length of years for teaching programs, from one year to two years. I’m looking at a solid four to five years to become a certified teacher. There’s a huge time and money investment that would go into me completing this process. What I struggle to see is my ROI (Return on Investment).
Teaching: Not Getting The Results I Want
I run into a lot of Educational Resource Workers (ERW’s) and Educational Resource Facilitators (ERF’s) who are certified teachers; However, they can’t find work as teachers. I’ve met a handful of people who have worked for a Board of Education as an ERW or ERF for several years, went back to school to become a teacher, and now currently still work as an ERW or ERF. I’m not willing to go down a path with limited results. I think finishing my degree will be something I will do, but teaching probably won’t. I think I’m much better specializing in my profession. I am able to currently provide academic, social, emotional, and behavioural support to students. Behaviour and emotional support is what I’m most interested in helping provide students with. I’m not currently pigeon-holed by the current board I work with, though in time the board may decide to create specific roles and classifications for the various ERW’s and ERF’s. To be an ERF or ERW a person generally has a diploma or degree in Child and Youth Worker, Social Worker, Educational Support, or a related discipline. I currently have a diploma in Educational Support. The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) hires Child and Youth Workers’ to provide strictly behavioural support, as does the Halton Catholic District School Board (HCDSB). What I am able to do in one board, I might not be able to do another. Getting grandfathered in once I land a job may be a reality. I may also have to attain additional school and qualifications one day to keep my current job. Our understanding of mental health is constantly changing, as is policy and support to those individuals.
I’ll be packing my bags the day after school breaks for summer. My fiancée and I have booked a six week trip to Europe, returning to Canada mid August. We’ll be staying with family in Britain, and France. My father immigrated to Canada from Scotland when he was eight years old. It’s important to not only track down some of my roots, but also for me to see a part of the world I’ve never seen before. We will be staying in Bristol, London, Paris, Glasgow, Edinburgh, and Barcelona to name a few cities. I pre-booked a good majority of this trip, including the hotels, flights, and transfers from various cities. The trip is going to be extremely costly. I’m glad I started paying some of this down a couple months ago.
Part of the plan to land stable employment is to get out of my parents house. I wish the move would have happened sooner to be honest. I’m also coming to the realization that I want to live in the city and get out of the burbs. Toronto is a wonderful city, and even though I live forty minutes away by car it is extremely difficult for me to get downtown. I think it’s important for every young person to enjoy the benefits of living in an urban setting, at least once in their life. The majority of us get older, find stable employment, buy a house, and have some kids. I’m not saying that life isn’t something I won’t want one day, it’s just not the life I want right now. Since I’m taking off for the summer, it doesn’t make sense to move out until September 2014. I don’t really want to get a flat and have to sublet it for two months while I’m in Europe.
I released my book The Carpenter’s Son, and it was something I felt extremely proud of. I think it was important for me to put it out there. I definitely feel more comfortable sharing my writing with people after I have gone through the experience of making myself vulnerable. Anxiety and nervousness seemed to fade away rather quickly once I released the book. I’ve completed a short non-fiction piece called Tuesdays with Tim. The story is about my experience working in education, particularly with a unique boy named Tim. I submitted the piece to CBC’s Canada Writes competition. I am particularly proud of how this piece turned out, and will upload it to my blog after CBC releases the names of those who were short listed. I doubt I could win the competition. I probably shouldn’t have done this, but I compared the piece to some of the stories that were short listed in 2012-2013. I don’t consider myself egotistical or arrogant, however I felt that my piece was of the same quality of some of the stories from last year. It’s a tough competition, and I think I would be extremely lucky to even be short listed.
I don’t think I’ll be writing another novel or long format story for quite some time. Writing a novel is like being in a long term relationship, it’s not healthy to stop and start one so quickly. I’m going to continue on with blogging, and writing short stories. I might try to compile some of my short stories into a collection, or try to get some of them published.
That’s it. I’m glad I’m on WordPress, and I look forward to meeting, and sharing with some really great people!