October 17, 2017
I am writing in response to the opinion article “Just Listen to Teacher: Don’t Study Education at MUN if You Want to Live and Work in the City” posted in The Muse on Oct. 2.
While I sympathize with the education graduate who was unable to land a teaching job in the city of his choice, the career path to the preferred job is not always a direct one.
Memorial University’s education graduates have excellent reputations as some of the best-prepared teachers in the country. Local school districts and external school boards, particularly in the western provinces and the U.K., recruit from our program annually.
Traditionally, the labour market for Faculty of Education graduates has been primarily domestic, although in recent years this is changing. With the enrolment of out-of-province and international students, our student body has diversified, and with increasing demand from out-of-province school boards and recruiters, more of our graduates are teaching outside the province. The Faculty of Education regularly considers demographic trends and adjusts program admission levels accordingly. Five years ago, we decreased admissions to our Bachelor of Education primary-elementary and our Bachelor of Education intermediate-high school programs by about 200 seats annually.
Like other professional schools, many education graduates take teaching positions throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, in other provinces and territories, and in other countries – gaining valuable experience and enjoying rewarding careers. Some of our graduates find careers in fields related to education, though not necessarily in a direct teaching role. An education degree helps graduates develop a variety of skills, including communication, presentation, writing, critical thinking and problem-solving, that enable them to work in related fields, such as delivering education or training programs for businesses and organizations. It prepares our graduates for many roles in life.
On a personal note, I understand that everyone upon graduation is faced with choices that influence their career and life’s direction. My education degree from Memorial provided excellent preparation for my career as a teacher and I experienced rewarding teaching opportunities in Labrador and Western Newfoundland. I am forever grateful to the people of Makkovik and Cartwright who accepted me as a teacher and, indeed, as one of their own.
Dr. Kirk Anderson
Dean, Faculty of Education