I am a Professor at Centennial College
in the School of Community and Health Studies - program in Fitness and Health Promotion
There are so many reasons why I love my job: I love educating young minds and exposing them to knowledge, ideas, values that they may never had before. I love the opportunity of being a mentor to them, a person they can trust, an instructor who cares about them and has one goal in mind: to see succeed in life. I love being able to expand their minds, to see things differently, to learn not just the curriculum I teach, but to learn about life, about being an adult, about being responsible, mature and authentic. In short, I love helping to shape, inspire and uplift young minds.
But, I don't live with dignity getting paid so little with no job security...no knowledge of how many hours and pay I will receive each semester. This is not a life where I can plan for my future...for vacation...for retirement.
My proudest moments are when students come to me to confide in personal issues they are challenged by. That they feel safe and secure in trusting me with their personal lives, is the highest honour I think a teacher can experience. Having a student reach out to me for personal advice, guidance and support lets me know that i have fulfilled my mission as a teacher not only by instructing course material, but more importantly by showing them I truly care about their lives, their wellness and their future beyond the classroom.
Supporting myself. I have a teaching wage that keeps me at the poverty level forcing me to rely on my retirement savings to pay my bills each month. I have not contributed to my RRSP in years and have real concerns how I will save enough for my retirement. In short, I cant' go on like this much longer. As much as I love teaching and would love to stay in this profession because of all the good I can do, I am giving serious thought to going back to school to study for a career that can guarantee me better chances for full time work, pension, paid vacation etc. I would love to stay in teaching. I love the campus environment - the energy from students, the energy from campus life. But I feel I have no choice, to be honest, if I want to live a life with a measure of security, stability, and a sense of pride and dignity.