Carol Farrrar

Carol Farrrar
Grad Year: 
Art History
Head of High School Arts Department

Carol Farrrar has taught Visual Arts in secondary schools for 20 years. She currently works as the Head of an Arts Department. The challenges?

“Continuing to care in a climate of under-funding and the idea that the ‘tough but fair’ teacher is no longer valued in an increasing climate of leniency towards student achievement,” says Carol, who earned her Bachelor of Education (Artist in Community Education) from Queen’s University.

“The rewards include seeing a student blossom under ones tutelage, having all holidays and summers off, having a great pension, and being able to retire at 55. It’s the most secure job that exists today…once you get in.”

To be a good teacher, Carol says you must be organized, creative, flexible, and have initiative, faith, and endurance.

“Get qualified for the job that will fulfill you and make you happy, even if the job is scarce. I did. Thirty years is a long time to do something you don’t like just because the job is plentiful or it is a moneymaker. Then when the job comes up that you really want, you'll be ready,” she says.

Carol found her first job by sending her resume to every school board in Ontario.

“I made appointments with every principal of every school in the location that I wanted to teach,” she says.

Would she do anything differently?

“I would have stayed in school to do my Master's while my 'academic muscle' was still fit and I had no other responsibilities. At the time I was sick of school and worried about debt. Looking back, the debt would have disappeared, and the investment would remain. It is so much harder to go back to school later in life,” she says.

When she’s not teaching, Carol keeps busy as an artist, showing her artwork in commercial galleries, and as a professional harpist, playing over 30 weddings a year