Heather Brooks

Heather Brooks

Primary Core French Teacher at the Halton District School Board
Honours B.A. in Concurrent Teacher Education, Major in French Language & Literature 2014

I am currently teaching virtually as a Primary Core Teacher at the Halton District School Board. 

What were your favourite classes and why?

I really enjoyed the Education classes at UofT. Although I enjoyed all of my classes, these were my favourite because they weren’t a typical “university” style class in that there were only 40 students in my cohort, so we really got to know one another quite well and the professors also knew us on a first-name basis. It made the entire experience a lot more personal compared to a typical university class.


How did UTM prepare you for your career? 

UTM prepared me for my career in several ways, but I would say that managing my time effectively was the most important way in which UTM prepared me for my career as an educator. Currently, I am a full-time virtual teacher, I work for a private company offering group classes and tutoring, and I am employed as a part-time teacher at the Ontario Virtual School. Being employed full time, part-time, and managing to have down time/a social life means it’s important to be very organized and manage my time effectively. Studying at UTM taught me this vital life skill because as a university student, I was responsible for managing my studies, working part-time to pay for school, organizing my class schedule, etc.


How did you de-stress as a student? 

I always made sure to find time to do things I enjoyed, such as spending time with friends, exploring nature, etc. I did this by organizing my time effectively (using a planner, scheduling time to spend with friends, etc.).


What was the biggest transitional issue you faced when you started at UTM? 

I was not prepared for the workload that comes with studying at post-secondary. So there were many times where, despite my best efforts, assignments were left to the last minute, which caused undue stress. I was also not prepared for the significant drop in my grades from high school to university, simply due to the fact that the material was more challenging, there were less frequent opportunities to demonstrate your knowledge (i.e. sometimes one paper would be worth 25%+ of your grade) and the workload was more intense than in high school. However, I was lucky to have made a great group of friends and we supported each other through this transitional phase.


What time of year do employers in your field typically hire? 

Hiring for the OT list generally begins in April, once schools/boards know their staffing needs for September. The best way to apply to boards is through www.applytoeducation.com.

M.Ed. Education Abroad, Queen's University
B.Ed. Secondary Education and Teaching, OISE