From September to December, I spent time in John D’Or Prairie, a Cree community in northern Alberta. I taught art and media studies from grade 9-12 as part of my practical training. I got to pass on the various things I learned at TAMK and apply it to an educational setting. I had a variety of tools at my disposal, and classrooms filled with wonderful students.
I got to personalize my classes towards student’s interests, as this is the first time they ever had art and media classes at the school. Overall, it was a great first experience of full time teaching and the staff was wonderful and helpful.
As the community of John D’Or is close to 9 hours of driving away from Edmonton, a major city in Alberta, most of my free time was spent at home or walking around in the vast lands of the reserve. Sometimes, I would drive 2 hours to the city of High Level. The community is rather isolated, so being able to spend time indoors and entertain yourself is a must.
My best memory was taking the students on a field trip to Edmonton, where they got to visit landmarks and universities.
There were also activities such as culture day, or celebrating national holidays such as Halloween or Thanksgiving.
Overall, if you’re Finnish, working in Canada shouldn’t be much of an issue. The environment is pretty similar and you have the same vast amounts of individual freedoms as you do in Finland. If you’re an introvert though, watch out. Canadians are more talkative and friendly than Finns. Be ready for lots of socializing in the workplace.