Alumni Profile: Paul McFayden

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September 24, 2013

In May 2013, Paul McFayden graduated from Medaille College and a month later he was offered a teaching position with the Yukon Public School District in Canada. He moved from Ontario to Yukon, Canada and in his new role he is responsible for teaching a grade 8/9 split class and grade 10; he also teaches a shop class and coaches the school’s wrestling team.

What is your reason for taking a teaching job in another location? Opportunities for new teachers are slim in Ontario. Both my wife and I are teachers in the Yukon [School District]. Also, the government in Yukon takes care of their teachers very well providing housing, relocation, and high wages to start.

How have you had to prepare for your move? The government offers to contact the moving company or you can do the move yourself and receive money upfront. With housing being provided - a very adequate three bedroom home - we just moved right in.

How did you find the job? I found the job on www.applytoeduacation.com. I uploaded all of my documents including my record check, evaluations and references beforehand. Yukon does have its own uploading page that is part of the “apply to teach system.”

What was the interview process like for you? The interview process was extensive, as expected, but I was able to do it all by phone. There were two interviews both with multiple people asking questions. I definitely relied on the knowledge gained from Medaille and my teaching placements to relevantly answer questions.

How will you apply what you’ve learned at Medaille in your new position? Education is changing fast. The teacher-led typical classroom is not as relevant as a student-centered curriculum with guidance in independent study and following students’ interests. I do feel Medaille prepared me for this shift in education.

What are the pros and cons of taking a job out of the area? The pros are a first year full-time teaching position with high pay/benefits and gaining teaching experience immediately. The environment is beautiful with mountains and rivers accessible. Class sizes are lower allowing for more effective teaching. Also, the schools in the Yukon District have spared no expense in resources. In my school the computer lab has 30 new iMacs. Each classroom has at least four additional iMacs. Apple provides the entire Yukon District with computers for education and there are no windows computers at all.

I'm grateful for the education I've received.

The instructors were knowledgeable and welcomed class discussions, with
respect for each student's contribution. I've learned how to be a more
effective leader. My capstone class gave insight on how to combine all
the education learned to operate a business. That's when I realized how
much I had sharpened my knowledge.

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