Alumni Profile

Veronica Choi

Degree: Bachelor of Education (BEd)
Graduated: 2010
Current Position: General Education Officer, Ministry of Education in Singapore

Current Career: General Education Officer, Ministry of Education in Singapore - I am currently working under the Ministry of Education in Singapore as a General Education Officer teaching English Language and English Literature mostly to the Secondary 3 students at the Kranji Secondary School.

Why I think I'm living a great life: I have the opportunity to work and live in another country learning new cultures, tasting different foods, and meeting many amazing people on the way.

How I got here: After graduation, I volunteered at Aston Meadow Elementary Public School (YRDSB) and Faywood Arts Based Curriculum Elementary Public School (TDSB). Through networking, I was invited by a fellow teacher from the TDSB's Welcome Centre to teach overseas at a summer camp in Guangzhou, China. This was my first step towards a career in travelling and teaching overseas.

What I did when I felt unsure/lost about my career direction: During my first week teaching at Kranji Secondary School, I experienced difficulties with classroom management towards the Normal Academic (Applied) level classes. My experience in those classes really made me question my abilities as a teacher and re-evaluate my career goals (to gain teaching experience in Singapore). I spoke with my fellow colleagues: buddy teachers, mentor teacher, induction mentor, and other foreign teachers; and also my family through Skype, and was able to develop my next steps on how to overcome this cultural shock.

Thing that made the biggest difference: The biggest difference I experienced while working as a teacher in Singapore is the staff support at my school. As a foreign teacher you have to overcome culture shock and homesickness; while also jumping in the middle of a school term, taking over classes and teaching a completely different school curriculum. Without the staff support and guidance, it would have been a much more painful learning curve in my life.

How I'm using my degree in my career: As an English and Drama teacher specialized in the Intermediate and Senior division from York University, I am currently teaching English Language and English Literature to mostly Secondary 3 students (age 15); and hopefully will eventually use my Drama teachable towards the school's Drama Club.

What I've learned: Know the age levels you would like to teach and the time you would like to enter the school year (example: Singapore schools begins in January, but I began teaching in March). Understand the culture of the school and find ways to work with the system. Avoid having such high expectations and be more open-minded when encountering difficult situations.