Mattison decided to work his way around the world for five years to explore more about himself and discover what career would be the right next step. After working as a substitute teacher in Mistissini, Quebec and Whitehorse, he discovered that teaching in elementary education felt like a good fit.
“It is always an honour to get to be a part of the facilitation process when someone is learning a new set of skills,” said Mattison.
“I find that students in grades 1 to 3 seem to connect to me as a teacher, more so than older grades. I am goofy and am able to get along with them, to help them learn to focus. So I am hoping to focus on teaching that age group,” explained Mattison.
In order to become an elementary school teacher, however, Mattison discovered he would need to take some upgrading courses. Even though he was living in Winnipeg, Mattison knew that he wanted to move to British Columbia, so he started looking for options in BC and found NIC.
“When I called NIC, I immediately was able to speak to someone. The process with the college was super easy. It was also so much more affordable with NIC,” Mattison explained.
Mattison connected with a NIC educational advisor to determine which courses were best able to help him transfer into a Bachelor of Education program.
“My advisor Kim was very helpful when I met with her. She helped me figure out the courses and when to take them. Many months after we initially met, she even emailed me to share information about a new educational course NIC was offering. I felt like she was really looking out for me, even well after I asked for help,” said Mattison.
Mattison started taking English and math upgrading courses at NIC during the time period when COVID-19 first impacted the College. “At first, I was worried that this online thing was going to affect my ability to get into a Bachelor of Education program. I wondered whether the quality of my work would be impacted. But then, when we settled into learning online, I realized it’s just a modified process,” said Mattison.
Mattison discovered that the change to online learning meant that he actually gained informal teaching experience in class. “I found the sudden challenge of switching to online learning changed the relationship between teachers and students. It felt different - there was more ebb and flow. My instructor was teaching me a lot but I was also learning how to teach because I ended up helping other students who struggled with technology,” explained Mattison.
Mattison has now completed his upgrading courses, along with additional courses that will allow him to transfer into a Bachelor of Education program.
When he looks back at his NIC experience, he finds that it has influenced his career path. “If you look back at my math courses in the past, my math skills were actually really horrible. All of the instructors at NIC have been amazing, but in particular, my math instructor Brad Jones helped me overcome my fear of math. In general, NIC’s math department has really inspired me to consider pursuing math as one of the subjects that I will teach. I want to show kids how math can be fun and interesting,” Mattison explained.
NIC offers upgrading and university transfer courses for a variety of career paths. Book an appointment with an NIC Educational Advisor to develop a custom study plan to meet your goals.
Learn more at www.nic.bc.ca/university-studies.