Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Some Thoughts on McKay

I have thought in the past about going back to McKay (where I went to massage school) to teach. From what I have heard recently, they are pretty desperate for teachers and will hire pretty much anyone. That is rather disappointing to me. When I went to school there I felt that our instructors were very qualified and knew their subject matter well. For anatomy, physiology, assessments and pathology classes we had grad students as well as a chiropractor teaching us. For our massage therapy classes we had massage therapists who had been in the field for a number of years, so they had plenty of hands on experience with which to answer our many questions.

Talking to one of my coworkers who graduated from McKay a little over a year ago, she had some pretty awful teachers. Mostly they were massage therapists who had only graduated a couple of years prior to going to teach. They did not know the ins and outs of the anatomy and physiology classes well enough to be teaching them and to be able to answer the questions that would inevitably arise. But their class managed to learn what they needed to learn and I think most of them that chose to take the MTAS board exam passed it. So obviously they did learn enough. However, she said that only three of their class of eight students are still doing massage, a year later!

This same coworker of mine decided to apply for a position at the school teaching Q1 massage (first term of class). Q1 is a pretty basic class, however there is a lot to teach, like techniques, informed consent, history and theory behind massage, general contraindications, etc. She went to the school today, and gave the program director her resume and was basically hired on the spot. She will get the chance to TA in the class for a few months so thankfully she won't just be thrown into it by herself.

When I was in school, the requirement for teachers was that they had to TA for one term (6 months) in the class that they wished to teach and they had to have graduated a minimum of 2 years previous. I realize that they are desperate for teachers, but their lax attitude about hiring really bothers me. It is part of the reason that I have opted not to apply for a job there. I don't really want to be part of a school that has really taken a turn for the worse since I went there. I have heard that the other school in Saskatoon is in a similar situation. If someone approached me about going to school to become a massage therapist, I don't think I could recommend going to school in Saskatoon and feel like I was being honest with them. It really is a shame, considering that massage therapy is a pretty expensive course to take.


Jason said...

That really is too bad. You must have a few years experience now, eh? Instead of avoiding, would you go there to improve the place? Would you ever want to teach?

Jason said...

And I mean that avoiding comment in a nice way, not a bad way!

Karen said...

I was thinking the same thing. Perhaps you going there to teach would help improve the program. You could be the one who saves it!

Angie said...

My fear though, is that they would expect me to teach something that I am not qualified to teach. I am not in a place where I want to teach, or try to save the school, just was feeling disappointed in the laxity of their hiring policies. I don't think I would make a good teacher. I don't know if I have the patience required. But if I ever need a 2nd job, I am pretty positive I could get one there!