Hi there! My name is Mark (or Mr. Lada, or just Lada, depending on what grade you are in), and I graduated from the secondary cohort of UBC’s Nelson program in 2018. I am from Budapest, from the heart of Europe, where I initially studied and worked in the fields of HR and finance, before taking a rather backward design approach to teaching. By this I mean, that one day in my mid-twenties I resigned from my office job, and a swift week later found myself teaching ESL in a small(ish) village in Central China, with lots of enthusiasm but not much more, than a little tutoring experience. From here my journey took me to Beijing, where I would spend the next nearly 6 years teaching at an American international school. During this time I ended up teaching a bit of everything, from grade 1 ESL, to grade 10 social studies and all of grade 4 for one semester. Not surprisingly, it was also during this time, that I realised just how much I enjoy teaching. After these six years, and moving to Canada, when the opportunity presented itself to actually do my teacher training at UBC’s Nelson campus, I applied immediately! Now, past graduation, I have replaced the hustle of the bustling metropolis for the serenity of the Kootenays. I mostly work in distributed learning, teaching students in our rural communities, and at the same time learning something new about my own teaching every week.
Meeting Mark Lada
What is your most memorable experience from your time in the Faculty of Education?
It is genuinely difficult to condense my time with UBC into one memorable experience. My teaching practicum, my CFE, and my instructors have all been brilliant, and field trips and learning rounds have been very beneficial to my teaching. Still, I think the most meaningful part of my experience must be the group of friends I have made during the program. We still talk each week, sharing our highs and lows, learning from each others’ mistakes, celebrating each others’ successes, asking for help, and giving advice, feedback and energy to each other..
Where has your education from the Faculty of Education taken you in your career?
I live and work in the beautiful Kootenays, in the Arrow Lakes School District, where I have a pretty unique and interesting teaching assignment, working with schools and students all throughout the district.
Where do issues of inclusion find a place in your life or at work?
Working in distributed learning, much of what I do is making sure every student in our schools has the opportunity and support to get the highest quality of learning they can. On a more personal level, whether I am teaching social justice or fitness, and regardless of adaptations in delivery or assessment, my goal is not only to give every student the chance, but also to encourage them to be curious and critical about the world around them.
Do you have any words of wisdom for current students? Newly graduated folks?
Not sure if I’m qualified to give any words of wisdom… but if I had to sum up my experiences in a neat phrase, I would say have fun, bring your passions, be open and flexible, and find/build yourself a healthy support system.