Masters of Educational Psychology 2013 – ongoing
Teacher 2010 – ongoing
I have had the pleasure of teaching for the past 5 years with Regina Public Schools, spending all that time at Connaught Community School. I have taught grades 3, 4, & 5, and am currently teaching a Grade 5 class. Since last updating this blog in 2010, I have continued to commit myself to providing the very best student centred learning, through use of a variety of technological tools that enhance interaction and interest, aid in overcoming disability, and to create transparency between home and school.
Batchelor of Education BEAD K-5 (Distinction) 2010
- Silver and Gold Education Academic Achievement Scholarships
The two years spent obtaining a BEd. Degree were among the busiest of my life. During this time I was able to refine the skills I had learned teaching in Japan, coming to better understand the importance of student-focused lessons, how to effectively assess and evaluate to aid student growth, how to develop and implement integrated units, the importance of equitable, inclusive classrooms, as well as how to create routines and structure that will promote a fair and positive environment to students.
The greatest part of these two years would have to have been the time spent pre-interning and interning at Thomson Community School. The challenges of a culturally diverse classroom with severe language, behaviour, and cognitive disabilities tested my abilities as a teacher. Although at times the planning was hectic due to all the adaptations that were needed, all lessons were a success, with students learning and behaving in a way conducive to learning.
Three years teaching experience in Japan 2005 – 2008
Moving to Japan after university was something I believe changed me in many ways. Suddenly I was the minority in a sea of Japanese people, and so it would be for three years. Learning to adapt to this was always a challenge. Very few people would speak English outside of the Schools I taught at, making it hard to pay bills, go to the doctor, or even ask for directions. I had to concentrate on learning the language and many of the customs if I was to fit in.
This challenge will always stay with me, and has provided me with the patience and empathy I believe is truly necessary when working with EAL and other students from cultures that don’t fall into the Canadian majority. Learning a language and trying to fit into another culture is excruciatingly difficult, so even the smallest progression in language or social skills I consider a huge achievement. This has really made me extra sensitive of how I need to integrate equitable content into units and class environment, and I believe my time spent at Thomson Community School helped me to concentrate on this, planning equitable lessons directed towards the cultures of the students in the class (First Nations, Métis, Karen, Muslim, etc.), as well as applying and receiving a grant from MCOS towards equitable activities in the classroom.
Batchelor of Fine Arts in Intermedia Art. 2005
Intermedia art is the study of the conceptual and philosophical side of art, taking into account art as being a vehicle for self-expression and social commentary. All artwork has originally been created with a specific audience in mind, and this is where I see the parallel between a piece of art and a lesson. Both are created with the audience in mind, taking care to create something relevant and engaging, while at the same time sharing an idea or belief.
The challenge of creating a successful lesson that meets the expectations of the curriculum as well as the varied needs of the students in the classroom is something I enjoy. With artwork, much of the enjoyment is self-satisfaction; you rarely get a chance to see many people interacting with it, and thus never know if its nuances have been overlooked. With a lesson the reaction is immediate, making the process much easier to refine and adapt. The enjoyment then becomes a shared experience between the audience and the instructor.
I believe that this enjoyment is what led me to pursue education, and why I consider this degree an asset towards building engaging lesson plans that meet the needs of my students.