I'm a teacher with 26 years of experience. In the past, I’ve taken a 15 week assessment course. I quickly became familiar with a variety of formative and summative assessments as well as different levels of achievements and rubrics. I've also taught a Kindergarten class and had the opportunity to understand the process of teaching reading and writing from the beginning. The workshop I took in the summer helped to prepare me to move the students from a place of letter recognition and sound to reading levelled books. What an exciting process that was for everyone involved – students, parents and teacher! I truly developed an appreciation for the importance of Balanced Literacy at a young age. For the next few years, I taught in the Junior Division and continued to refine my teaching style in Reading, Writing and assessment. The introduction of the ‘6+1 Writing Traits’ program was a welcomed addition to my program. Its rich and exciting activities lent themselves quite nicely with the First Steps genres. Making Words was also an innovative program to teach spelling. The ‘First 20 Days of Reading’ helped to create a solid foundation from which the students read independently in a meaningful way. Our school-wide Pathways initiative challenged the students to think beyond themselves and open their minds to higher level thinking. I’ve also ventured into some interests of my own along the way. Emotional Intelligence has thoroughly captured my attention and I’ve researched the topic on my own. I also taught grade 4 in Cairns, Australia for a year as an exchange teacher. I worked collaboratively with a variety of teachers, and learned first hand about the Aboriginal culture.
Everyone is born with unique gifts, strengths and potential. Within supportive, equitable and inquiry-based learning environments, opportunities to broaden and develop these innate abilities are limitless. This is particularly important considering student achievement and well-being are essential in encouraging students to become “personally successful, economically productive and actively engaged citizens” (Ontario Ministry of Education, 2014, p. 2) in our world.
I've received two education scholarships at York University. I've also been nominated twice for Teacher of the Year.
I went to Elementary, Middle, and High School in Toronto. My undergrad and teaching degrees were completed at York University. During the years of 2010 – 2013, I completed my MEd with an interest in equitable and inclusive education. I thoroughly enjoyed the learning process of being back at school and benefited from the knowledge and wisdom of my profs and peers. During this time, I also took on more of a leadership role and presented at the Peace Tree Conference, provided a report card writing workshop for pre-service teachers at York University, became published in the Quest Teacher Journal and taught in China for a month.
Mental health plays a significant role in reaching this vision. As a PC4L leader, Wellness Day Coordinator, and Emotional Intelligence presenter, I have promoted an awareness of healthy living concerning the mind, body and heart. While collaborating with our board's Mental Health Lead on a new mental health resource for teachers, I became better acquainted with the current Health curriculum and its impact on student self-awareness, coping strategies, and relationships. Outside of school, I’m presently writing a teacher resource about teaching the three pillars of emotional well-being, as well as presenting workshops to parents about raising children through self-esteem and self-compassion. Through my interest and leadership in this area, I feel more empowered to interweave mental health in all aspects of the school rather than teaching or modelling it in isolation. It is a positive frame of mind to which we all aspire.