I am amazed everyday by education and where it is going. From Nunavut to Morocco, public to private, and permanent to contract, I have been given the opportunity to explore learning in so many ways. I have spent the last few years working with Lakefield College School. A relatively small private school located in the heart of the Kawartha’s, north of Peterborough, Ontario. Our environment lends to such a different feel when it comes to learning. Community and relationships have formed the structure to my classes throughout my career and continues to do so at Lakefield.
An Unexpected Path
I am fortunate to have so many great experiences in education. My first year in education, I spent living and teaching with the Inuit people of Canada’s north. This allowed me to develop exponentially as a teacher; learning the ins and outs of a new education system, using a variety of curriculum to create my courses, teaching in an isolated environment, and dealing with social issues ranging from suicide to poverty. Upon my return, my experience earned me a position with the local public board where I taught for two years. As a new hire, I embraced any course that came at me; Culinary Arts, Math, Science, and English to name a few while leading student council and coaching cross country and ultimate Frisbee. My wanderlust took over in 2010 and I traveled to Morocco for a Science position in an American international school in Casablanca. Learning and teaching within new cultures, new curriculum, and new people allowed more growth and understanding. Personally, I can’t think of a better way to learn, than to travel. Upon return to Canada in 2011, I was hired on at Lakefield College School and this has brought me immense gratification as a teacher. It has also led me to the amazing learning community that Cohort 21 provides. I look forward to more adventure and learning as my career moves forward.
Thoughts on Teaching Philosophy
Be dynamic. Be flexible. Be a life-long learner. To be honest, my idea of teaching has evolved throughout the years. Something that has never changed is how I would describe my classroom; respectful, collaborative, and an engaging environment. I don’t believe that a teacher should ever be in their seat while students work. Even the best student centered activity, classroom, or lab requires constant feedback; feedback offered through observation, questioning, and encouragement to push discovery within themselves. Therein lies my philosophy; one of passion, involvement, and discovery within the realm of teaching. Filed in with this, is the idea of the 21st century learner. As we swim through the era of technology, it becomes even more important to integrate it in our classrooms. As a teacher, it is important to recognize that the generations of students of the past are distinctly different than the ones that currently walk into our classrooms. Though the ability to learn, child development, and brain research is relatively the same, the way in which students interact with material is in constant flux. Our aim shifts less from what they need to know, to what they can do with what they know. Their ability to collaborate and work as a team to meet the challenge of tomorrow is also more and more important. We live in an era of global collaboration and digital citizenship that brings with it a paradigm shift in the workplace, and therefore in education. This is the key to success in the classroom. Be the life-long learner, and your students will always benefit.
***Thoughts are my own and are not necessarily affiliated with the views of my school***