I am a highly motivated individual with a passion for learning! I am dedicated to making a difference in the lives of students. By creating a positive learning environment based on relationships of mutual respective and open communication, I encourage students to push themselves to achieve their personal best. I am a team player and I believe that an environment rich in collaboration between colleagues, administrators and parents will provide the best opportunity for a meaningful and effective education program. My goal is to pass on my love of learning to the students that I am lucky enough to teach or coach, promoting self-confidence and the intrinsic motivation to grow academically, socially and emotionally. In addition to academic growth, I am committed to teaching the benefits of life long physical activity and the enjoyment of sport.
I began teaching when I was 10 years old… seriously, my parents told me that I used to have my younger brother sit in a makeshift desk at home, and I would give him spelling tests! So of course, growing up I always knew I was going to become a teacher because I loved school! I achieved honours for years, but then high school hit and I became more interested in the social aspects of education than actually getting good grades or learning anything, I stopped doing homework and slept through most of the classes that I bothered attending. I was one of those students that teachers find so frustrating – tons of potential but completely apathetic and unmotivated. I didn’t know WHY learning was important to me anymore, so I did the minimum. In grade twelve I had an English teacher that saw past my facade, and instead of getting mad, he talked to me – inspired me to live up to my potential and reminded me that I love learning! I got my act together and finished off my grade twelve year strong.
When I got accepted into college I went back and visited the teacher that made such a difference in my education, I wanted to thank him and let him know that I was going to become a teacher. Given my spotty high school experience I thought this news would shock him, but instead he shocked me when he said he always knew I was going to be a teacher some day.
I started my Education degree at Grant MacEwan College majoring in Elementary Education and minoring in English/Language Arts. During this time I also played on the Grant MacEwan Griffins women’s soccer team. I then transferred to the University of Alberta to complete the last two years of my degree.
I was given the opportunity to take my IPT at Tevie Miller Heritage School in an energetic classroom of grade seven to nine students with a variety of special needs and my APT in a diverse grade two classroom in King Edward Elementary School. On top of planning and implementing detailed unit plans, daily lesson plans and maintaining a safe and productive learning environment, I was responsible for creating and implementing specialized programs for students with unique needs.
After graduating with a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Alberta in 2006, I took a summer job at Parcom Marketing in the web department, as a Web Coordinator/Trainer and Online/New Media specialist. I decided to stay in the field for the next 3 years, as it was very exciting and full of new learning opportunities. I always knew I would go back to teaching, but I wanted to make the most of this experience while I could. In addition, working in the web/social media department of a marketing agency was giving me a plethora of technological skills that I would be able to carry over into the world of teaching. In 2009 however, I came to the realization that I wanted to pursue a job in education sooner than later, so I began to apply.
In September 2009, I accepted a teaching position at Seba Beach School with the Parkland School Division. I spent my first year teaching grade 5 core subjects, junior high PE and options, including a Soccer Sports Performance option that I created from the ground up. I also volunteered to coach cross-country running, volleyball, basketball and badminton, as well as, lead the Year Book Committee. In my second year at Seba Beach I taught grade 3/4 math, social, art and PE and grade 7/8 math and PE. I continued coaching and took on the role of Sports Representative. Over the next two years, I moved completely into the middle school area, teaching grades 7-9 Language Arts, Social, Options and PE. I began Middle School Balanced Literacy Training and attended professional development in the areas of leadership, technology, counselling and inclusion. I took on a few extra leadership roles, including Inclusive Education Lead (Key Contact), Technology Learning Leader, Rainbows Co-Facilitator (group loss counselling), Acting Principal (when required); and helped to develop a school wide literacy program. In addition, I completed a master’s degree in Education – Curriculum and Design, majoring in Inclusion from Concordia University, Portland Oregon. The learning, experience and relationships that I have been able to gain through these activities has been amazing. My experience at Seba Beach has been very important to my growth as a teacher and has further fuelled my passion for teaching and learning!
In 2013, my husband and I welcomed our daughter, Mya, into the world! In September 2014, after one year of maternity leave, I made the decision to give up my permanent contract and position at Seba Beach to work closer to home. I began a new journey teaching in a temporary position at Woodhaven Middle School in Spruce Grove. I worked with grade 8 and 9 students, teaching Language Arts, Social Studies and Core Support classes. I had the opportunity to collaborate with an amazing Professional Learning Community as a part of a school-wide Response to Intervention Program. Together we were able to assess where students were at and then provide appropriate and targeted support and scaffolding so that all students were able to meet the essential outcomes. I also co-coached the girls junior volleyball team and the co-ed soccer team and helped organize the Grade 9 Farewell, which allowed me to create strong connections with my students.
I went back on maternity leave for the 2015/2016 school year, with the birth of my son Benjamin! Watching my kids grow and develop has made me all the more conscience of the impact that learning makes in a young person’s life and the role that I want to play as both a parent to my child and as an educator.Though it will be hard to be away from my children, I am now eagerly anticipating returning back to work this coming school year.
My experiences thus far have been very important to my growth as a teacher and have further fuelled my passion for teaching and learning!