For the last six summers i have had the pleasure of working for the City of Brandon coordination one of the three Youth Activity Centres (YAC). Our program is free; as a result of this, we often cater to low income families. Working for YAC has taught me the importance of being patient and has helped me grow to be more empathetic. As well, working with high needs youth has built my confidence in dealing with conflict, and in my ability to think quickly in stressful situations. Above all else, working with the youth in my community has led me to build meaningful relationships with youth of all ages and backgrounds and has helped me fall in love with my future career; it is because of this job that i am so confident that teaching is where i belong.
For as long as i can remember, i have been surrounded by music. My mother, who is the most significant influence in my life has been singing and involving me in musical productions since i could walk. I am a strong believer that music soothes the soul, and no matter what i am trying to accomplish (or lack there of) i always have music playing. I am confident that i will frequently incorporate music in my future classroom whether it be dancing as movement breaks, listening to soft music while working, or using song as an instructional method.
This fall marks my sixth, and final year as a student at Brandon University. I took four years to complete my B.A with a major in English and a minor in Mathematics. When i first began my studies at B.U i was enrolled in Psychiatric Nursing, but after one year i quickly learned that health studies was not for me. After working one summer as a leader at the Youth Centre, I was drawn to the Faculty of Education. I am excited, anxious, and nervous for my time at B.U to come to an end; this school has, and continues to shape me as a learner, and i am positive that i will take what i have learned here with me for the rest of my life.
My second student teaching placement was in grade 7/8 at New Era School; this was by far the most eye opening, rewarding, and exhausting professional experiences i have had so far. I was familiar with many of the students in my class from working at the youth centre which i found incredibly helpful in the building meaningful relationships with my students. I fell in love with the sense of community i felt at New Era, as well as the variety of students it caters to. I would consider New Era to be one of the top schools i would like to work in once my university career comes to an end.
If there is one thing i have learned from some of the most important people in my life is that a good joke can make almost everything better. For as long as i can remember, my house has been filled with light hearted conversation and lots of laughs; this is because i was raised by two people who make an honest effort to never take life to seriously. My father was a teacher for over 30 years, and he often jokes that he has no good advice for me to take with me as i venture into this new chapter in my life but he is wrong; as i've watched him interact with his students, i have learned how important it is to always have a good sense of humour, no matter how challenging things may be. In my last two placements, i started each day with a joke of the day; i found that starting the day with a laugh helped everyone to loosen up first thing in the morning.
The internet has become my best friend as a teacher in training. Pinterest is a tool with endless possibilities for teachers; i use it daily for inspiration, lesson plans, humour, and so much more. As a person who easily forgets, Pinterest is great for me as it allows me to pin all of the things i love the most, and go back later to find them all in one place. This tool allows me to create "boards" that help me keep my professional and personal material separated while exploring both at the same time. The only downside to Pinterest is that its addicting!
Teachers Pay Teachers is a life saver as a teacher beginning their career; this tool contains resources from millions of teachers from around the world and is a great resource for content area ideas, freebies, lesson plans, and inspiration. I was first introduced to this online tool during the Faculty of Education orientation last year, and i have held it very close to my heart ever since; it has gotten me through any of my creative lulls during my placements and i know that i will continue to use it throughout my career.
Everyone needs something to help them unwind at the end of the day; for me, that thing is my current addiction, Shameless. As google explains, the show follows the story of "Frank Gallagher, a single father of six who spends much of his free time drinking at bars. The Gallagher children -- led by oldest daughter Fiona, who takes on much of the child-rearing responsibility due to her mother's absence -- manage to raise themselves in spite of Frank's lack of parenting and unusual parenting style when he does choose to act like a father." If nothing else, Shameless is a guilty pleasure, and definitely a lesson in what not to do with your life.
If i could pack my bags and move anywhere in the world right now, i would pick Vancouver, BC. Every summer since i was born, my family and i have packed up our car and drove out west to visit my Dads side of the family in Vancouver. As a child, this annual trip was just tradition but as i grew older, i started to fall in love with exploring the City of Vancouver and the surrounding area and continue to find peace in the time i spend there. If there is any point throughout the year i feel i need to recharge, or need a break from life for a while, Vancouver is where i head.
Wonder tells the inspiring story of August Pullman, a boy who enters school for the first time in fifth grade. August (also commonly known as Auggie) has facial differences which pose a series of challenges that he must overcome as the story progresses. I read Wonder over the summer and fell in love with the characters, heartwarming story, and the endless teachable opportunities hidden between the lines. Auggies story will touch every person who reads it, and i believe that there is so much to be done with a book like Wonder in any classroom. I loved this book so much that i purchased two books to go along with it "We're all Wonders" the illustrated and condensed version of the novel, as well as "365 Days of Wonder: A Quote for Every Day of the Year About Courage, Friendship, Love, and Kindness" which are both well worth the read.