This blog has been one of my most enjoyable blogs. I was asked to write about my life as an educator for the last 10 years. So, here it goes.
Tell us who you are! How long have you been working in the education field?
I have been working in the education field for 10 years now as a part-time lecturer at the college level. I was an Early Childhood Educator for 18 years working with children.
What subject do you teach?
I teach in the Early Childhood Education program at a college.
Who was your favourite teacher when you were a student? What made them stand out from the rest?
I loved Mr. Fisher in elementary school. He was just a kind and understanding man. In college, it was Heather Perras. She made learning fun and she was witty and entertaining.
What was learning like growing up for you? Easy, challenging?
Learning was not hard, but I had to work at it. I had good study habits (self taught) and college was easier. I had good grades and won an award in college. I believe it was because I really loved what I was studying. That makes all the difference in the world.
Who or what inspired you to become an educator?
I was a motivational speaker in an ECE class at a college and was asked to start teaching right after my talk. So, it was never intentional, but truly a blessing in disguise.
Describe what your dream classroom would look like.
A totally engaged classroom with no access to social media on phones during lectures; only for research.
What gets you pumped up before entering the classroom? (ex. music, car dance party, coffee?)
For sure I love my coffee and I have been known to always put on my lipstick before class. The students pump me up. I like to go in early, get set up and talk to the students and try to get to know them on a personal level. I always post an inspirational quote before and after class starts.
What makes you a great educator? (Come on, toot your horn!)
I spend lots of time prepping for courses. I practice my lectures before class (yes, every single time, year after year). I like adding new material, like videos, and I am very understanding of individual student needs.
If your students could describe you, what would they say?
I hope they’d say that I am understanding, accommodating, organized, friendly and I have a handle on class behaviour. I hope they appreciate the real-life examples combined with theory.
What was your best teaching moment?
There are so many. My best moments are the ones you cannot prepare for. The ones where you ask a question and it leads into a discussion that goes on for awhile. Those are the best times to learn. I love the learning that happens and the connections. I love when they come to me and tell me that what I taught happened on their placement. This is where they see the connection between theory and practice.
What do you do to enhance your personal learning?
I research and I also listen to many self-help books on personal development.
How do you balance your personal life from your teaching life?
I use my agenda and set office hours for emails. This isn’t always something I follow though. I’m working on it.
Do you do enough to maintain your personal well-being?
I get away for girls’ weekends, with family and friends. Work is my respite really, I work with amazing people and I love what I do. I also spend time with people that really appreciate me and respect me.
What do you love most about teaching?
I love the engagement with students, and when they hand in an amazing assignment and do well on a test, then you know they got it!
If you could talk to your younger self (ex. elementary student, high school student, post-secondary) what would you say?
Take high school seriously, your grades matter.
Your path in high school sets the tone for your future.
Don’t live in residence in college and university!
There may be teachers reading this who need a reminder why they’re great educators. What would you say to help lift their spirits?
You are all amazing. You are making a difference. Be open to learn from your students; I know it is a collaboration and sometimes they are my biggest teachers.