Me? You want to know about me? Ok. Here are the goods…
The first and most important thing i do in a day is parent. Like, really parent. The kind that is thoughtful and deliberate and full of play. I work. I pick my boys up from school. We play. We eat. We read. They sleep. Then my computer work begins.
This year there are a few balls I’m juggling. I’m currently enrolled in the YNTEP program run jointly between Yukon College here in Whitehorse, YT and University of Regina in Saskatchewan, MB. I’m starting my research this 2017/2018 school year for my MEd with SFU. I sit at the Policy chair for the Yukon Teachers Association (our teachers Union) and as the Chair for the Educational Assistants’ Sub-Committee. It’ll be a busy year but if I’m not busy I get bored. So, I say “bring it on, Big Wide World!”
The background is that I’m from just outside of Toronto from a city call Brampton (big up #RussellPeters and #AlisiaCara). I crew up only tolerating school. I never felt all that smart. I excelled in the arts and languages but waaaaaaaay missed the mark in my sciences and math classes. I felt dumb. Or rather, that I wasn’t an “academic”. That math and science was better left for “other folks” for whom it came naturally. Well, turns out now that I don’t believe one word of the script I was feeding myself in those naive high school days. Now I hold dear the belief that attitude + effort = results. If you are interested in something. Anything. Follow that interest and curiosity down the rabbit hole and you’ll find all sorts of connects to things you didn’t anticipate. Like math and art. Who’d a thunk it, right?!?
As an educator (and a mum) fostering and allowing this natural curiosity in children is my philosophical nucleus. It motivates every interaction. Helping them navigate struggle by fostering problem solving. Leading a science lesson that leads to questions about ethereal concepts. I want kids – mine and those of others – to ask questions. To always want to know more. When we know more. We know better. When we know better, we do better.
I went did a Bachelors of Communication in Graphic Design at the Ontario of Art and Design University (OCADU) in Toronto after finishing a diploma in Advertising and Graphic Design at Humber College (also in Toronto). When I was done there, I moved to Rankin Inlet, Nunavut (a bit of a departure I know, right!?) Rankin Inlet is a fly-in only community on the West side of Hudson’s Bay. I lived there for three years and managed an early year’s program for preschoolers. In doing that, I began to see and understand the value of thoughtful early childhood programming on the lifelong outcomes of children. In University and college, I was always fascinated with how people took in information and the ways in which that information was disseminated. That interest morphed from commercial information to educational information.
When my own two sons were born (two years apart) I became ferociously interested and invested in learning everything I could about educational models and systems. Different educational approaches. Methodologies. You name it, I want to know it. My boys are in Kindergarten and grade two now and attending Montessori school. I work at a public school. Some people ask how I rectify the dichotomy. Well, for me it’s not a private vs. public issue. It’s about methodology. I’d be happy to see and have advocated for (as part of the boy’s school Board of Directors) a public Montessori stream within the Yukon public system. We’re working on it. I’m lookin’ at you Minister McPhee! That however is another post for another day.
So, the boys are navigating their schooling and I’m now navigating mine. All over again. Only know I know myself well. As a student and as a member of my community. I know what I have to offer and I know I have a lot to learn. I’m grateful for the educational opportunities that have arisen for me in the resent years. It’ll be a whirlwind but I’m excited for what lies ahead.
Let the games begin.
Signing off from the Great White North. (but right now, everything is green and yellow – the colours of fall here I the Yukon)
A few snaps from Rankin circa 2008. ‘Cause who doesn’t love takin’ a stroll down memory lane? Ok, so this was probably more fun for me to post than it will be for you to look at but take a gander, if you’re keen.
Out for a rip on the tundra. You’ll notice the absence of trees. That’s the permafrost. As in, no roots can grow more than a foot or so below the surface. Lots of grass and shrubs though. Tons.
This was taken at 1:42pm. I checked the time stamp. For real. It was December. We were facing waaaaaaay away from the sun so….makes sense.
Yup, Northern Lights. Often. Dare I say every few nights. Was mesmerizing Every. Single. Time.
An inlet from Hudson’s Bay. Looks almost warm, no? Don’t be fooled. It was not. Ever.
Me and my momm-bird. She nursed in Northern communities every summer while I was growing up. My sister, brother and I would go to the cottage with my dad (just past Huntsville for you Ontarian’s) and she’d go and work in Old Crow. Dawson City. Iqaluit. Too many to name. She’s bananas-amazing. And she’s why going North – really North, not cottage North – felt accessible and doable. Thanks. Ma.
Life North of 60* is a game changer. Try it. I dare you. Or invite you, rather. Yeah, it’s an invite. Come visit, I’ll show you around.