I am an Ontario Certified Teacher and special education teacher in the Greater Toronto Area.
I am certified in Primary, Junior and Intermediate divisions with experience in special education, and education policy. I am currently working towards a Master of Education with a focus in Education Leadership and Policy at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) at the University of Toronto. Previously I have completed a Bachelor of Education with a concentration in Teaching At-Risk Children at Queen's University and a Bachelor of Applied Science majoring in Child, Youth and Family with a specialized focus in Youth Studies at the University of Guelph. Combined with my passions for education, children, and politics, I am inspired everyday to lead my students to be engaged citizens, life-long learners, and justice oriented individuals.
I will be posting links to activities I do in my class, resources I have created and post to TPT, and blog posts every so often. I'm hoping you'll stick around and follow along on my teaching journey!
When I'm not in the classroom you can find me relaxing at my cottage in Northern Ontario, walking my dog or exploring a new restaurant.
PHILOSOPHY OF EDUCATION
No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness, and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure. – Emma Goldman
My teaching philosophy has changed greatly throughout my education, and I am very excited to see how it grows more throughout my professional practice. As an educator, I strive to be a strong social advocate, be committed to life-long learning, and focus on student-centred learning through passionate pedagogy and a growth mindset. I believe that all students are individuals that come with their own knowledge and experiences that need to be supported and honoured in my learning environment. I am passionate about getting to know my students and building strong relationships with them. By combining the subjects being taught, to my students’ interests and strengths, I am able to keep them engaged with learning material and foster a love of learning in my classroom.
Teaching must be socially responsible
As a teacher and leader of our society’s young people, it is my responsibility to be socially responsible and act as an advocate for my students. I believe that when you know better, you do better. This means continually being open to difficult discussions surrounding social issues. I feel that great change can happen in a safe place where voices are valued and it is ok to make mistakes. Students are capable of so much, and show so much kindness and generosity to each other and the world, which makes me know that change is possible in the classroom. I truly do not believe that an educator is serving all their students if they are not acting or teaching in a way that benefits society at large.
Example: I believe it is so important that students see themselves reflected in their classroom. I try to read books to my students where they can see characters that look like them and experience similar issues. Some of my favourites include, Beautiful by Stacy McAnulty, Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged by Jody Warner, and I Had A Favourite Dress by Boni Ashburn.
Teaching must be strengthened by life-long learning
In order to be the best educator I can be, I am committed to continuing my own education throughout my career. This is important as the field of education is constantly evolving and changing, and so must I. It is my goal to stay up to date with current research and best practices so that I am able to provide the best teaching strategies, classroom management approaches, current technology systems, and emotional support I can to all my students. I am committed to taking additional courses to build on my skills and qualifications to expand my knowledge and abilities. It is important that I set an example to my students, and part of this includes showing them that I am passionate about learning, personal growth and continuous development.
Example: In September 2021, I will be beginning a Master of Education at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE) through the University of Toronto. I will be focusing on Educational Leadership and Policy. I believe that continuing my own learning this will help me reach all my students and be aware and educated about challenges they might face.
Teaching requires passionate pedagogy and a growth mindset
I have a deep love for teaching and education. It truly is the largest passion of my life, and I am so motivated and excited to begin my career. I love working with other people, and especially children. I feel so much joy when I can learn about their passions and see them be successful in their lives. For this reason, I follow a student-centred approach to teaching where I try to guide my lessons, and activities based on my student’s hobbies and interests. I believe that students will be more engaged when they connect with the topic. This can be as simple as connecting a math lesson to a hockey game, or as in depth as designing a science unit around a climate change topic that my students are passionate about. I also foster a growth mindset in myself and in my students. This means that we learn best from our mistakes and by trying new ways of doing things. In order to foster a growth mindset, I use diverse teaching strategies, such as differentiated instruction, I teach the value of challenges and struggles, encourage students to make mistakes, and focus on saying “yet”, practicing goal-setting, and completing frequent self-reflections. Being passionate about teaching and a growth mindset really do go hand in hand.
Example: In my practicum experience I lead a Tools for Life unit with two Grade 4 classes. Tools for Life focuses on social-emotional learning skills, nurturing emotional intelligence, and building healthy relationships. This unit provides a fantastic opportunity to foster a growth mindset within your students. In the Put Up activities posted below, students were encouraged to write a put up to another student in the class. This lesson was focused on the difference between put downs and put ups, and being encouraging to our peers. Some put ups that students wrote include, "[He] plays by the rules in all games", "You are a good friend and fun to play with", "You are very smart and very kind. You are patient with me and other kids."
About Me Image:
"Children's Books" by lydia_x_liu is licensed under CC BY 2.0