Why did you want to become a secondee at York?
I’m thinking of a quote by Fred Divito: “If it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you.” I was looking for a new challenge, something outside of my comfort zone, saw the opportunity at York and decided to throw my application into the mix. Now that I’m entering my eighth year with the Faculty of Education, it was easily one of the best professional decisions I’ve ever made.
What school board are you affiliated with?
I was a Professional Learning Network (PLN) Teacher for Health and Physical Education (HPE) for the North Region of Toronto at the TCDSB. As an HPE PLN Lead Teacher in my board, I played a key role in liaising with and guiding a network of stakeholders that facilitated opportunities to help build HPE capacity and expertise with teachers.
What inspires you to teach?
The STUDENTS. The ability to build relationships to engage students, and make meaningful connections; the ability to live and share my passion and enthusiasm for HPE; and, getting teachers to critically think about HPE as small changes in commitment to lifestyle, not simply as the subject matter that we teach.
What courses are you presently teaching?
Teaching Physical Education and I am also the Community Practicum Coordinator.
What’s the most exciting thing that has happened in your classroom this year?
Receiving affirmation from students that participating in ‘brain breaks’ and ‘boredom busters’ during an 8:30am class REALLY DOES have a positive impact on the attention span and memory of executive brain function, and therefore on student learning.
What are you most surprised about now that you are working at York’s Faculty of Education?
My enhanced and restored commitment to reflective teaching practice, social justice and equity, and the many ‘teachings’ I’ve learned from and with the teacher candidates.
What would your students be surprised to know about you?
‘Less than one-tenth of one percent of the world's population will dare to complete the distance of a marathon’. After just recently taking up long distance running in the past five years, I have run six marathons (including two Boston Marathons, and completed one pregnant with my daughter). I would LOVE to take part in Community Theatre (even though I’m an introvert, and I don’t have the voice nor dramatic arts skills to back up my ‘dream’).
What advice would you give to teacher candidates?
Enjoy the experience and have fun. Take the time to be mindful of why you teach in the first place. Take time for self-care. Be open to take risks and try new ideas; listen, observe, think, embrace challenge, be resilient, ask questions.