Welcome (back) Grade 6s and Grade 7s! I am so happy to be back at Suncrest for the 2021/2022 school year!
While my Grade 7’s already know quite a bit about me, I would like to take this opportunity to fill in some of the blanks for my Grade 6’s who may not know me quite as well.
Though I teach here in Burnaby, I have lived in Vancouver since 2009. Prior to 2009 I lived in Ontario; spending my childhood in a small town called Gananoque (pronounced: Gan-a-noc-kway) and my teen years in Kingston.
Some interesting facts about the places I grew up in include:
- The name Gananoque is an Indigenous name that means “town on two rivers.” This is due to the fact that the Gananoque River flows through the town and the St. Lawrence River serves as the southern boundary of the town. One way to remember the pronunciation is: “The right way, the wrong way, and the Gananoque”
- Kingston was Canada’s first capital—sort of. Kingston was named the first capital of the United Province of Canada on February 10, 1841, and remained so until 1844. Kingston was also home to Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald.
Growing up, I dreamed of living on the West Coast and I had an opportunity to turn that dream into a reality when I applied and was admitted to the University of British Columbia where I had a chance to pursue areas of interest such as languages, linguistics, and literature.
As a child, I would have never thought that I would grow up to become a teacher. However, after I graduated from university I began teaching English as a Foreign Language to students from all over the world. It was through this that I realized to be a teacher is an amazing thing, and I ended up returning to school to pursue a degree in education. Some of of the most rewarding and meaningful parts about teaching include: being able to help students to learn, grow, and develop their skills; having innumerable opportunities to learn, grown, and develop my own skills; building positive relationships with students, colleagues, parents, and the wider community; and – of course – the fact that every day is a new adventure.
As rewarding as teaching is, it is not without its challenges. What is important, however, is that there are strategies I can use to sustain and push through the difficult parts of being a teacher such as: practicing mindfulness, being grateful and appreciative of the positives in my life, and being intentional in my actions and interactions. I look forward to sharing some of these strategies with you, as well as helping you develop your own, through activities such as class meetings, Spirit Buddies, and opportunities to get involved in and engage meaningfully with the community.
Summer break offered many opportunities to continue practicing mindfulness, gratitude and appreciation, as well as being intentional. Some of the highlights of my summer included:
- Celebrating my birthday
- Getting my second vaccination
- Spending time with my cats on the balcony
- Teaching a Grade 6/7 writing class at Marlborough Elementary school
- Hiking the Grouse Grind and seeing the grizzly bears at the top of Grouse Mountain
- Catching up on my reading
- Discovering a fondness for jigsaw puzzles
- Spending time with friends
- Exploring the city with my parents who came out to visit for two weeks in August after not having seen them for almost a year
As much as I enjoy summer break, I am always happy to return to school in September. Some things I look forward to include:
- The picturesque view from my daily commute on the Skytrain and my walks through Central Park.
- Re-connecting with other teachers and school staff.
- Seeing the familiar faces of my Grade 7s and getting to know my new Grade 6s.
While this school year is going to feel a little more normal (yay!) than the past two years, there are still some practices we will be continuing with in order to make sure that we are taking care of ourselves and the people around us such as wearing masks while indoors (ex. in the classroom, hallways, gymnasium, etc.) regular hand-washing, quiet lunches, and being aware of personal space. One big change from last year is that there are no more learning groups. This means we will have more opportunities to interact with other classes. It also means you will have freedom to move around the outdoor space during recess and lunch – no more gravel field only!
I hope you are as excited as I am to be back, and I know we are going to have a wonderful year together!