May 2010 - Apr 2012
Sep 1989 - May 1993
University of Alberta
- All children can learn. They are capable of surpassing expectations when allowed to.
- Engagement is the key to long term learning. If they ‘live’ it, they will ‘learn’ it.
- Students need to be taught to ask questions and develop their own interests. When they see that they can effect change and have choice they become empowered to do more.
- Creative solutions to student challenges can help to overcome even the most difficult of situations.
- The set up of physical space and learning environment can have a profound effect on learning and behavior.
- Fair is not always equal. Every child is unique and has unique needs.
- Positive relationship is key to successful teaching and learning.
- There is far more to learn and develop than just the curriculum. How to be a globally responsible person should be embedded in everything.
- Not everyone needs to be doing the same things at the same times. Focus should be on strengths in order to overcome weaknesses.
Consulting – Most of the consulting work I have done is on Reggio inspired Emergent Curriculum, competency education, and engagement. I have also done workshops on using drama in the classroom and puppetry in Early Childhood.
■ Black Gold school division May 2012
■ Northern Alberta Teacher’s Conference Feb 2012
■ Nelson Education Resource review panel. Ongoing 2012
■ Grande Prairie School Division Aug. 2011, Oct. 2011, Feb 2012
■ Peace River School Division 2011
■ Sturgeon County School Division (a number of teacher workshops and parent information sessions 2011 – 2012
■ Early Childhood Education Council Conference 2011, 2010, 2009 (just recently was asked back for the November 2012 conference)
■ Edmonton Reggio Regional Consortium 2011, 2010
Teacher Leader – Monsignor William Irwin School (Edmonton Catholic Schools) 2012
Created and delivered teacher professional development in the area of Reggio inspiration, Emergent Curriculum and the Seven Core Competencies.
St. Monica Early Education Center (Edmonton Catholic Schools) 2009 – 2010
Created professional development opportunities for the staff, lead tours and provided workshops for visiting schools and Education students.
St. Alphonsus, St. Monica, and Monsignor William Irwin (2002 – present)
Mentor teacher for student teachers from University of Alberta and Concordia College
Teacher – Edmonton Catholic Schools 1995 – present
Monsignor William Irwin – Grade 2
St. Monica – Junior Kindergarten, kindergarten
St. Gabriel – Kindergarten
St. Alphonsus – Grade 4 and junior high drama
Our Lady of Mount Carmel – Special Education (grade 2 – 6), junior high drama and art, grade 1 – 4 science, social studies and math.
Rocky Mountain House Catholic School Division 1993 – 1995
St. Mathew - Special Education grades 1 – 11, grades 7 – 12 drama
■ Reggio inspired constructivist teaching approach
■ Public speaking and teacher education
■ Making learning visible through meaningful documentation
■ Differentiated instruction
■ Increasing positive attitudes in reluctant learners
■ Working well as a team with colleagues
■ Strong leadership skills
■ Creative lesson planning
■ Ability to build positive relationships with students and parents
I am so grateful for my experiences as a teacher so far. Beginning my career in special education I developed an empathy for students that needed extra care in order to learn. I understood the need for differentiation but mostly for the need for a change in self perception. I wanted to seek ways to empower children to want to have a say in their learning experiences. Empower them to have an effect on their learning environment. Teaching Junior High drama and art taught me the impact that fine arts can have on learning and development. I saw students take on challenges way beyond expectations and rise to them. These skills carried over into other subject areas. Inner city was again unique, where I intrinsically understood that we are not just teaching the curriculum, but teaching children that come from a variety of backgrounds and experiences. Engagement became essential in order for these children to want to be in school. Teaching kindergarten solidified all of those prior realizations. While teaching kindergarten I was introduced to the constructivist teaching methodologies of Reggio Emilia, where student voice and engagement are a priority. I embraced the philosophy and began researching to learn more. I was so inspired, I began my Masters degree in Education. The more I learned the more motivated I became to improve student learning through engagement and empowerment. I attended the round table conferences hosted by Alberta Education on the 21st century competencies and incorporated it into my teaching. I had many visitors through my classroom which led to consulting experiences. I have enjoyed being able to help teachers expand their thinking about teaching and learning, and feeling like I am making a difference. I have since moved to a grade two classroom in order to practice Emergent Curriculum and the Reggio Inspired approach. At this point the plan for next year is to create a unique team teaching situation in order to further the research into the effects of a collaborative, student led, project approach with grade 4 students.
I have done numerous professional development sessions, but one that was really unique was at the Oak hill School for Boys. This is the documentation of the day that I created for the teachers to model documentation.
One of the Prezi presentations I created for the Northern Alberta Teacher's Convention on Emergent Curriculum.
Documentation that I created early in my exploration into the teaching practices of Reggio Emilia. I was asked to present this document in a number of settings.