My lifelong career path began in my youth as a private tutor. I was teaching peers and friends music lessons based around guitar and music theory. It was my first experience at being able to share something that I felt confident enough knowing and at the same time feeling rewarded for being able to pass along a skill that I myself enjoy in hopes the someone else will gain what I do from music. There was a lot of collaborative ideas shared and “aha” from both parties. I didn’t know that this was the beginning of my career path, but I did know that those evenings after school spent strumming chords and learning about pick patterns were some of my fondest memories of teaching and learning. I had taken my first steps to becoming a teacher.

After graduating from high school I worked a variety of jobs, took interest in wood working, started studying at college, and continued plucking away at my guitar. At some point in my early twenties I decided ‘I want to be a teacher.’ Excited by my revelation I was concerned that I didn’t have the experience needed to be accepted into a teaching program. In search for experience, I found teaching overseas and decided to teach English as a second language. I enrolled in a summer intensive Oxford TESOL certification. I learned some of the basics and fundamentals of teaching in those intensive classes; lesson planning, assessment, how to start a class, management techniques, and lots of other new pedagogy. It was like I was learning a new language and this whole new perspective of teaching that, as a student, I didn’t even know existed. It wasn’t a teaching degree and it barely scratched the surface of what teaching requires, but it was an eye-opening and had me hooked on being a teacher before I even entered the classroom.

I found a job teaching ESL in China. My first adventure abroad and my first teaching experience in a classroom setting.  I ended up teaching abroad for several years and practiced my skills in communication, lesson planning, classroom management, and a myriad of other aspects of teaching. I taught a wide range of students from kindergarten classes consisting of singing and games all the way up to University teaching business students formal conversations. Some classes were based on oral English lessons to practice pronunciation and others were focused on creative writing and grammar. Some days I taught private lessons to one or two students and other days I had classrooms with up to sixty teenagers and young adults.  I got a full an enriching experience that reaffirmed to me that the classroom was where I belonged.

I returned to Canada and enrolled in the Post-Baccalaureate in Education and was accepted. It was an intensive course that was more than full-time. After an eight hour classes, us young aspiring educators would go home at night and spend hours lesson planning minute by minute and mapping our every step in the classroom. We’d teach all day at our practicums and then afterwards listen to extensive criticism from our supervisors, all very helpful and constructive, that would deconstruct the best lesson and show every mistake made. It wasn’t easy, but it prepared us to become lifelong learners and to never become complacent in our teaching. By the end of my practicum I felt as ready to take on the next challenge in my journey and become a certified teacher.

I’ll never forget about those late evenings with friends back in grade school. Teaching them how to form chords, play a rhythm, or learning a Beatles song together and singing out of key. I’ll never forget the excitement of being in the classroom for the first time in China. I’ll never forget my practicum and the lesson planning and new tools I gained from amazing teachers and sponsors guiding us through our first steps into the public school system. The feelings and sentiment I have for the classroom, the students, and the life long career as an educator I carry to this day. I would like to share some of those values and ideas in my teaching Philosophies.