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the teacher bio bit

Thu February 03 2011
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Bug Girl came home today talking about her assignment to bring something to school that represents the job her mother or father has. I think I had a tiny identity crisis at the kitchen counter, just for a second.

Her first description of my job is that I am a scrapbooker. That’s true, but it’s not my “job” (well, not yet).

I offered the “You, YOU’RE my job!” mothering angle which was promptly dismissed (ok?). But that’s true too. I am a mother.

Then we had a slippery and quick back and forth about how I don’t have an actual job right now, but I am a teacher. I am not teaching, but I am a teacher. This is true too.

All of this was too tangly a knot for her Gr. 3 assignment and we mutually agreed she should go talk to her dad about his job and what represents what he does. Have fun with that.

So you know, I’ve been thinking. I am finding it frustrating to have a child in school in this province while I am not involved in education in the province. I am suffering from a real dearth of information, being new here. I am accustomed to knowing more, having access to more. Twitter has thankfully opened a whole new, connected education world for me, right in my (pre-schooler dominated) living room, thanks to lots of BC education tweeps and lots of other progressive-thinking, passionate and sharing-enthused educators.

And also, I realize the little snippets of “bio” living out there in my online content are mostly vague  – I have two girls, I have a poodle, I sweep and scrapbook on #vanisle. How nice. Maybe you’d like to know more? Maybe somewhere somehow my digital self should mention that I do more, am more, than putter about with felt crafts and turn cardboard boxes into apartment buildings (although that’s awesome too).

So, here’s my teaching timeline in a nutshell. I didn’t include the resume thrillers such as my Additional Qualifications in Reading and Special Ed, or the short stint I did as a Special Education Resource Teacher with a handful of Gifted Intermediate students, but they’re true too.

I am a teacher. I completed my B.Ed in Ontario, somewhat tardily on the heels of my glorious B.A. in English & Philosophy (after which I did not snag that elusive job offer with the corner office and the plaque on the door that reads “Philosopher”. Um, no.).

Then we went and did move no.1) North Bay to Calgary, and welcomed our Bug, rather simultaneously. I lucked out in Alberta with great administrators and colleagues and taught Kindergarten. Turns out I just *might* be silly enough for Kindergarten after all. take that Mrs. Callahan. I am certainly passionate enough about our littlest learners. I wrangled centres and readalouds and zippers in the traditional half-day K format, and was again lucky enough to involved with the AISI full-day Kindergarten project for three years. That was great.

That’s when we went and introduced the world to our Turkey, and we completed the return trip, move  no.2) Calgary to Port Hope. Again, with the incredible administrators, I spent an alternating-day year in Junior/Senior Kindergarten, where I got a taste of all the good things to come. Without that year I would not have continued on to have the best job ever (for me, others disagree I know!) as an Instructional Coach in Literacy & Numeracy. Not an easy job necessarily, not smooth-sailing to say the least, but full of the things I love best about education, and a healthy dose of things I don’t. Indescribable amounts of professional learning and thinking and talking, with some truly outstanding educators . It was like winning the teacher lottery (yes, now you know the kind of nerd I am).

Now that we’re here –  move no.3) Port Hope to Ladysmith – and that Turkey baby is about to start her own Kindergarten career in a few short months, I am filled with eager anticipation about where education in BC will take me, and where I can help it to go, if I am lucky again. Corny, but true.

Nice to meet you.

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