I was born and raised in Treaty 7 Territory, just outside Calgary, Alberta. I choose to attend the University of Lethbridge because I could follow both of my passions: art and teaching, through the combined degree option. Throughout my BFA I focused on painting and drawing. During my advanced and senior studio courses I continued to explore and develop my painting technique. I paint on larger-scale canvas using a colour-field painting method resulting in abstract works of art. As a teacher, I am an art specialist and elementary generalist. I am also interested in brain development and have taken courses to expand my understanding of how the brain develops during our early years so I can better teach my students.
During professional semester, I taught grade 2 art, science, social studies, and physical education. During professional semester II I taught grade 7/8/9 art; grade 7/8: language arts; grade 8: religion, health; and grade 7/8 extension class math. For my final internship/professional semester III, I taught Grade 3 art, drama, math, and social studies. During my final internship, I taught my grade 3s two in-depth art units. The first was an opportunity for students to learn more regarding Indigenous ways of knowing and I followed a model of Indigenous art education for students to show appreciation for the land and the history of the buffalo in Treaty 7 Territory. The second unit was my professional inquiry project which explored the connection between art and mindfulness.
For May and June I am a substitute teacher in Calgary and I begin my full time grade 1 teaching position at the end of August."
Why did you choose to become a teacher?
There are three main factors that contributed to my decision to become a teacher. The first is my value of helping my community. I felt that teaching would offer me a platform to make a positive impact on future generations by being a reliable, trustworthy, and kind adult in their lives. Teaching allows me to help students learn both from the program of studies and discover how to become the very best person that they can be. The second factor is the atmosphere of the profession. Spending every day in a classroom and designing engaging and relevant lessons for students is something that I am very excited about. I love that every day is different and offers an opportunity for growth, both for my students and for myself.
The third reason I chose to become a teacher is because of the students. During a professional development session in my PSI, the presenter said as teachers we “hold hearts in our hearts.” Teaching is a person-profession, and the memories I make with students is part of what makes teaching such a wonderful career."
What was your most memorable experience while at the University of Lethbridge?
During my education degree, my most memorable experiences include my practicums as well as the PSIII symposium. The best part about the University of Lethbridge education faculty is that it provides us with so much in-classroom experience throughout the three professional semesters. Each practicum is spent in a different school with a different grade(s), and I learned so much while out in the field. The memories that I made with my students and school staff will stay with me for the rest of my life. I am filled with gratitude for each of the schools and teachers that welcomed me into their classrooms and for the university consultants who helped me develop my teaching practice. The PSIII symposium is another memorable experience as it is a day for celebration and allowed me to present my Professional Inquiry Project to my peers and professors. I will hold all the memories I made while at the University of Lethbridge close to my heart, as this is a place that helped me become the person I am today.
What is the most important lesson you learned during your time in the Faculty of Education?
As a student teacher, the most important lesson I learned was to be flexible and adaptable. It quickly became clear how a classroom environment and the school itself have so many moving parts. As a classroom teacher, I learned how to be open and ready for whatever the day may bring. Learning how to be flexible and adaptable helped me be a better teacher for students, as I was able to better transition to unpredicted circumstances. You do not always know what will happen, and you have to be ready for it. Having your lesson ready to go and being well-prepared allows you to be flexible and adaptable in the moments that you need to be.
Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your education experience?
All of my professors, two teacher associates, and teacher mentors greatly influenced my education experience. It was with their combined support and the access to a breadth of knowledge that I was able to learn the fundamentals of teaching. Everyone that I crossed paths with during my time in the Education Faculty offered me their teaching wisdom and gave me something to take away. I truly believe that the teaching profession is about collaboration, and you become a great teacher by engaging in conversations with those around you. Studying during a pandemic made relationships difficult, and I appreciate how the Faculty extended to us and led by example on how to be available to students and continue to be the best teacher you can during unprecedented circumstances.
What advice would you give to those who are about to begin their journey in the Faculty of Education?
Be open to the opportunities and learning experiences that are coming your way. As a beginning educator, the practicums are invaluable because they offer you a place to fail safely. With the support of your classroom teacher, you can take risks and create unique lessons, that sometimes do not always turn out the way you had envisioned. I would strongly recommend that you reflect the most during those times and come back the next day with an improved and altered lesson and re-teach the concepts. I think it’s also important to remember that the Faculty is cheering you on and wants you to succeed. The feedback provided will help you become a better teacher, be open to it and use every day as a chance to learn.
Writer: Eve Buk | Photo and video courtesy of Eve Buk | Podcast: Stephen Hurley
Stay in Touch
Update your contact information with Alumni Relations.
Find us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn
Read more about your fellow alumni
We invite you to join our Twitter account which is more than a social media platform, it is a professional development resource. It is comprised of an active community of 11,300+ educators from around the world, our alumni, current students, and Faculty of Education professors. As you continue your teacher journey you can use this active account to share, connect and reconnect with other educators, and to contact us directly Twitter: @ULethbridgeEdu and our Graduate Studies and Research account: @ULethEduGrad
In the future, we hope to see you as teacher mentors to our students!
We would be honoured if you would consider having one our student teachers learn in your classroom. More info about becoming a teacher associate here.
Can alumni borrow Curriculum Laboratory materials? Yes, and more here.
Faculty of Education website here.
A collection of stories about the Faculty of Education here.
Keep your contact information up to date with Alumni Relations. The folks in Alumni Relations have all sorts of benefits and events to keep you involved in the ULethbridge family and it helps us all stay connected.
Becoming a Teacher series:
• Taylor Burke (BEd '14, MA '22)
• Naoko Masuda (MEd '22)
• Kennedy Dery (BEd, BSc '22)
• Karl Hanson (BEd '22)
• Vivianna Lee (BSc/BEd '22)
• Jenn Biglin (BEd '22)
• Eve Buk (Class of '22, BEd)
• Brad Aldridge (BSc '18, BEd '21)
• Sara Bieniada (BMgt/BEd ‘21)
• Ashley Hoisington (BA/BEd ‘21)
• Dominique Point du Jour (BEd '21)
For more information please contact:
Dean's Office • Faculty of Education
University of Lethbridge
Learn more about the Faculty of Education: Legacy Magazine (2008-2019)
Twitter: @ULethbridgeEdu Website: uleth.ca/education
BecomeaTeacher.ca | BecomeaTeacherAssociate.ca | EdGradStudies.ca