Students in the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Education seeking advice about time management would do well to talk to Jaime Iwaasa, a staff member in the faculty’s Field Experiences office. That’s because Jaime is also a student and parent who has proven to be adept at juggling the demands of career, studies, and family.
The mother of two teenage children, Jaime has spent the past six years studying part-time toward her Bachelor of Management degree and is anticipating the finish line only a semester or two away.
After jumping back into school as a mature student and balancing career and family, it was a bit of trial and error to establish a routine that worked well.”
She has utilized time management to help her keep all the balls in the air. “I would say that’s been the key, for sure,” she says. When it comes to her studies, “I try to carve out times when I can be most productive, early mornings or late at night.”
To help with managing family responsibilities, she has found it helpful to take a flexible approach with her studies. “At times I’ve made adjustments and taken a semester off to tend to things that are important,” she says. At other times, she has taken on additional courses when time allowed.
Being flexible has been important for me in adapting to the changing seasons of being a parent.”
The demands of family, job and studies can make life extremely busy, but Jaime is careful to tend to her own wellnesss, too. It’s a matter of balance, she says. “Spending time outdoors with my family is something I really enjoy, and has been helpful for me.”
In managing that balancing act, she has found it helpful to connect with fellow students who are also parents. “Balance everything as best you can and make adjustments when you need to,” she advises.
Jaime is in her third year working with the Faculty of Education, where she serves as program specialist in the Field Experiences office, coordinating practicum and intern placements for Education students in Professional Semesters I, II and III. Working with her colleague, administrative assistant Kelly Vaselenak, Jaime works with school partners across Southern Alberta, as far north as the Calgary area, to mesh the needs and wishes of students with those of the host schools. Occasionally, intern placements are made in other provinces. The goal is to provide a wide range of experiences for Education students, giving them a taste of working in elementary and secondary school environments before they embark on their teaching careers.
One of Jaime’s favourite aspects of her job is the student connection. Because she's also a student, she enjoys “seeing them progress through their journey at university ... I love hearing when a student comes back and tells me about their field experience.”
Jaime not only finds it rewarding to help support students in their university experience, but, as a student herself, she draws encouragement from their efforts to juggle studies, jobs and sometimes families. “I’m always really inspired by other students... and seeing them do amazing things.”
Working toward her Management degree has already paid dividends in Jaime's role with the Field Experiences office, where it “has definitely helped me gain additional knowledge and to think critically in areas that translate directly in my role as a practicum coordinator.”
Jaime's efforts are appreciated by Dr. Sharon Pelech, Interim Assistant Dean of the Field Experiences office, who says, "Jaime’s ability to juggle multiple roles simultaneously carries into the amazing work she does in completing placements for students."
Jaime is able to consider the needs of different school requests, students’ personal situations, their academic requirements, even thinking ahead for future placements for over 700 students per year. Her calm, gentle approach to her work offers a sense of support and confidence that allows students and school partners alike to know they are in good hands with Jaime.”
Writer: Dave Sulz
Photo: Rob Olson
For more information please contact:
Communications, Dean's Office, Faculty of Education
University of Lethbridge
Twitter: @ULethbridgeEdu and @ULethEduGrad
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