When Vivianna Lee (BA/BEd ’22) graduates from the University of Lethbridge’s Faculty of Education this spring, she will be ready to embark on a teaching career inspired by the children she assisted while working with a non-profit organization.

Vivianna is doing her professional semester III practicum at Senator Buchanan Elementary School in Lethbridge, teaching physical education, literacy, and numeracy in grades one to three.

I've gotten to help kids with their homework, teach them through play, and develop really great relationships,” Vivianna says. “I loved seeing how excited kids were about seeing their friends and how excited they were to learn.”

“I am really enjoying my time in the Grade 1 to 3 classroom,” says Vivianna. “There is so much to learn. I think one of the more important things I have learned is how important it is to develop rapport with students. Every child you meet is so unique and there is so much to learn from them. I couldn’t imagine teaching without making personal connections and learning from students.”

She adds her experience at Senator Buchanan has been more positive because of the support she has received from the school’s teachers and administrators. In fact, when it comes to support, Vivianna has plenty from numerous faculty members, teacher mentors, friends, and family. At the head of that group are her mom and sister.

“My mom was always my biggest supporter. She was always learning new things and taught me all kinds of things as I was growing up. She was a huge influence in my decision to become a teacher. My sister has also been extremely helpful in my journey. She always gives me advice, is always there for me, and is always helping me whenever I need it. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.”

One of Vivianna’s aims as a teacher is to incorporate more “wellness activities” into the classroom in keeping with the Professional Inquiry Project she has undertaken with two of her colleagues.

“We decided to take a mental health approach involving brain breaks in the classroom,” says Vivianna, noting that she believes students benefit from a periodic pause from academics. The breaks can range from movement breaks to games to sharing circles.

“I noticed that kids were quickly becoming tired and less engaged. I believe it’s really important to take care of our bodies and also focus on our physical and mental well-being when we are learning.”

During the educational process toward becoming a teacher, Vivianna notes she has made many good friends along the way and developed some great relationships with her instructors – “Josh Markle, Rocky Wilson, Danny Balderson, Jenna Lowe, and Lance Grigg, to name a few. They have taught me to embrace the subjects I am most afraid to teach, to think critically, to build a positive classroom climate. I truly believe that the Education faculty has some of the best and supportive people.”

Writer: Dave Sulz | Photo courtesy of Vivianna Lee

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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:

Darcy Tamayose
Communications Officer
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
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