Heather McCaig's role as a teacher is not only to teach, but to “facilitate learning and wellness, from top to bottom." This Faculty of Education alumna’s passion for hands-on learning has led to a life of experience. Whether traveling in East Africa, long-distance motorcycling, or leading charitable endeavours at home, Heather always errs on the side of kindness, while always finding gratitude in the little things.
Heather brings her individual-centered approach to learning to her teaching career at Medicine Hat School District.
Q. On a personal level, how do you approach the concept of ‘wellness’?
To me, wellness means not only physical wellness, but being mentally strong, and able to tackle what is going on in the day-to-day.
Wellness is being able to always find the good in difficult times."
Q. How do you approach the concept of ‘wellness’ in the classroom?
As a teacher, I am there to be a facilitator in my student’s learning, and to make sure that they have rich and balanced experiences. I want to make sure that my students are well from top to bottom. So if the child needs food, I will feed them, and if the child needs counseling, I will help them with that. I always try to look at the whole child and not only focus on teaching a subject. I want to make sure that my students are well as a whole.
Q. How has your idea of gratitude changed through the course of the pandemic?
It has certainly helped me find more gratitude in smaller things.
I try to look every single day at those things that I’m grateful for no matter how hard my day has been.
I look for the positives that I can take out of a day, always starting or finishing on a positive note. It is so easy right now to focus on the negative things, so its important for me to ground myself by looking at the world in a positive way.
Writer: Nicholas Tuff
Photo courtesy: Heather McCaig
Faculty of Education Wellness and Gratitude series:
• The Link Between Wellness and Gratitude: Dr. Robin Bright
• Wellness and Gratitude: Speaking openly about living with bipolar disorder, Jason Wegner
• Wellness and Gratitude: "Although I hate the routine, I need the routine", Dan Grassick (BSc/BEd ‘02)
• Wellness and Gratitude: "It’s honestly been a rollercoaster," Brae Clowes (BA/BEd ‘21)
Faculty of Education Wellness Initiative series:
• The Faculty of Education WELLNESS INITIATIVE: Supporting a Focus on Health and Well-Being
• Wellness is Keeping Active, Both Mentally and Physically, Brae Clowes
• Wellness is The Joy of Cooking: Dr. Jeffrey MacCormack
• Wellness is Feeling Productive: Sally Leung (BA/BEd '17)
• Wellness is About Writing: Teri Hartman (BA/BEd '02, current MEd student)
• Wellness is Spending Time Outdoors: Dana Visser
• Wellness is Stillness: Jane O'Dea (dean emerita)
• Wellness is Coping with Stress Through Art and Music: Jenn Pellerin
• Wellness During the COVID-19 Experience, PSII, and Staying Connected: Kelsey Shoults
• Wellness is Being in the Moment: Kenneth Oppel
• Wellness is About Having a Consistent Routine: Alex Funk (BEd '17)
• Wellness is Spiritual: David Slomp
• Wellness is Ranching: Danny Balderson
• Coping with COVID-19: Harnessing our Natural Stress Response
• Coping with COVID-19: Loneliness
• The Intersectionality of Faith, Mental Health and Wellness for Racialized Populations During the Pandemic
For more information please contact:
Communications, 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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