A nature lover, a gardening enthusiast, a youthful heart, imaginative and creative being are the top 5 ways I would describe myself. As a mother of 4 girls, I am often found sitting in trees, planting seeds, tending to the flower beds, picking berries or creating masterpieces with my daughters. I am currently involved in learning more about the weeds in my garden, dipping my feet into the world of Herbology. Connecting to the Earth is my healing time, a time in which I carve out space to be quiet and connect with my Metis Heritage.
I have always believed every child to be innately aware of their strengths and abilities. When nurtured and encouraged they will flourish. I strongly believe when we tell our students they are to excel in every subject and directly dictate learning we are doing them a disservice. Learning is to be an experience. Laying a foundation of self-worth and self-determination is the most important groundwork we can offer that will set up success for a strong educational path. I am passionate about social-emotional learning and the well-being of my students. Creating safe and caring spaces is a priority.
With twenty years as an educational assistant under my belt. I was needing a shift in my role in the education field. Recently I gained my certification as a forest school practitioner and was given the opportunity to work in a place/play-based nature kindergarten and a forest school preschool. I learned firsthand how nature connection can have an impact on both students and teachers. These experiences have led me to develop a more holistic understanding of teaching rich in place-based/ nature connection. I encourage learning through play and experience driven by student-led inquiry, and
Acts of teaching and learning are as much a personal journey as they are a role and responsibility. I recognize in order to be the best version of myself in the classroom and to provide the amount of love and care to my students that I intend to, I must also give that love and care to myself, and invest in self-care of my own. Being a mother of four daughters has taught me the importance of community and balance. Connection is of utmost importance in my self-care regime. Connecting with nature and carving time to be creative is a way for me to ground myself when things get rather chaotic. Being creative gets me out of my head and back into the natural flow of things. Time to connect with nature, my community or circle of women, and of course my beautiful family. Sometimes it is a simple act of taking a walk during lunch hours that can ground me back into my creative center.
Creating safe spaces is key.
Safe spaces for me outside of the classroom and ones that I frequent are attending hot yoga classes, camping with my family, and monthly women's gatherings with my girlfriends are all places where I can fill up my bucket.