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"School change takes place once teachers are brave enough, transparent enough, and vulnerable enough to ask “Why?”. Why am I doing this? Why is this behavior happening? Why am I getting these results? Real, sustainable improvement begins with “Why?” and lives are changed!"


Be Part of Something Great

My Teaching Journey

I am a secondary teacher from Ontario, Canada. I began my career in the Halton District School Board as an English teacher at the end of the 1990s. As lucky as I was to be hired right out of teacher’s college, I also experienced the agony of being surplused from my first school. This is an experience that almost every new teacher lives through and it was scary. I found a new home in a small school in a tight knit community and I loved being there. However, small schools aren’t sustainable in the business model of education. So we, as a staff, lived through the tension of potential closure and/ or amalgamation. Ultimately, the decision was to expand from being a grades 9-12 high school to a combined grades 7-12 school to increase the number of bodies in the building. For the first time in my life as a teacher, I was meeting educators from an elementary panel and seeing what was happening in classrooms that fed into my grade 9 room. That was very revealing. Don’t get me wrong, expansion was hard! There are the questions of school culture, integration and overlap, and the big one of, “are we one school or two schools operating in the same location?”. I stayed for a few more years as the initial shock of the change wore off. Then, I made a jump to another school for a new role.

I became the school teacher-librarian in a slightly bigger school. Changing schools and changing duties at the same time was daunting. It took a while for me to gain traction and credibility but the hard work paid off. This school was my school. I had amazing colleagues. I had administrators that wanted us to be better educators. I had students who were engaged in both learning and relationships. It was idyllic and magical and I took it for granted while I was living in it. But, the dream ended as again the school was deemed too small and we faced closure. I changed schools several more times throughout my career in Halton and returned to the classroom. Each school allowed me to work with new colleagues who showed me what they were doing in their classrooms, what they valued as educators, and what they needed from the system. My last move led me to a new board more than 3 hours away to start again as a new hire. I’m currently working for the Greater Essex County District School Board as an occasional teacher. So now, I’m new and old and starting out and experienced all at the same time. If you’re an educator I’ve been where you are today. My hope is that something I share on this site resonates with you, challenges you, or encourages you. Only someone who has been the adult in the classroom really understands another teacher.

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