Q: Why did you want to join the teaching profession?
A: When I was 15, I volunteered at a summer camp that I went to as a child. I had a blast, learned a lot about working with youth, and found some excellent mentors in my life. I ended up working at that camp for the next four consecutive summers. During this time, I also fell in love with science.
While going into University I had always wanted to be a science teacher, it only took the first term to realize how much I loved studying nature and life around me. I picked Biology as my main field of study so that I could find work that paired my love of the world around me, with my love of working with youth to help them discover the amazing world we live in.
Q: Why did you choose the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan?
A: I never really thought much about going to other schools. I appreciated the sequential entry program as I always wanted to have a science degree. I picked the U of S because I loved the city, had friends here, as well as my brother was a student here. When it became time to apply into Education, I really felt like there was no other option. The U of S and Saskatoon had become my home and are an important part of my development. I had no desire to leave here.
Q: What is something you have learned at the U of S that hasn’t come from a textbook?
A: When it gets close to the end of second term art students host an exhibit. They will generally hold an open house on the Thursday or Friday and at these open houses they have free snacks/food/drinks. I see it as an everybody wins scenario because you get to see cool art, you get to talk with someone who is passionate about their work, and you get free food!
Q: What is the most important lesson that you learned in class so far?
A: I was taking a class titled Plants and People with the Professor Hugo Sanchez in Biology. He had told us the previous day that the next class is on fibres and that it is his favourite lecture. When the day came he was wearing the most interesting suit I had ever seen. It looked like a three-piece suit made from potato sacks. The class was soon informed that it was a suit, custom tailored for him, that was indeed made from recycled potato sacks. After he was done his introduction of the garment he looked at the class and with a smile said, “but it’s worth it, and I’m worth it”. That quote was the only thing I wrote down that day. It will always stick with me, because some days when things are rough you will want to quit. In those times I like to look forward to either a long-term reward such as my degree, or a short-term reward such as a huge bowl of ramen and reaffirm that doing the work is worth it, and in the end reward I get or give myself is worth it as well.
If I had to pick an Education related in class lesson, I would have to say that it involves the late Wayne Dyck. Though he was no relation to me, he worked hard to make sure our class felt like family. He started off his class with shaking everyone’s hand and introducing himself. It is a practice I hope to take with me into my own teaching because by simply doing it he told our class that we mattered and that he wanted to connect and learn with us.
Q: Do you have any advice for fellow students?
A: This is quite cliché advice that you probably will hear all the time, but I ended up following it, and arguably it is working for me. Student groups are a safe bet to join if you have spare time. By joining the ESS, I tricked myself into becoming a much better student for multiple different reasons.
I quickly found out that the ESS gave me many friends that were consistent term-to-term. This is huge in university, where lots of friendships can be one term friendships. Also, since we are all in similar programs we all had similar amounts of spare time. It wasn’t like being friends with students who either have a lot more free time than you, or a lot less from different colleges. My ESS role also forced me to talk to my classmates which meant I made more friends outside of just the student society.
I also ended up putting so much extra into my course work. I was lucky enough to be able to work with a lot of the College’s faculty that I did not want to disappoint them with anything mediocre. I felt motivated to work harder on assignments, as well as be so much more present in my classes. I really started taking a large amount of pride in my work.
Q: Do you have any advice for prospective students?
A: As you enter into postsecondary school in a lot of cases you lose access to your traditional support networks such as your family, and your hometown friend group. I advise that new students are intentional about their own wellness. The wellness centre on campus is always welcoming, you pay for the PAC and it is honestly a pretty good gym, as well as if you followed my advice about joining a student group you should be able to find a rec team to be on.
Here are some of my own personal habits that I use to help with my own wellness.
- Once a month I call all the “old people” in my life to talk with them.
- I am intentional about my fitness and go to the PAC.
- I schedule social time into my week.
- I always eat three meals a day.
- I always attempt to get nine hours of sleep a night.
Q: What have you learned about yourself during your time in the College?
A: Much of the extracurricular stuff I did in the College was simply because I saw a need, or an opening and was passionate about what I was doing. In a way I feel like I have definitive proof that I am not lazy - at least in the professional aspects of my life.
Secondly, I learned how resilient and how much grit I have. I overextended myself during the second term last year and I am extremely proud of myself for how I got through the term. It is good for me to know that when I am buried in commitments, work, and in full out reaction mode I can still get work done, as well as thrive in my professional life.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like to say?
A: Join or be active in the Education Students’ Society. Our Facebook is “U of S - Education Students' Society” and our Instagram is “usask.ess” we would love to have anyone and everyone. Otherwise if you ever see me around feel free to say hi. It is my wish that everyone is comfortable, feels at home, and feels valuable in the College of Education. So if you ever need anything or want to chat feel free to say hi.