Welcome to my blog! I am excited about finally taking the plunge and creating a space where I can record my thoughts and interact with an already-thriving community of writers who regularly expound on subjects relevant to education, popular culture, and technology. I trust that you will be greeted with thought-provoking ideas rather than just ramblings, and I welcome honest, respectful interaction via comments and discussion. Please bear with me as I get the lay of the land and re-initiate myself into the act of frequent writing.
I took the long route to becoming a highschool English teacher, finishing my graduate degree in English Language and Literature in 2005, then taking a 5-year break from all things academic. In that time I married my highschool sweetheart, did a little bit of travelling throughout Europe and the Middle East, and witnessed the birth of our first daughter Éowyn, in 2009. Looking back, I wouldn’t trade any of these moments to be a few years deeper into my teaching career, but I always expected that my passion for learning and natural gifts for teaching would lead me back to education.
I was fortunate enough to attend teacher’s college at the University of Western Ontario for the 2010-2011 academic year, and graduate from that program as the recipient of the prestigious F.C. Biehl Memorial Award, presented to the most outstanding English student from all programs (based on both academic standing and teaching skills). Under the tutelage of my mentor and friend, Jack Nahrgang, I saw tremendous success in practicum placements, where my creativity and ability to seamlessly integrate technology into lessons resulted in an extremely high level of student engagement.
Summing up my ‘teaching style’ in a few phrases or sentences seems to be a tremendously difficult (and perhaps cliché) ambition, but suffice it to say that I aim to teach in such a way that no student need ever ask, “Why are we doing this?” Application to their lives must always be clear, and I believe that especially in English studies, their mastery of a text is secondary to the skills and life-lessons that will prepare them for a bright future in our 21st century society. I embrace the tools of social media, smartphones, and the many internet applications designed to facilitate collaborative learning, and seek to make pathways that allow them to engage with curriculum in a meaningful and innovative way. I have no doubt that my passion for learning in its many forms will continually be evident in the thoughts and reflections I post on this blog.
At the present time, I am employed as a Long-Term Occasional Teacher at Grand River Collegiate Institute in Kitchener, Ontario, where I am refining my skills daily as I seek to participate in and strengthen a vibrant community of staff and students.