*hides face in shame*
It’s been a while since I featured an educator on the blog and I’m so glad Kathleen finally shared her story with us because there was so many points she made that reminded me of my “why” as an educator. There was no fluff in her answers – it was just straight up (just how I like it!) and I couldn’t stop nodding my head when she talked about a difficult situation she faced in the classroom because I know that story oh too well.
Thank you Kathleen for participating and readers, be sure to connect with her too!
Name: Kathleen House
Who are you?
My name is Kathleen House
How long have you been working in the education field?
What school district are you in?
Peel District School Board
What subject/ grade do you teach?
I am an Educational Resource Facilitator
Who was your favourite teacher when you were a student? What made them stand out from the rest?
My favourite teacher was a woodworking teacher. He was encouraging, he believed in me.
What was learning like growing up for you? Easy, challenging?
Learning was very difficult as my family did not encourage me with my schooling, my parents were divorced and it was just my mom looking after my brother and me. We had a lot of family issues.
Who or what inspired you to become an educator?
I wanted to make a difference. I look back at my life and I always think to myself could things of been different for me if I had support in school. I made a promise to myself that I would never give up on any child and I will always believe in their full potential.
Tell us about a challenging moment you’ve faced in the classroom. How did you deal with it?
My challenging moment was with other staff in the classroom. I was in a contained classroom on a LTO. The other staff in the class had been in that same room for 12 years. The person I was covering for was a friend of theirs and was also in the same class for 12 years. So when I came to that class I was not very welcomed. They were nice but I knew from the vibe that they don’t want me there. I was never asked any input regarding anything. I dealt with it by keeping my head up high, offering input either way, I was professional as I was there for the kids, but most of all I did not let the other staff’s attitude bring me down.
What gets you pumped up before entering the classroom? (ex. music, car dance party, coffee?)
What pumps me up is definitely coffee and music in my car before I get to work, but also knowing that I am going to a job that I enjoy and that I am able to make a difference.
What makes you a great educator? (Come on, toot your horn!)
I am a great educator because I never give up on any student. I don’t take NO for an answer, and I also push the children to their full potential by believing in them.
If your students could describe you, what would they say?
Funny, loud and the kids love the way I dress. I am very laid back.
What was your best teaching moment?
When I was able to take a grade 2 little boy I worked with out on the school field for the first time as he was considered a runner.
What do you do to enhance your personal learning?
LOL, this is funny. I am 41 years old and my kids are always asking me, “Mom why are you still in school”? School is something I enjoy. Every time I finish a course at Humber College I register for a new one.
How do you balance your personal life from your teaching life?
It is hard to balance my personal as I also run my own business and work most nights and weekends. My business is called Kidz Konnect and we offer tutoring in all subjects including French, respite care, ABA Therapy, Boys & Girls Social Clubs, and a cooking club. Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed that I escape from my life by taking weekend get-a-ways to Niagara Falls or Buffalo. I also take long walks at the lake and just recently started to go to the gym.
Have you ever-experienced burn out? What/who helped you cope?
I have experienced burn out several times. I have a great support system of friends and family that help me through these ruff patches.
What do you love most about teaching?
I love seeing the children I work with smile. I love making a difference.
If you could talk to your younger self (ex. elementary student, high school student, post-secondary) what would you say?
I would say get your act together and stay strong but most of all I would say be a leader not a follower.
Jam Gamble - Connector of People, Ideas and Energy