Graduating from high school I planned on being a drama teacher, driving a Volvo, and having a wife, two and a half kids, and a dog. As part of that plan I went ahead and got accepted into the Education program at Lakehead University, but took a year off to do a Canada World Youth Exchange to India and lived in a quite poor village in the state of Bihar for four and a half months. I came home with much changed values and scrapped the whole plan. I just started working, and I volunteered at the mental hospital, senior centers, and with various children’s organizations in Thunder Bay. I began taking English, History, and Psychology courses part-time for my own interest. I then started writing songs and got completely diverted. I moved to Vancouver and after a few years in other jobs I got hired at the Abbotsford School District as a Teacher’s Assistant on the merit of my volunteer background and did really well at the job for the next 11 years. I also got hired on by Ministry of Children and Families in BC to work as a Child Care Worker while still at the schools in the daytime and also did well there. Perhaps I will finish the degree once I retire!
After moving to Alberta 11 years ago, I worked in blue collar jobs because the CBE was only hiring VERY part-time hours for Teacher’s Assistants. I came to Third Academy to play music for a Black Tie Gala, went on a tour of the school with Sunil Mattu, and was impressed with the school and staff and found that we shared the same passion for helping kids succeed!
Seeing kids succeed despite ongoing challenges is uplifting and fulfilling. Our kids deserve the chance to be helped to find their own ways to get things done and learn. I appreciate the way the student is seen as a whole, allowing for personality, background, and health and development concerns.