When I first started developing my ePortfolio, I had never taken into account all the people in my life that have contributed to my learning and growth. With the use of the FreeMind application, I was able to design a visual map of sorts and link all of those who have had an influence in my life onto one page.
While there are dozens of individuals on the map, I will only go in depth to those who truly made an impact on my life.
Gwendoline Johnston: My Grade 9 teacher, and perhaps the one who served as a catalyst to my pursuit of a creative and imaginative life. In her class, she would provide piping hot tea and cookies while she instructed the class to write about their personal lives in their journals. However, I found that I was expressing myself more with narratives as opposed to explicitly talking about my personal life. Gwen took note of this, and instead of pacifying this habit of storytelling, she encouraged it. She told me that she thought my stories were great, and that instead of writing a report at the end of the Term, I should write a short story. This had a great effect on me, as it was one of the first times a teacher showed high expectations. She believed in me. She was a fan of my work, and that was a great feeling.
Going forward, I will follow Gwen’s example and perpetuate her legacy of believing that students can achieve great things. All they need is encouragement and constructive critique. You have to believe in your students. Identify their strengths and weaknesses, and alter your teaching approach to accommodate this; give them equal opportunity.
The Communications Team: The people at the Public Relations branch of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake were my first coworkers. My first job was as a temporary production assistant back in the Summer of 2012. Today, I’m still working with them. There is a sense of camaraderie, and we pool our skills together to achieve various large projects. I feel that this experience would serve as excellent preparation for the collaborative environment of a school, where team spirit is paramount.
The McGill Squad: Erin Waxman, Joe Inhaber, Emma Hayes. These three have been an excellent trio of peers and together we’ve devised lesson plans and poster presentations for our classes. We are all pre-service Secondary English teachers, and are learning together; developing the 12 Competencies every step of the way. It is an exciting thought to imagine that someday soon, we will go from being classmates to coworkers in a high school.