Teachers reflect and find joy and empowerment

New IGS teachers recently teamed up with more experienced colleagues to explore desire and purpose at the inaugural IGS Mentor-Mentee Learning and Teaching Autumn Conference.

“Effective teaching identities are loving, impassioned, trusting, knowledgeable, skillful, and respectful,” said Professional Mentor IGS Dianne Pizarro.

“They are embedded in actions, words and critical self-reflection. We perpetually seek our purpose, striving to achieve our desire to be teachers.

“Be mindful of finding joy, in yourself, your teaching and in others.”

IGS Principal Shauna Colnan facilitated an exercise that was all about reflection and finding “who we are as teachers”.

“We do need a sense of who we are, to fill the space of a room,” she said. “I think that’s one of the most challenging parts of teaching when you first start.

“I remember the first time going into a classroom and being a bit shy about all these kids in a room and how I could project my personality into that space.”

She said teachers have the opportunity to show kindness, adding that by teaching in a different way, they could “change kids’ lives in profound ways”.

“You just don’t know what impact you can be having.”

Shauna asked each staff member to reflect on their own childhood and the teachers that had a powerful and positive impact on their lives.

“What did that teacher do, how did it feel to be in that teacher’s class, and can you remember a memorable moment,” she asked.

“How many of us are teachers because of a teacher who touched our lives in some way?”

Shauna then asked them to list the 10 characteristics they like most about themselves and 10 actions that express those traits, along with a short statement about their vision of an ideal world.