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Ashley McLellan

Director of Professional Learning
Nelson Education
Ashley McLellan à une conférence
Ashley McLellan à une conférence
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

Ashely McLellan is the Director of Professional Learning for Nelson Education.

About me

I was born/grew up in:  I was born in Halifax, NS. I grew up in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick.

I now live in:   Toronto, Ontario 

I completed my training/education at:  Mount Allison, NB - B. Arts (English, Asian Studies) | Mount St. Vincent , NS - B. Ed (Elementary) | University of Toronto, ON - M. Ed (Leadership and Policy)

What I do at work

I help educators learn and grow in their careers. I do this by providing them with great professional learning opportunities.  I work from home and am lucky to travel a lot for my job across the country. Relationship building is the most important part of what I do. This means I have to be able to speak about education with people inside my company as well as our customers.

I usually start my day by catching up on emails. I also make a “to do” list to help me stay organized and ensure that I keep on top of projects and deadlines. I have meetings with people in my company (Nelson Education) in the Sales, Marketing, Events, IT, and Finance departments. I work with them to organize professional learning events and services for educators across the country.

Staying organized is a big part of my job along with keeping projects moving forward. In order to do a good job and be effective, I have to analyze policies, organize data, manage large portfolios and keep track of the finances for my department. This involves keeping on top of my budget and forecasting my upcoming needs. I also have to be aware of the current trends in education. This is important since governments are always trying to make decisions based on research and evidence. My Masters in Education taught me how to read research in a critical way. This is a big asset to my work.

My career path is

This is not the job that I thought I would be in! I always knew that I wanted a job where I could work anywhere. Teaching seemed like a good path because I really liked working with kids and was creative. I trained to be a teacher after my undergrad degree.  My first job was in Japan teaching at a private international school. I did this because it was going to be a long time before I would have a class of my own in Canada.

My experience overseas was amazing and so rewarding. I made good money in a great job, met great friends, and learned so much about teaching and the world we live in. I went for one year and ended up staying six! I moved back to Canada to do my Masters in Education because I had lots of questions about managing schools and making decisions as a leader. After my degree, I ended up leaving the traditional education field of teaching and now work for an educational publisher.

It's been a really winding road with a lot of ups and downs. I am happy to work in a job where I still get to be creative and work with a lot of people who all support kids in many different ways. The transitions from place to place and job to job were always the toughest. What helped me overcome challenges was always having friends to talk to and stay connected with. They helped me feel like all of this change was normal and that it would get better... and it always did!

I am motivated by

I love people! I really enjoy meeting new people and connecting the dots between people, ideas, networks and places. Being able to learn about education across the country and see similarities and differences between communities is both exciting and interesting. I have to analyze the education market and then decide what might work best for the most educators. This is the most challenging work I have ever done! I have big goals for myself and my company expects a lot out of me too. I always keep in mind that I am helping educators and ultimately students. This helps me to stay motivated and on-track.

How I affect peoples’ lives

My goal is always to improve the quality of teaching and learning for student success. I take great pride in the fact that the support I give teachers can help them have better relationships with their students- and each other!

Outside of work I

Outside of work, I usually try to stay off my phone and be 'present' since I am online and plugged-in so much at work. I volunteer for Big Brothers/Big Sisters and a couple of other education not for profits. I am involved as a board member for these organizations and like being a part of many networks. In the summer, I play on a softball league and really enjoy going to the beach and walking in the woods.

My advice to others

Get involved in as many networks and organizations as you can. It really pays off to know people in your career and related careers. You never know where life will take you so stay positive, stay involved and stay connected to your friends when things get tough or feel overwhelming; it always gets better!

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Art
  • Business & Economics
  • Drama
  • Literature and Language Arts
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Liked helping people
  • Organized activities for my friends
  • Enjoyed working with my hands
  • Liked being given free range to explore my ideas
  • Was really creative
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Liked to design or build things
  • Engaged in activities such as fishing
  • Learned best by doing

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