I was born/grew up in: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
I now live in: Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
I completed my training/education at: Career and Work Counsellor Diploma from George Brown College, Toronto, Ontario and Bachelor of Arts (Psychology), and Master of Education, UPEI in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
What I do at work
I design and deliver professional learning experiences for teachers. Sometimes this is in the classroom with students. We do fun activities that link to curriculum for students in kindergarten to grade 12. This could be coding using microbits or the programming language scratch. It could be learning about electricity using Makey Makey or paper circuits. Or, it could be learning about robotics using Lego Wedo or another project that the teacher has come up with.
In this role I am always learning new things. I also have to be comfortable with trouble shooting on the spot, and be creative. I have to make decisions and sometimes I do this by seeking additional input from teachers and colleagues. Sometimes I make decisions based on my intuition. My team is virtual so that can be a challenge at times. I sometimes use my French skills and this is something I want to improve upon!
My career path is
This is not where I had planned to work at all! I didn't define myself as techy at all. I was always curious about gadgets but not on this level. Now I can say that I know a little bit about coding and am pretty good at soldering! I had wanted to be a counsellor or therapist when I was in high school. I did some of that work for quite a long time as a career counsellor. This might seem like an unusual twist but I see the connection in that I am helping to prepare youth for their futures (either working in STEM or not). We all encounter failures or challenges in our career journey. They might sting in the moment but know that down the road they will offer valuable learning about ourselves and others.
I am motivated by
I get excited when I see students (and teachers) have that AHA! look on their faces when they do something for the first time! I enjoy the learning and professional development part of my job. It is really rewarding when I plan out a project or activity and it goes well in the classroom. Positive feedback from students and teachers is very rewarding!
How I affect people’s lives
I know my job matters because I am helping educators build their skills and encouraging them to integrate technology into their lessons. By offering these experiences, students gain more than just coding skills. They gain life skills that will help them in their futures no matter what kind of work they pursue.
Outside of work I
My outside of work activities include audio books, sketching, working out, driving my kids to their activities, and spending time with my family.
My advice to others
It's a good idea to do information interviews (or just talk to people who do jobs you are interested in). Try as many things as you can through job shadowing, co-op, internships, and volunteering. This will help you figure out what you like and what you don't like. Keep a job journal so you can reflect on your experiences and not make the same mistake twice. As you have these experiences know that you are building your network - a valuable tool for your job search! Finally, know that few have a straight line in their career paths these days. Speak to a Career Development Professional (at your school, college, university or in your community) to help you get a clear focus and help you to establish an action plan.