How long have you been doing what you are doing?
I've worked as a classroom teacher since 1995, at Chemawawin Reserve, The Pas, Winnipeg and Inglis, for 18 years in total and I've been doing my current position for 4 years in Park West School Division.
What is your current assignment?
In 2013 I was hired as the Divisional Guidance Counsellor and Learning to 18 Facilitator. This includes doing counselling 1 day a week at Waywayseecappo Community School, and 1/2 day a week at the Off-Campus School, Mentor for Roots of Empathy program, Roots of Empathy Instructor, Mindfulness trainer, guidance counselling and support in all other division schools as requested, and, by referral, working with students struggling with attendance.
What part of your job do you find most rewarding?
There are many aspects of my job that I find rewarding in different ways, however just knowing I'm making a positive difference in the lives of our youth is what motivates me in my work. The smile on a students face when leaving my office after coming in feeling upset, and the "thanks for listening", or "Good talk Mrs. Hickey" are examples of little affirmations that let me know I've had a positive influence.
What are some neat things that you are doing now in your position?
Teaching Mindfulness has been such an interesting and fulfilling journey. I few years back I took mindfulness classes so that I could develop skills to help me help others in a more thoughtful and purposeful way. This practice just naturally lead to taking a course to become a mindfulness teacher that includes curriculum from K- Grade 12. It has been a helpful tool for myself personally and now passing on this valuable life skill (tool) to individuals and whole classrooms has been a really neat and special experience. Practicing mindfulness and then applying this skill to everyday life, helps students and adults alike, be able to focus better on tasks at hand, pay attention to their own emotions and regulate them more skillfully, and have more awareness of their own actions and behaviours leading to more empathy for others are just a few of the benefits that mindfulness brings us. It's been rewarding to see and hear about teachers and students using this skill and how helpful it has been for them.
What is something that you have done in your role that makes you proud?
One of the things I am quite proud of is bringing the Roots of Empathy (ROE) program to Park West School Division. I had the privilege of having this program in one of my grade seven classrooms when I was working for St. James Assiniboia School Division in Winnipeg and saw first hand how powerful it was for students to have this program in their classroom. Upon moving to the Inglis area with a newborn baby, who was the right age for the program, I began asking who instructed it in Park West and the reaction was either, "What is Roots of Empathy?" or "We don't have that program here." Almost two years later when I got a permanent position teaching in Inglis I asked if I could get trained to be an ROE instructor, I was granted permission and support from the division and the rest is history. ROE has grown in our division from a single program in Inglis to reaching almost every community school in our Division over the past five years.
What do you like to do when you are not working?
When I'm not working in the summer, I truly enjoy spending time quadding, boating, fishing and in general "lake life" with my family and close friends. The winter activities I enjoy are skiiing, ice fishing, sleigh riding, doing art and crafts, (being creative) and playing cards and games with family and friends on those cold winter days.What's this item about? What makes it interesting? Write a catchy description to grab your audience's attention...