Me – The Teacher

My name is Samantha Douglas and I am a teacher in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada. It is a city in central Canada (for those not from this area). I am currently in my seventh year of teaching at Vanier Collegiate, a Catholic High School where I primarily teach mathematics to grades 10 -12. I decided to update my blog as I have recently gone back to school. I am a student of the First Nations University of Canada taking a second degree in Indigenous Studies.

When looking on this page I got to see a glimpse of myself from my third year of University, which has quickly become many years in my past. Sometimes I read my own work, and if I can get past the cringing at my younger self, I can recognize that my ideals have not faltered since I become my teaching career.

I value respect and inclusion and aim to teach in an anti-oppressive way. My focus in my teaching is about building relationships, school culture, and a positive attitude towards learning and life. I am happy that I have already spent so many years in a profession that I love.

In honour of my spunky, third year self, I have decided to keep my introduction from that time as well… Though I do not focus on my art so much now! Enjoy!

I am currently in my third year of education at the University of Regina. I am in secondary education with a major in mathematics and a minor in visual art.

I originally made this blog for ECMP 355, and have decided to update it an use it again. I have found that since I took that class, I had used my blog as a way to let off some steam, and lately I have been wanting to get more technologically involved.

I want to talk a little bit about my beliefs in education. I chose my major and minor specifically, mathematics and visual art, so that I basically cover the entire spectrum of education. It is a combination that describes who I am: a very technical and process thinking combined with a creative burst of energy that makes me who I am. I learn in various ways, I am not overly better in certain ways, but rather quite even across the board. I want to be able to use my ability to relate to different learning styles in my classroom. I believe that education is more than just teaching the content; It pertains to shaping an individual, and molding them into a free thinking, individual who can function in society. The most important part of education for me is to have students think, and to teach in ways that help them to think.

I have found that in my life there have been many experiences that shape me to be who I am. First of which is that I am of Aboriginal descent. I am very proud of this, and am trying to find as many ways as possilbe to bring this into my education. I am very interested in subjects that concern oppression, and I want to work towards teaching in an anti-oppressive way. Oppression is everywhere, and in different forms, and as an educator I want to be prepared for this.

I have prepared myself to be a teacher since I was very young. In high school I did large amounts of volunteering with reading programs and home work help at various elementary schools, and in grade eleven I worked with a grade eight class for an entire year. My later experience has been even more defining. This last summer I worked at St. Michael school in Moose Jaw, as a substitute teachers aid, and worked primarily in the Developmental Center. This is where the students who had disabilities went, and ranged from high functioning to low functioning. This experience changed my life. I learned a lot of things about how to work with kids, and a lot of things about myself. I want to pursue special education more if possible.

I also have worked at a daycare. This showed me that I am in the right career. At this daycare I learned a lot about incorporating art into childrens lives, as well as found ways to do critical thinking activities and math activities. My approach to lessons has changed greatly, and I have turned into that teacher who would walk in singing to the students.

I bring humour into my life as much as possible, which includes my education. I like to be the person who can make any person in the room feel comfortable, but also come across in a professional way.

I have learned that I like to speak my mind. When something happens and I don’t agree with it, I want to go about fixing it in the most professional and respectful way. The biggest thing I care about is respect; respect for others and respect for myself. This belief is evident in all areas of my life, especially teaching.

I have so many thoughts about education, and who I am, that I don’t know how to express them all. This is why I am blogging, so that hopefully I can give some substance to my thoughts.

I hope you enjoy my blog.
Samantha Douglas.


5 Responses to “Me – The Teacher”

  1. hodgepodge4thesoul August 7, 2011 at 7:28 pm #

    We need more teachers, such as yourself, who are aware of oppression and the branches which stem from it. When I worked at my children’s primary school, I saw many forms of it direct to the students in “the special class”, as they were labeled. Your students are very fortunate to have you, and hopefully, the parents feel the same way. 🙂

  2. abdullahreed August 8, 2011 at 2:35 am #

    Peace be with you

    I’m a teacher, too. I keep trying to improve. I used to be a taxi driver, and I always enjoyed helping people with incapacity, or helping old people. Not always. There were times I was in a hurry and I wished the old people would move along faster, or I wished they would stop complaining, but then eventually I realised it was so rewarding to be helping them that I stopped being impatient.

    I started appreciating the short fares from old peoples’ homes to the shops in their neighbourhoods. Eventually, I appreciated them more than long business fares. My takings went down. However, the old people were more real and more needy while the business customers would sometimes treat me like an autopilot rather than a real driver.

    Having spent more time studying religion, I now know why we are moved by helping people who need help. Although its a natural thing, something that many people don’t have to study in order to do, I think studying it helps as well.

    I studied psychology, some philosophy, and some religion. In the end I discovered God. It wasn’t the goal of my studies. My goal was to work things out. Believing in God just happened. Anyway, I still have to try to be good every day, no different to the past, even if my purpose now is to please my Creator not just to make myself happy.


  3. 5 Minute Strangers August 8, 2011 at 4:07 am #

    You validate many of my thoughts and make me want to take those thoughts even deeper. Thank you for speaking out with such simple, small beautiful truths.

  4. Jan Visser August 8, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    This is a great blog. Thank you for maintaining it. I particularly like the candid way in which you document your experiences of learning with the children you teach. Keep it up!

  5. Stephen Page (eudaimonia) October 27, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    not blogging any more, or just taking a sabbatical?

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