Almost as long as I’ve been a writer, I’ve been a teacher. When I was in high school I tutored children in Suzuki piano, and I’ve been teaching in one form or another ever since.
I love creating and facilitating original workshops and courses in creative writing. The first full-length course I taught was called “Into the Sea: Taking Your Poetry Deeper” (2009). I followed it up with a course on how to develop and revise a poetry manuscript (“Chrysalis”, 2010). As well as those courses (and a poetry course I taught at UPEI’s Seniors College) I have taught a number of half-day workshops on topics like getting started with poetry, the process of revision, poetry and movement, point of view in fiction, and using dreams as a source for writing. I also created Thursday Evening Writing Practice and The Fiction Study Series, which I facilitated from my office in downtown Charlottetown in the summer and fall of 2012. I’ve also done one-on-one mentoring with writers on their manuscripts, one of which went on to win the PEI Book award.
I recently finished my B.Ed. at Queen’s University in the Artist in Community Education track, which is specially tailored for artist educators. As part of the program I had the chance to facilitate a poetry workshop, a mandala-making class, and to co-facilitate a session working with movement and sound. The program has provided many exciting opportunities to work with children creatively and has stimulated new ideas about teaching and learning for me.
After my Masters in English at The University of British Columbia, I took Vancouver Community College’s excellent training program to learn how to be a good English as a Second Language teacher, and I’ve followed that profession (with breaks involving forays into retail and administrative work) for more than 10 years in Vancouver, Montreal, Charlottetown, and Moncton in business settings, private schools, and universities. While working at Study Abroad Canada in Charlottetown, I helped develop their distance education TESL course and taught some in-class components to teachers too. I thoroughly enjoyed teaching Intermediate and Introductory English at The University of Moncton in the winter and fall semesters of 2013. During the summers, I have a blast as an instructor at UPEI’s high energy EXPLORE program. My B.Ed. has been an exciting adventure in building my teaching knowledge and expanding into the field of working with children.