Prior to embarking on my Bachelor of Education degree I was a researcher in academia, industry and government. After obtaining my M.Sc. and Ph.D. in theoretical ecology from Lund University in southern Sweden I held various post graduate research and teaching positions at universities in Canada and the U.S., most recently at the Centre for Mathematical Biology at the University of Alberta. After almost two decades as a researcher I reached a point in my career where I realized that as much as I love doing science my true passion is teaching and sharing my excitement and love for biology and mathematics with children and youth. After moving to Edmonton in 2008 I started to volunteer with science outreach organizations, extracurricular programs, as a classroom presenter for Edmonton Science Outreach Network, judge at science fairs, as a Study Buddy tutor and as a coach and mentor for community based children and youth robotics programs. I find it deeply meaningful and fulfilling to share my knowledge and passion for science and mathematics with children and youth. Once I realized where my true passion was the decision to change my career to become a high school biology and mathematics teacher was simple and straight forward. I believe that my many years of experience in research and volunteering with children and youth has prepared me well for a career as a teacher giving me unique and valuable experiences that will shape me as a teacher and be reflected in the quality and depth of my teaching and in my students’ learning.
One of my goals as an educator is to open my students’ minds to the many exciting career opportunities where science and mathematics plays a central role and inspire them to consider career paths they otherwise might not have thought of. As part of this ambition I am mentoring children and youth through the FIRST robotics program with the aim of showing students of every age that science, technology, and problem-solving are not only fun and rewarding, but are proven paths to a successful career and bright future.
My philosophy as an educator is based on my belief that every child can learn. My job as a teacher is to facilitate learning by taking into account individual student needs and strengths where my specific teaching strategy is shaped by the needs of my students and the needs of the curriculum. There is nothing more fulfilling than seeing that proverbial light bulb turn on in a student’s minds after they have been "wrestling" with a difficult concept and suddenly are able to fit it all together and gain new understanding. In order to do this successfully, however, students need to be active and engaged learners. This requires that I know my students well and that my students trust me and are comfortable asking questions and voicing their doubts. I may be the teacher and I may have a collection of degrees, but in the classroom I am also a student. Being a dedicated and successful teacher requires that one never stops learning. It is with excitement I am looking forward to entering the classroom as a teacher and as a life-long learner continuing to learn with and from my students and colleagues.
The above drawing was made by one of Charles Darwin's children on the back of their father's notes for the Origin of Species. While the original drawing, together with Charles Darwin, personal notes are keep at the Cambridge University Library, these days scanned and annotated versions of these documents are available online for anyone to access. The "original" digital version of the above drawing can be accessed through the American Museum of Natural History.