My first teaching position in 1971 was with a class of 34 grade 3 students in northern BC. At the end of the year, the principal told me it was the most difficult class he had ever seen. That first Christmas, three students proudly brought a tree into our classroom; later, I was told they had cut it down from someone’s front yard! I remember watching a student do forward rolls down the hard wood floor and gasping as others leaped out of the window at recess. From my training in the Faculty of Education at SFU, I brought an intense desire to help each child know his or her own worth. I remember taking the time to write personal notes telling each child the gifts I saw in them.
Once, a professor told us that most teachers teach the way they were taught; I was determined not to do that. I strove to learn from others and to stay open to latest research on learning and child development. Dr. Wassermann’s books were a guiding inspiration. In 1976, while living in a log house my husband and I built, I took a Montessori training correspondence course from England. I used what I learned as I home schooled my own children and later when teaching on a First Nations reserve.