What led you to your current position: Before starting at Seneca, I was an Education Specialist. It seemed to me that many of the interventions we put in place for the students we worked with who had IEPs would be effective for all students. Why weren’t we normalizing things such as mood checks, taking breaks, focusing on emotions and empathy, and receiving extra support on an academic assignment for all students?! When I saw this Seneca position that focused on broader culture and climate in schools, it felt like the right fit for me.
What inspires you to do this work: Every child should be able to go to their neighborhood public school and feel safe, loved, and valued. Every child should have access to education where they learn not only academics but also how to regulate emotions, utilize coping tools, and the importance of being a kind human. And, every child should have fun at school! I hope I can help create that positive school climate, where all students are taught, loved, and cared for unconditionally.
What is a recent highlight you’ve experienced in the work or an important lesson you’ve learned in this role: Sometimes it’s hard to step back and recognize the broader impact of the work we do in schools; this is something I’m working on celebrating more! One highlight for me this year is school-wide socio/emotional learning. I collaborate with the School Social Worker to create morning meeting lessons for all grades that are focused on SEL and our school’s monthly character traits. At times, this feels like a small drop in the bucket, but when I realize that all students are watching the same videos, doing community building activities, and are engaged in conversations about their emotions and being confident and empathic humans, I can see the positive impact of this work.
Share your life motto: I’ll quote Ted Lasso: “Be curious, not judgmental.” You never know what someone else is going through; I always try to ground myself in curiosity, understanding, and empathy.