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GWENDOLYN GRIFFITHS

“The teacher within is not the voice of conscience but of identity and integrity. It speaks not of what ought to be but of what is real for us, of what is true."- Parker J. Palmer, The Courage to Teach: Exploring the Inner Landscape of a Teacher's Life

 

RESUME

Education

University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario

Masters of Mathematics                                                                                                    2020–2022

●     Focus in mathematics outreach

●     Interest in addressing diverse learning needs

●     Currently attending online

St. Francis Xavier University, Antigonish, Nova Scotia

Bachelor of Education                                                                                                     2019–2021

●     Middle and Secondary Specialization : Math, Science, and French

●     Xproject tutoring volunteer

●     Mitacs accelerate recipient


University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC

BSc. Honours in Marine Biology                                                                                    2012-2017

●     Graduated with distinction from science honours program

●     Participated in research programs as a scientific diver

●     Dove scientifically for the Vancouver Aquarium

TEACHING EXPERIENCE-FAIRVIEW JUNIOR HIGH (HALIFAX, NS)

November 2020 - December 2020

I taught grade 7,8,9 french immersion science under Covid protocols. I used outdoor lessons (ecology lab) and interactive technology (Google Sheets and FlipGrid) to ensure students were learning in a collaborative environment.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE-J.L ILSLEY HIGH SCHOOL (SPRYFIELD, NS)

March 2020-May 2020

I developed complete unit plans for Oceans 11 and Chemistry 12. I then adapted these lessons for online learning.

TEACHING EXPERIENCE-J.L ILSLEY HIGH SCHOOL (SPRYFIELD, NS)

November 2019 - December 2019

I taught the grade 10 science physics unit. I used a variety of hands on labs with Sphero robots to teach core motion concepts. There was a large focus on discovery based learning. I also offered help with physics, math, and chemistry every lunch hour.

WORK EXPERIENCE-RESEARCHER AT ST. FRANCIS XAVIER UNIVERSITY AND STELLAR LEARNING STRATEGIES

December 2020 - May 2021

Through a Mitacs accelerate grant, I will be investigating the efficacy of online games for teaching students about ocean science and ocean careers. Through interviews with pre-service teachers I will determine how games could be improved to engage students from underrepresented groups in ocean careers.

WORK EXPERIENCE-LEARNING CENTER TUTOR, PART TIME (ST. FRANCIS XAVIER UNIVERSITY)

September 2020 - November 2020

I tutor students in first year university math and science. Students contact me with questions and then I send video tutorials or we meet over facetime to work on their assignments.

WORK EXPERIENCE-MARINA AMBASSADOR, FULL TIME, DEVELOP NOVA SCOTIA (HALIFAX, NS)

June 2020 - October 2020

I was responsible for boaters accessing the Halifax Waterfront marina. I also was responsible for managing boaters on George's Island and making sure they accessed the warf safely. Using a zodiac,  I monitored floating docks and addressed boater safety issues.

WORK EXPERIENCE-LESSON PLAN DEVELOPPER WITH CONNECTING MATH TO OUR LIVES AND COMMUNITIES

March 2020 - September 2020

Designed culturally relevant math lesson plans aimed at engaging African Nova Scotian and Mi'kmaw students in mathematics.

WORK EXPERIENCE-HOMEWORK HUB TUTOR FOR NS DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

April 2020 - June 2020

Tutored students in high school math using the homework hub online platform. Tutoring sessions used blackboard interface and audio recording to enhance learning experience of students.

WORK EXPERIENCE-FULL TIME CANOE GUIDE AT WHYNOT ADVENTURE OUTFITTERS IN KEJIMKUJIK NATIONAL PARK (CALEDONIA, NS)

May 2019 - September 2019

I took groups on overnight canoe trips in the Kejimkujik Backcountry. I was responsible for navigating to all locations, setting up and taking down camp, and the personal safety of all guests. When not guiding, I was also responsible for boat rentals to park visitors

WORK EXPERIENCE-FULL TIME NANNY IN THE HOME OF MS.DAVIDSON (HALIFAX, NS)

September 2018 - May 2019

I was responsible for safety and care of 4 children ages 1,3,6,8. I was responsible for feeding, playing, nurturing, and teaching the children while in my care. My shifts were 9-12 hours long.

WORK EXPERIENCE-MARINE BIOLOGIST, FULL TIME (DARTMOUTH, NS)

April 2017 - September 2018

I was Responsible for a seagrass shading investigation in South Western Shore Nova Scotia. I was the Head scientific diver for a seagrass survey across Nova Scotia. I was responsible for data analysis and experimental design for shading experiments.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT-SHINE ACADEMICS TUTOR

September 2020 - Current

I tutor students weekly in math and science.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT-XPROJECT TUTORING SUPPORT VOLUNTEER

September 2019 - Current

I travel to locations outside of Antigonish to offer math and science support. Xproject works specifically with African Nova Scotian and Mik’maw communities

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT-WATERPOLO NOVA SCOTIA

September 2017 - September 2019

I helped run water polo events and tournaments. I helped facilitate an adult drop in water polo program. I recieved a Rising Youth Grant to fund a tournament in Newfoundland.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT-DISCOVERY CENTRE MARINE TOUCH TANK AND SEAGRASS EXHIBIT

February 2018 - June 2018

I used Scuba to collect organisms for the Discovery Centre touch tank. I also designed a seagrass activity and revised a colouring book to help teach children about a local ecosystem.

COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT-GIVE TO LIVE: BIG SWIM, SWIMMER

January 2018 - August 2018

I raised 1600 dollars for Brigadoon village Youth camps and I swam 16km along the confederation bridge from New Brunswick to PEI.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT-BACHELOR OF EDUCATION PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT DAYS

September 2019-May 2021

  • Positive 1-3 Training

  • Teaching Science Technology Society and Environment

  • Learning Centres (IPPs)

  • Understanding and Engaging Inuit Students

  • Treaty Education

  • Student Solo Wilderness Experience

  • Two-Spirit Educators

  • Project Skateboard

  • Connecting with 2SAILGBQT+ students

  • Treaty Education and Reconciliation

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT-NOVA SCOTIA TEACHERS UNION PROVINCIAL CONFERENCES

September 2019-Current

  • Association of Science Teachers (AST) Conference

  • Alternative ways to introduce chemistry concepts outside of a lecture

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT-SAFETY AND LEADERSHIP QUALIFICATIONS

2016 - Current

Class 4 unrestricted drivers license, Wilderness First Responder, PADI Divemaster, Standard First Aid, National Lifeguarding Service Certification, Life Saving Instructor Certification, Canadian Association of Underwater Science scientific diver

 
 

PROJECTS RELEVANT TO MY DEVELOPING PEDAGOGY

LES RESSOURCES AUDIO POUR LES ENSEIGNANTS ET ÉLÈVES DE FRANÇAIS

J'ai créé une liste des Balados (podcasts) français qui sont approprie pour la salle de classe.
J'ai fait des recherches sur les bons balados français (complètement en français) et j'ai écouté les balados et remarque quelles émissions sont bonnes pour la salle de classe et même touche sur des buts d'apprentissage.
De plus, j'ai créé une liste des Balados français qui sont approprie pour les enseignants pour améliorèrent leur français. J'ai fait des recherches sur les bons balados qui sont utiles pour pratiquer le français tous les jours et j'ai écouté les balados et remarqué quelles émissions sont intéressantes, amusantes et lequelles niveau ils sont.
Vous pouvez trouver la liste ici!

YOGA TEACHER TRAINING

Over the past months I have been pursuing my yoga instructor certification through the breathing space yoga studio. Jenny and Blair are the pioneers of Yoga 11 and mindfulness in schools and I feel privileged to be learning from them. I believe having some courses that offer students education outside the traditional academic context is important for establishing a holistic approach to education.

 
 

This is the certificate I received after completing the Xproject training in September. Xproject is a program that connects StFX students with Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian youth to support education, recreation, and leadership. In order to volunteer with Xproject you must complete this Cultural Competency Training. Through Xproject I have learned about Mi’kmaw and African Nova Scotian communities and I have had the amazing opportunities to interact with youth from these communities. I joined Xproject to offer math and science tutoring and I have loved every minute I have spent volunteering (PSCO 1.1, 1.2, 1.5). Volunteering with Xproject has also led me to volunteer in Halifax with Shine Academics-a non-profit tutoring organixzation. 

Attention to the Uniqueness of the Nova Scotian Educational Context

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Statement of Beliefs

As a secondary math, science, and French teacher I have a lot to offer students in terms of content, but the determination to bring my identity into the classroom is what makes me an excellent teacher. By being true to my own identity, teaching has become something I absolutely love. My many interests, dynamic personality, relentless curiosity, and compassion all have a place in my humanistic, constructivist, experiential, and ultimately engaged pedagogy (Hooks, 1994, p. 13).

Individuals bring their own personal experiences to school. I want learning to reflect who they are. As a nanny, I realized how much children know at very young ages. To ignore their past experiences is to disrespect the learning they have already done. I adjust my teaching to the needs of my students and respond to their unique cultures and experiences (Nova Scotia Department of Education & Early Childhood Education [NSDEECE], 2018). I believe that the learner’s identity should determine how the content is taught. Leaners should be able to draw on concrete examples and problems from their own lives to understand a new concept. I believe learning should take place in a collaborative environment, but the final resting place of new knowledge is in each student’s unique self (NSDEECE, 2013).

I want each student’s individual questions to drive their learning forward. As a marine biologist I learned the importance of inquiry based learning. Inquiry can form the scaffolding for many interests, passions, and opportunities. We learn best when we ask questions because then we are actively listening for the answer. Grant Wiggins explains that education is the enterprise of making people more thoughtful (2012). Thoughtful people think of their own questions, challenge existing ideas, and consider the perspectives and experiences of others (Wiggins, 2012). In order to make students more thoughtful we need to validate and celebrate their questions. We need to seek out and encourage thoughtful behaviors in our students.  As a teacher I will create a classroom where questioning is invited and supported-and students actively construct their own knowledge.

At the heart of my pedagogy is my love for experiential learning. As a canoe guide, rock climber, and surfer I know the importance of being in the present moment. I think experiential learning is how students can have self-actualizing moments and see the true expanse of their potential. I was fortunate in high school; I paddled white water and hiked through the woods for physical education class. Not all schools are situated so that wilderness is at their door step but students can still be challenged and pushed out of their comfort zone. When we encourage students to overcome personal challenges they are more prepared for the many challenges to come. Challenges also apply to the individual. For some students a challenge might be showing up to school and for others it might be winter camping. Whatever the challenge, I will create the opportunity for students to overcome their challenges in a supportive, safe environment.

As a teacher I believe in being myself. I believe in students being themselves. I believe this creates respect, empathy, and positive relationships (Hooks, 1994). Once I know the students I will follow their interests and move them closer to their goals - whatever they may be. I think good teaching doesn’t help students grow in just one subject area, good teaching is integral and whole (NSDEECE, 2013). “Pedagogy is a fascination in the growth of the other” (Van Manen, 1991, p. 13) and that growth is not unidirectional. I will present students with opportunities for growth in any direction they choose.

References

Nova Scotia Department of Education & Early Childhood Development (2018). Nova Scotia Teaching Standards.

Nova Scotia Department of Education & Early Childhood Development (2013). Public School Programs. 

Hooks, B. (1994). Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom. Bell 711 Third Avenue, NY: Routledge Taylor and Francis Group.

Van Manen, M. (1991). The tact of teaching: The meaning of pedagogical thoughtfulness. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Wiggins, G. (2012, September 3). Lately I Have Been Thinking About Thinking [Blog post]. Retrieved from: https://grantwiggins.wordpress.com/2012/09/03/thinking-about-a-lack-of-thinking/


 

613-585-1330

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