Get To Know Our Staff: Apprentice Teachers

Kate Raven, Communications Manager
Greenwood’s Apprentice Teacher program provides one-year fellowships to recent graduates of teacher education programs who are looking for hands-on classroom experience coupled with guidance from experienced teachers. Apprentice teachers make valuable contributions to every area of school life, from supporting students in the classroom, to coaching teams, to directing plays, to supervising service learning activities and outdoor education trips.

In addition, in partnership with OISE/U of T​,​ all apprentice teachers are enrolled in a course entitled Teacher Induction: Applying the Research to Design and Delivering Impactful Learning. The course is delivered by Mary Gauthier, Executive Director, Greenwood Centre for Teaching and Learning, and is connected to research and experience. A key element of the course is completing an action research project, which allows apprentice teachers to dive deeply into a research area of their choice. This course is unique to Greenwood and earns participants an OISE certificate.

We have been thrilled to have this year’s apprentices with us. This week, we will help you get to know three of them, with the other three to come in the next edition.

Alexandria (Allie) Biglieri

A graduate of Trent University (BEd) and Queen’s University (BPHE), Allie arrived at Greenwood with three years of teaching experience. “I worked as a supply teacher and a long-term occasional teacher at Havergal College, Branksome Hall and St. Mildred's Lightbourn School,” Allie says. “I was also Head Hockey Coach at Havergal.”

Allie works in the Health and Physical Education department, teaching classes at a variety of grade levels. Collaborating with the lead teacher, she facilitates learning in the classroom, leads lessons and focuses on building a rapport with her students, and this hands-on experience has been invaluable for her. “I have learned to trust my instincts as a teacher,” Allie says. “I have created and learned tools and strategies to add to my teaching toolbox that will help me throughout my career as a teacher.”

Outside of the classroom, Allie helps to run the service learning program and to facilitate the GSA Club. They also coached the Senior Boys’ Soccer Team in the fall and the Senior Girls’ Hockey Team in the winter; that latter assignment syncs up perfectly with their role as a high-performance coach for a U13 hockey team outside of school. “That takes up most of my spare time,” Allie says. They also play hockey in a high-level league. “When I am not in a hockey arena (which is rare), I like to get outside and go for hikes,” Allie says. “I also enjoy cycling and longboarding around the east end of Toronto.”
   
Allie loves the sense of community and acceptance within Greenwood. “The culture of support and collaboration amongst colleagues has created such a welcoming environment to work in,” she says.

Linda Hu

Linda graduated from the Concurrent Education program at Queen’s University in 2020 and spent the first year of her teaching career at St. Andrew’s College, where she co-taught senior English classes and had her own Grade 10 science class. She spent her first semester at Greenwood working with the Admissions department, where she was primarily responsible for delivering a diversity, equity, and inclusion program for the Grade 8 Host and Ambassador student team. “It was a wonderful experience learning alongside the students, and listening to their ideas about creating inclusive environments inside and outside the classroom,” Linda says.

In her second semester, Linda transitioned from her apprentice teacher role to a teaching role, where she teaches Grade 7 and Grade 9 English. She loves the collaborative environment she has found within Greenwood’s teaching staff. “Everyone is friendly, open to new ideas, and willing to take on challenges together - especially when it comes to adapting new classroom content,” Linda says. Her experiences as both an apprentice teacher and teacher have also highlighted how critical it is to get to know your students well. “It’s important to be a caring adult in the classroom,” she says. “You learn a lot from attentive listening!”

In addition to her teaching roles, Linda is a part of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) student committee and is a teacher advisor for the Grade 7 Girls Social Club. She is also currently a part-time M. Ed student in Educational Leadership and Policy at the University of Toronto.

When not teaching, Linda likes to unwind by going on walking, trying new cuisine and taking photographs.

Jalina Korsmit

Jalina came to teaching from a more academic career path. “I had completed my master’s in Biology and was working on a PhD while pursuing science communication on the side,” she says. She ultimately decided to switch tracks, earning her Master of Teaching from the University of Toronto with the goal of teaching science. Before joining Greenwood, Jalina worked as a math and science tutor and supply taught at another independent school.

As an apprentice teacher with the Math and Science departments, Jalina collaborates with and supports classroom teachers, often by working with students one-on-one or in small groups. “In my role, I got to work with Grade 7 students to help them to develop their math literacy skills,” Jalina says. This semester, Jalina also took on her own classes; she currently teaches two sections of Grade 11 Biology and one of Grade 10 Applied Math. 

Her various classroom experiences have taught her the importance of one thing in particular: management. “Getting to be back in a school after COVID and learning all the nuances of classroom management, along with managing school events, has been extremely helpful for my teaching career,” Jalina says.

Outside of the classroom, Jalina took on the role of Co-Coordinator, Spirit Houses, organizing House events and leading meetings with House Captains and Executives. She also facilitates service learning for Grade 7 and 8 students, coaches the U14 Boys’ Basketball and Junior Ultimate Frisbee teams and facilitates Grade 7 Social Club. “It has been one busy but fulfilling year!” she says.

Jalina has found the Greenwood community to be extremely welcoming, friendly, and collaborative. “I enjoy getting to be part of a team that always strives to do its best to help students both inside and outside of the classroom,” she says.

In her spare time, Jalina enjoys reading, watching the latest TV shows, going on hikes with her dog, and attending concerts. “I especially enjoy these things when they are done with friends and loved ones!” she says.
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