Get To Know Our Staff: Apprentice Teachers Part 2

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.

Last week you got to know three of them; this week, meet the other three apprentice teachers who have enriched life at Greenwood over the last several months.

Adelaide Leo

Adelaide came to Greenwood from OISE, where she completed her Master of Child Study and Education degree; prior to that, she earned an Arts and Science degree at McMaster University. While completing her master’s degree, she worked as a math tutor and led weekly tutorials to support her teacher peers studying for the provincial math proficiency test. At Greenwood, she supports the Grade 11 GLE and Grade 9 math courses. Her action research project for the OISE certificate course focuses on documenting a series of lessons she introduced in Grade 11 GLE centred on executive functioning and goal setting.

Adelaide’s experience has been invaluable for developing her teaching practice. “I've learned a lot about classroom management and flexibility,” she says. She has also really enjoyed building relationships with her students. “I've learned so much about what they're interested in, including a couple of awesome music and movie recommendations,” she says.  

Outside of the classroom, Adelaide coaches U14 volleyball and ultimate and sings in the choir. “I also took on an awesome Grade 9 Adviser group,” she says, stepping in for a teacher heading out on a leave.

What does Adelaide like about being part of the Greenwood community? “As a lifelong camper and dedicated camp counselor, I love the summer camp energy at Greenwood,” she says. “It's a supportive and enthusiastic community.”

When she’s not teaching, you can find Adelaide watching TV with my housemates, eating ice cream, and playing guitar.

Winnie Quach

After completing her BScH at U of T (double majoring in biochemistry and nutrition with a minor in psychology), Winnie initially planned to become a nurse, even getting accepted to nursing school. “I was working as a tutor at that time, and I realized that I really enjoyed working with students and seeing them succeed,” Winnie says. She then completed her Master of Teaching at OISE, where she had the opportunity to conduct research. This is her first year as a teacher.

In her first semester at Greenwood, Winnie provided individualized and small-group support in Grade 9 and 10 Science courses and provided input for course planning. This semester, Winnie teaches her own Grade 9 and 10 Science classes and co-teaches Grade 12 Chemistry. Seeing the significance of the student-teacher relationship in these classes has had a big impact on her. “I've always known that it was very important, but this year has really highlighted that to me,” she says. “I'm realizing that the best part of teaching is forming genuine connections with and understanding each of the students.”

Winnie has also helped to run Service Learning activities on Wednesday mornings, coached junior volleyball and supervised the Grade 9 Entrepreneurship Club. Throughout the year, she has felt the kindness and the support of Greenwood students, staff and parents/guardians. “As an early-career teacher, it's important to have a community where you feel like you belong in order to nurture robust relationships and better understand how to support individual students in the classroom,” Winnie says.

In her spare time, these days Winnie loves writing fiction and singing.

Emma Smith

Emma graduated from OISE’s Master of Teaching program, where her research pertained to the gendered baggage that attends word choice in the classroom. She also holds a BAH from the University of Toronto, where she double majored in Ethics, Society, and Law and Literary Studies, Cultural Theory Stream, minored in Philosophy, and received a Citation in French. She worked as a high school English and supply teacher at King’s Christian Collegiate in Oakville before joining Greenwood’s community.
Emma teaches Grade 7 and 8 Drama and Grade 8 Dance, which is brand new to Greenwood this year. She also supports the Grade 7 Learning Strategies course. In her teaching, Emma has been impressed with students’ positivity and perseverance in the face of challenging times. “I have learned to be flexible and look for the silver linings by following their example,” she says.
An experienced theatre and film actor, Emma has been extremely active in the Theatre Department this year. She co-directed the Grade 7/8 play, worked on props, costumes, and set for the Senior play, and is helping with stage management, along with other assorted responsibilities, for the Junior musical. Her love of acting continues outside of Greenwood, too. “In addition to teaching, I work as a Disney princess performer at children's birthday parties and events,” Emma says.
Emma loves the spirit of collaboration among Greenwood staff. “The teachers I am working with display a lot of professional curiosity, and it has been endlessly rewarding to collaborate, problem-solve, and grow together,” she says. “This desire to explore and experiment is also central to the work we do in the classroom; I am constantly impressed by the curiosity and willingness to take risks that my students show.”
In her spare time, you can find Emma singing, acting, reading, hanging out with her dog and being outside as much as possible. “I am so looking forward to the return of warm, sunny weather!”
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