Spring is here in the Nicola Valley and we hope you're enjoying some sunshine as well, where ever you are! We're thrilled to share our next educator of the month with you, Mrs. Kathleen Gunn.
Mrs. Gunn, thank you for taking the time. Let's get started! Where are you from?
I am from Winnipeg, Manitoba, but have been living in BC since 2003. I began teaching in Lillooet, BC in 2009 and moved to Merritt in 2015.
Winnipeg is a great city, but we're glad you're in BC now! How long have you been a teacher at SCIDES?
This is my first year at SCIDES and I am happy to be part of the family here.
We're certainly happy you're part of the family as well! Why did you become a teacher?
I have wanted to be a teacher ever since I was in grade 4. That's when I started collecting books for my classroom! I had a very strict teacher that year, but she instilled in me a love of reading and learning. Later, in grade 6, I had an incredibly kind teacher who made me feel important. I wanted to be just like these teachers and to have a positive impact on other young people.
We love that you talk both about strict and kind teachers because combining those qualities is really what makes a difference. What’s your favourite aspect of being a teacher?
I love connecting with people. Seeing the ‘aha moment’ when a student who has struggled with something suddenly ‘gets it’. When teaching a class, my favourite part is being creative and finding the ‘hook’ or something to get the students excited about the topic that we are covering that day.
Yes, getting the students excited about learning is definitely one of the perks. What’s your least favourite aspect of being a teacher?
It's really hard when documenting becomes so extensive that it takes time away from being with my students.
You are not alone with that, we all struggle with it. What’s your best advice for students who want to figure out their career path and calling?
Travel! Find something that you love and are passionate about and incorporate it into your career. It is important to find a path that is not merely a job, but something that brings you joy.
Yes, even if it's not always possible to make a living with your passion, it can always be part of what you do. What’s your favourite book and why?
There are so many wonderful books! Perhaps I will answer with the book that I have read the most times, which is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I love Austen’s writing style and enjoy her descriptive language which takes me to the time and places she wrote about. I love Elizabeth, the heroine, for her spirit and boldness. I also admire her for sticking to her morals and then recognizing when she is wrong and making changes. I appreciate her ability to love passionately.
A good book for a summer reading list! What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
As a young person: Travel. As a parent: “Don’t major in the minors.” As a perfectionist: “Done is better than perfect.” And in love, “Listen to your Heart.”
That is great advice all around. What do you still want to learn?
Everything! I want to learn more about how to teach children to read when they cannot. I want to learn how to speak in Spanish. I find that painting with oils and acrylics is easy, but I want to learn how to paint with watercolours. I am interested in learning how to knit. The list is endless!
A great start of your list, and hopefully you'll get to cross off a few things this summer. When you’re not busy helping your students and marking assignments, what do you enjoy doing?
That's another long list. I love reading, Salsa dancing with my husband, spending time with my kids, going for walks, playing with my Bengal cat, Amara, going to my family’s cottage at Victoria Beach, decorating, and so much more!
Thank you, Mrs. Gunn, for taking the time!
Do you have questions about how we can help you take charge of your education? Connect with us via our website, where you can also browse course and program options, and find study tips for elementary and secondary students.