Humble Beginnings

Where’s Diane?

I’m the extremely shy girl in the front row- the one with the orange socks and green velvet dress.  I didn’t overcome my shyness until about grade 10; it was only then that I found my voice.

But shyness didn’t stop me from learning. Being the 8th of 9 children, my family taught me to love learning at a very young age. Our “pre-school family curriculum” consisted of outcomes like:

  • Saying the alphabet backwards before learning to say it forwards (and I still remember it well)
  • The important skill of speaking Pig Latin (Oday ouyay eakspay igpay atinlay?)
  • Playing games like tag, hide-and-go-seek, checkers and go fish
  • Counting money
  • Listening to Dad tell the scary version of The Three Little Pigs (which got scarier with each retelling) and listening to Mom tell the story of The Little Red Hen
  • Respecting your elders, including older siblings and cousins
  • Being seen and not heard in the presence of adult company (although I really don’t agree with this one, it was one of our outcomes, and it did contribute to who I am today…)

The young learner evolved into the young teacher. When I was 11, my older brother and his family lived with us. Because I liked to play “teacher” even then, I asked the grade 1 teacher in our school for some “stuff” that could help me teach my nephew to read. She loaded me up with all kinds of worksheets and little books; my nephew was well on his way to reading by the time they moved out that summer.

In about grade 10, I finally realized that I had a strong aptitude for learning math. In high school, I loved teaching math concepts to my classmates who were struggling with understanding. In grade 12, I remember tutoring a cousin and a former classmate as they worked through their Math 30 correspondence courses.

Yes, I think it was my humble beginnings that inspired me to become a teacher…

Go to Growing as an Educator.


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