I teach communications technology. I did my undergrad at the University of Western Ontario and my master's at the University of Guelph, both in English language and literature. My bachelor of education at OISE was in communications technology, which covers graphic communication and design, video editing, audio, animation and motion graphics.
My undergraduate and graduate degrees in English literature were key to preparing me to be a teacher because they gave me the basis for written and oral communication: reading, discussing, writing essays, learning to communicate abstractly and to think on multiple levels.
Doing that for five or six years got my head into an artistic and analytical space that made it quite easy for me to teach in China for four years and then open an audio-video post-production studio. If you're a good communicator with language, I think you'll be a good communicator with image.
I took cassette recordings and VHS tapes of plays by Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams to China to help bring the text alive. Ten years later that experience helped me decide not to go back into English literature but into communications technology.
As a communications technology teacher, you can be more successful if you lose the ego, since kids often know considerably more than you do. We've got kids in computer hardware and software coding who blow me away. I can do some of that stuff, but when I run into a problem, I go to them for help.
West Tech is hugely diverse ethnically and culturally. We've got kids from all around the world, and every time I teach I'm challenged by new nationalities. We have a gifted program and a lot of special ed kids. Making my courses work at high-achieving levels and at Grade 4 to 6 levels at the same time is a huge challenge. That's one of the things I find very rewarding.