My name is Tammy Axt and I am really excited to be blogging for the 2021-2022 school year. This is me:
I am fortunate, that for the umpteenth time in my teaching career, I am changing roles yet again! I started my career in the senior division with a grade 11 class, moved to intermediate, transitioned into junior and continued the shrinking trend by teaching a lovely primary class. After my primary days, I decided I needed a change and became a full-time music teacher and after that I taught an amazing self-contained class of students with Developmental Disabilities for three years. That brings me to this year, and I am excited to say that I am an English as a Second Language and Special Education Support staff at my very busy middle school. I feel so fortunate to be in a profession that has so many opportunities for learning and growth.
Throughout my blogs this year, I look forward to sharing my learning with you. I will be learning extensively about the role of an English as a Second Language educator and about best practices to support English language learners at school. I will also be excited to blog about my experiences supporting students with Autism and Learning Disabilities who I will be supporting in their classroom settings. It is going to be an exciting year of learning.
Throughout my career, I have also really enjoyed leading extra curricular activities at schools where I have taught. I’ve led everything from Taiko drumming, Step Club, Recorder Quartet, African drumming, Hip Hop dancing, Japanese Manga art and meditation. I thoroughly enjoy this time with students where we can co-create dance, art and music. It has been awesome. This year, I will be beginning my year by co-ordinating my school’s GSA (Gender Sexuality Alliance) and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you.
I have one piece of advice for those just starting out in the career that I have learned from all of these teaching assignments. Make relationship building your first priority. The relationships I built with parents, colleagues, Educational Assistants, outside agencies, Principals and of course students have been the most important factor in the success in all my teaching assignments and educational endeavors. When you have a strong relationship built with students, they will come to you if they need help understanding a concept. Students will also feel safe in taking risks in their learning. When you have a strong relationship with parents, they will give you a heads up when their child has had a bad night and may need extra time on assignments at school. When you build strong relationships with every support person that works to make school accessible for all your students, you set your students up for success academically, socially and emotionally. Relationships are key.
I hope you are having a good start to the school year and that hopefully things are starting to settle into a nice routine at your school.