My family is close. Each of us speaks to one another on a regular basis. Some more than others, sometimes more often through text messages, but we speak often. And we all teach.
Our, my brother and I’s, mother is a Mum. Our Mum taught me a lot. She taught me how to brush my teeth, bath, get dressed, tie my shoes, and tame my wild hair. Our Mum has a gift of crafting and cooking. Her meals along with her desserts are requested by many around the world making it rare that she leaves Calgary without a snack parcel for someone. Most importantly my Mum taught me to care for others and to offer them whatever I could to ease their journey. I could list another thousand plus things our Mum has taught me but I think you get the point. Mum’s are teachers along with being caregivers. They do not need a formal education to educate; Mum’s educate daily.
Our father is a driving instructor. He, later in his career, went back to the very job he desired when he first moved to Canada. Every day he teaches young adults how to drive. Some already know how to maneuver the streets in a standard vehicle while others have never sat behind a steering wheel before. My Dad has taught me a lot in life including how to be confident in the decisions I make, to not let my emotions get in the way of my head, and to stand up for myself. He also taught me, along with my brother and many other Scouts, how to go camping, tie knots, and fend for oneself. Oddly, my Dad did not teach me how to drive.
My brother, Bhaa, taught me how to drive. He would pick me up from school and encourage me to drive home. I never wanted to drive. I had a bad first experience and could not get over it. But Bhaa persisted. He rarely took no for an answer. In fact, one day a wonderful police officer came to my rescue in a church parking lot where my brother was strongly encouraging me to drive. The police office thought he was harming me but it was just Bhaa being persistent. My brother taught me to read, to do math, to talk to people, to be confident, and to be me. I learned from his actions and his mistakes. As children during the summer months I would stay in his bedroom all night long while we did…I cannot remember…and then I would shuffle to my room as we got tired in the early hours of the morning. But now my brother is teaching more than just me. He recently launched his teaching career in Toronto and from what I know he is doing an amazing job. This year he has spent time teaching in a classroom for children with special needs and I think he is enjoying it more than I ever did. I think both of us get our patience from our father.
At the same time as my brother launched his teaching career, I was able to launch my teaching career. No one would have guessed when we were younger that I would be teaching at the university level and my brother would be teaching at the elementary level. It seems backwards, even to me. But I picked up my first undergraduate online teaching assignment with the School of Child and Youth Care at the University of Victoria and was pretty sure it was not for me. Now, a year and a half since my first teaching assignment I am preparing myself for a move to Coquitlam BC (just outside of Vancouver, BC) to teach in the Therapeutic Recreation department at Douglas College. It is the first time that I feel like I am truly doing what I should be, in this particular moment. I have never forgotten my time at the University of Waterloo where I got my Therapeutic Recreation degree from. It was the first time in my academic career that I thought school was something I could do and I did do.
With all this said, I think what excites me most is how each of us in my family teaches. The four of us are very different people. While we share genes, many values, and have the utmost respect for one another, we are different in many ways. Yet, we all teach!