What education have you taken?
At the College level, I completed a joint program with Red River College and the University of Manitoba and received a certificate in Deaf Studies. Additionally, I completed my Educational Assistant certification. I have also received my Bachelor of Arts through Brandon University with a major in English and a minor in History. Currently, I am completing my final year in the Bachelor of Education After-Degree program at BU with a focus in Early Years Education.
What accomplishments are you proud of?
An accomplishment that I am extremely proud of is returning to University as a mature student and balancing the responsibilities of being a wife, student, and a mother of two young girls. Being a University student has allowed me to foster a home environment that values the importance of education, lifelong learning, hard work, perseverance, and embodies a spirit that is open to learning and growing. For the past number of years, my daughters have witnessed me work hard to follow my dream of becoming a teacher and that is a tangible experience that I hope inspires them now and in the future.
Additionally, I am very proud to be affiliated with Mini University here on BU Campus for the past two years. Inspiring children to love learning is something I am passionate about and through my position as Head Instructor, I have been given the opportunity to be part of creating, organizing and leading activities that contribute to positive experiences for children within a summer camp atmosphere. The responsibilities I have working for Mini University have supported me to become a patient and confident leader.
Tell me about yourself.
I grew up in a loving family of four in the country where my childhood was filled with adventures outdoors that included making forts and family bonfires and wiener roasts. I loved to play with dolls, play “mom” and read through piles of library books. My childhood was positive, filled with laughter and grounded by a strong set of family values and faith.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
I was hired as an Educational Assistant on a Hutterite Colony and then in a public school and as I was surrounded by the insatiable curiosity of children, I felt a deep part of my spirit gain a sense of self-purpose when I was a part of their learning journey. From there, I became a mother which is one of the most important and rewarding teaching roles there is. I love to experience life from their eyes and guide them on their exploration of the world around them. Encouraging my daughters to become smart, kind and caring little people helped solidify my desire to return to school and help guide all children to discover and become their best possible selves. Teaching is not simply a profession; rather, I believe it is a state of being. It is not what I want to do, but rather, who I am. I see the significance of guiding students in appropriate social interactions, teaching values, compassion, and the importance of community. There are many social, economic, and philanthropic reasons to teach, but ultimately I am becoming a teacher to make the difference because I see the light in the world and believe that every child has the potential to shine.
What is your philosophy in life?
My life philosophy encompasses working hard, being positive and optimistic, and treating others the way I want to be treated. Two quotes that epitomize the way I view and lead my life include:
“Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet.” L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
“The way to gain a good reputation, is to endeavor to be what you desire to appear.”
Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future, I will be an Early Years Educator, teaching within the Brandon School Division. I see myself as an active alumnus with the Faculty of Education and mentoring future student teachers. I see myself continuing to practice professional scholarship and always making reading and learning a priority in both my professional and personal life. I see myself as a proud mother as I continue to celebrate all the milestones my daughters achieve. My future self is living her dream and is blessed in so many ways.
I’d like to nominate Stephanie Innes as an outstanding female student at Brandon University. Stephanie, 32 years old and mother of two young daughters, who graduated from Brandon University with an Arts degree, is currently finishing her last year of her Education degree. Stephanie has been placed on the Dean’s Honor roll, was inducted into the President’s Society 2014-15 and 2015-2016, and graduated with greatest distinction in an Arts degree. Stephanie has been a recipient of the Edith Burchill Stoll Scholarship; Michael H Holm Scholarship in Canadian Literature; Brandon University Silver Medal in English; and the Marion E Bowen Scholarship in English Literature.
Stephanie has worked with us at Mini U for 2 years now, first as our lead instructor in our Junior Moose program in 2015, and as our head instructor in 2016. Stephanie brought to Mini U loads of experience working with children: she has worked as an educational assistant for 4 years, and as an EAL teacher working with immigrant children for 2 years; she has provided private daycare for 4 years, and worked with the YMCA’s before/after school program for 4 years.
Stephanie is a tireless leader in everything that she does; always going above and beyond what is required. She continues to work for Mini U during the school year, and is currently working on curriculum development for a brand-new program, and if it was not for her plans to graduate and become a full-time teacher, Mini U would continue to hire her for years to come.