My journey at Brandon University started in the fall of 2007 when I was sixteen years old. In the spring of 2011 I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts (3 year degree) with a major in History and a double minor in both Geography and Geology. From there I went right into the Faculty of Education to pursue my Bachelor of Education (After Degree) in the senior years stream and will graduate this spring (2013).
What accomplishments are you proud of?
What I am most proud of is getting to a place in my education where I am able to make a meaningful impact on students and help them succeed. Some of my most memorable moments in my education have occurred within the last year and a half during my student teaching practicums and I am so excited about the prospect of obtaining a teaching position for the upcoming school year.
Since enrolling in the Faculty of Education I have become increasingly interested in the role that technology can play in creating meaningful learning experiences for students. I began blogging as part of this exploration and it has opened countless doors in regards to my professional growth, networking opportunities with other educators, and educational opportunities for my students. I am very proud that my experience with this platform has led to me and a fellow education student being asked to present professional development sessions for the Faculty of Education Professional Development Unit as well as at the 2013 BYTE Conference in Neepawa and at an upcoming ManACE Technology Information Night.
While at Brandon University I have volunteered as a Student Leader, served as President of the McMaster Residence Council, worked as a Residence Assistant for three years, worked as a Student Tutor in the Geology Department for three years and served as a 1st Year Representative on the Education Students’ Society. In addition, I have also sat on the Inaugural Winterlude Planning Committee, the Residence Assistant Selection Committee, and the Residence Facilities, Programs & Services Review Committee. I am very proud to say that, through my work in residence, I was able to secure the Programs Director’s Award four years in a row for the residence I was in, as well as being honoured with the Ancillary Office Award in 2011 for “outstanding contributions to residence life”.
I am also very thankful to have been the recipient of the Canada Millennium Scholarship, the BUSU Scholarship, the James Grey Gold Medal in Prairie History and for being placed on the Brandon University Honours List.
Tell me about yourself/ your background/ your history.
I was born and raised in Swan River, Manitoba but now live in Ochre River, Manitoba with my fiance on his family’s three-generation farm. I graduated high school early at age sixteen and knew right away that I wanted to move to Brandon for post-secondary education. I met my fiance in September of 2007 at Brandon University when we were both starting our undergraduate degrees and we have been together ever since. He is also a student in the Faculty of Education and we both hope to find employment in our rural community for the upcoming school year.
When I am not involved with course work or student teaching practicums, I love to do anything outdoors including hunting, fishing, quadding, and ski-dooing. My fiance and I are also HUGE Blue Bombers fans so that occupies a lot of my time during the CFL season. I truly am a country girl and am enjoying becoming more involved in the day-to-day workings of our family farm. I believe that being outdoors provides a good balance to the hectic lifestyle that can sometimes arise while at school.
How did you become interested in your field of study?
My first memory of wanting to be a teacher was after I first started attending school and I would come home and play “school” with my younger sister. I would imitate what I had done in school that day, creating pretend assignments for my sister and teaching her what I had learned only hours before.
I love learning new things and making connections between different topics in order to see situations in a way I had never thought of before. In my second year at Brandon University I began working as a Student Tutor for Rong-yu Li in the Geology Department as well through BU’s Disability Services Office. I loved being able help other students understand the information and make connections that were relevant or meaningful for them. Four years after I started that position, I attended a class in the Faculty of Education where we had a guest speaker from Brandon School Division. I felt as though I knew him prior to this meeting but I wasn’t able to put my finger on it. As class was finishing I approached him to thank him for sharing his thoughts with our class and he immediately said, “You are the only reason I was able to pass my geology courses a few years back, thank you so much.” Situations like that make me love what I am doing and reassure me that I have picked the right career path.
What is your philosophy in life?
My philosophy in life centers on the importance of being a lifelong learner; someone who is willing to grow, adapt and be willing to appreciate different ideas and points of view.
Where do you see yourself in the future?
In the future I would like to be teaching in a rural community close to our farm as well as have a family. I would like to be creating learning experiences that are relevant and meaningful to my students so that they have an opportunity to learn in a manner that best suits their needs. I want to be incorporating appropriate technologies with my classroom to share their work with a global network and expand their learning beyond the classroom walls.
Kirsten Landen is a B.Ed. A.D. student in her final year. Kirsten has exemplified excellence in her course work. Over the past year she has become a model ‘connected educator’. She blogs profusely, in addition to keeping up excellent grades. Her blog, http://misslwholebrainteaching.blogspot.ca/, has almost 300 followers, and no doubt many more readers from around the world. Her blog has been featured on other blogger’s sites as well. Kirsten also connects with educators via twitter and other social networks, exemplifying sharing and collaboration and a desire to grow and learn. In addition Kirsten has extended her learning by taking online certification in ‘Whole Brain Teaching’ and several MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). She has also shared her knowledge by presenting to fellow education students and will be co-presenting to practicing teachers at a ManACE (Manitoba Association of Computing Educators) Technology Information Night and at the BYTE 2013 conference. Kirsten also has volunteered her time at her local school with events, including a 30 hour famine event. Kirsten exemplifies the characteristics of a dedicated educator.