Not all Starfish are Star Shaped

Hello, and welcome to my first educational blog!

My name is Amy, and I live in Shaunavon Saskatchewan with my dog, Roxie. I am currently in my second year as Vice Principal of Shaunavon Public School, and I absolutely love my career!

My 9 month old German Shepherd, Roxie.

I have been teaching in Canada for 17 years, with the majority of my career being spent in rural Saskatchewan. My experiences include teaching student services for 10 years, teaching a variety of subject areas from kindergarten to grade 7, and teaching in a small private school in Ontario.

When the pandemic began and classes were moved online I was teaching in a small town in Alberta. My grade 5 classroom was moved online immediately after our school building was closed, and my co-teacher and I were given one day to begin building our math and language arts courses from the ground up. The following school year I returned to rural Saskatchewan. Throughout the 2020-2021 school year, I provided blended learning programs for my classes, and we transitioned between in-person and online learning several times throughout the school year.

My hope is to be able to expand my understanding of the many digital platforms being used for online and blended learning. I feel that there are many, many different formats for online and blended learning being utilized now and I would like to become more familiar and proficient with the technology that is available.

I have chosen to name my blog the Brave Starfish. I chose a starfish because early in my career, a mentor of mine gave me a star shaped keychain and a copy of the Starfish Story.

This story, and the message within it have been guiding my career for several years now and it is the principle I return to whenever I feel overwhelmed in my work and wonder, “Why am I doing this?” I chose the word brave after teaching through a pandemic. Over the last few years, I have come to realize that choosing to work in education takes a lot dedication and commitment, and both of those things require a bit of bravery to keep moving forward in the face of new challenges. In education, we strive to celebrate and support the unique differences of each of our students. I believe in building relationships with students to better understand their individual needs and provide appropriate learning opportunities. In the same way that our learners are diverse and unique, not all starfish are star shaped.


* Photos in my blog and blog posts are my own unless otherwise noted.

4 thoughts on “Not all Starfish are Star Shaped

  1. I love that you shared Roxie with us! I also have a dog, similar size to yours and part shepherd named Tavia,
    The pandemic really did challenge us and change how teachers taught. It is so true that it required bravery, and that we also need bravery in our everyday classrooms still. No days are the same, and this can be what makes teachers excited to enter the classroom, but can also be what challenges all preconceived knowledge, ideals, even daily planning.
    The technology that existed even at the beginning of those days of online learning, has grown and adapted to the needs of teachers and students globally. The learning curve is immense and at times daunting. The story of the starfish is fitting, as we strive for excellence in teaching and to work towards improving for our students benefit.
    Thanks for sharing!

  2. I love the title and backstory. I can relate on soooo many levels to what you’ve shared and we share a common goal for this class. It really didn’t matter how much experience a teacher had once the pandemic hit because we were all in the same boat in terms of the learning curve. I actually think in that sense, it brought some in-school departments closer because the playing field had never been so even and collegiality was basically a necessity of survival.

  3. Hi Roxie, that video really hits home for me as it really brings me back to my “why” as well and is a guiding message for the world of teaching. So thank-you for posting it as it brings up lots of emotions for me. Brave is such a great word to choose as sometimes we can feel very alone in a building full of people sometimes. I look forward to reading more of your future posts in this class.

  4. Thanks for sharing the video Amy. I totally agree that by developing strong relationships with our students, we can better understand their unique needs, and based on that we may provide the appropriate learning materials. Looking forward to your other knowledgeable blogs.

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