Teaching Manifesto

My relationship with education is not concrete. Each day it seems like I find new meanings and understandings of what education is and what I want my relationship with it to look like. One thing I know for certain is my passion for working with and learning from our youth. If nothing else, my students will leave my classroom knowing that they have someone who cares about them, who they can rely on, who will show up. My classroom will celebrate every success, no matter how small. My classroom is a safe place to make mistakes and use them as a learning opportunity. Something Bob Ross would call a “happy accident.”

My classroom will go further than the four walls, it will be around our community, city and province. My classroom will be committed to truth and reconciliation, where silenced experiences and perspectives will be shared. Where empathy and responsibility of creating a better tomorrow grow strong. When I imagine my classroom, I don’t really know how it will look; rather, it brings me emotions. When I imagine my classroom, I see confident students not only in their work but also in their own skin. When I imagine my classroom, I see students who know that for at least for the next 60 minutes of their day spent in my classroom, they can breathe. They can be themselves, take risks and be creative.

I often think about Rita Pierson’s TedTalk Every Kid Needs a Champion. In her speech, she tells her students, “I am somebody, I am somebody when I came, I’ll be a better somebody when I leave, I am powerful, I am strong, I deserve the education I am getting,” and that is exactly the words I tell myself and will tell my future students because when you say it enough, it becomes a part of you.

-Ms. Hembroff