My name is Mikaela Deguzman. I am an able-bodied, cisgender woman (she/her). I was born and raised on treaty 6 territory, in Saskatoon, SK. along with my four younger siblings. My parents, on the other hand, were born and raised in the Philippines and immigrated here over 20 years ago. With that, I am Filipino and can speak and understand Tagalog, the main dialect spoken in the Philippines. Other than Tagalog, I can also speak French; thanks to the French immersion schools I attended from kindergarten until graduating high school in 2014.

I am currently a 4th year elementary education (K-5) student at the University of Regina. Prior to this, I have completed the two-year early childhood education diploma program (Level 3 ECE) through Saskatchewan Polytechnic in 2017. With that, I have gained loads of hands-on experience, such as working with toddlers and preschool-aged children in daycare settings, as well as working with students ages 5 to 13 with diverse abilities, primarily students with low-functioning autism, in a school setting. In my experience at the U of R, I have had the opportunity to shadow in a grade 2 classroom for ECS 100 and volunteer with the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program and Astonished! on campus. I have also briefly interned in a grade 3/4 classroom in my 3rd year. Through these experiences, I had the chance to learn how to care for, teach, and interact with individuals of varying cultures, ages, and abilities.

Outside of school, some of my interests include baking, cake decorating, painting, doodling – anything that involves creativity –  as well as travelling, and spending time with my friends, family, and pet rabbit, Sven.

Why Did I choose Teaching as a Career?

Unlike most people who follow teaching as a career path, I have not always been fond of school. I was always very quiet and timid throughout elementary school, which most of my teachers considered a “problem”. I also struggled a lot in many of my classes, making it difficult for me to succeed. Rather than helping me overcome these struggles, I was usually just sent into the hallway, assigned additional homework, or was told to stay inside during recess to work – all without any additional support. Because of this, I associated school with negative feelings, fear, and anxiety.

When I got to high school, my feelings towards school changed. I had several teachers who made learning and school enjoyable. In particular, I had a teacher who worked hard to help me succeed. This teacher went above and beyond by staying with me after school for hours and provided me with resources that supported my learning to ensure that I succeeded. She helped me reach my potential by helping me identify my strengths and talents and supported me in areas that I needed guidance. Most importantly, through these actions, she demonstrated that she truly cared about me and believed in me – which resulted in me believing in myself.

Looking back, I wish I had someone like my high school teacher when I was in elementary school, as I believe it would have helped me develop a more positive school experience as a young child. With that, I was inspired by a teacher to become a teacher. I want to make a difference in the lives of young children. I do not want any of my future students feeling the way I did in elementary school. I chose teaching as a career as I want to help individuals reach their potential and help them discover and embrace their gifts, talents, and passions. I hope to leave my future students with a positive outlook on education that acts as a foundation through their lifelong journey of learning.