May Reflection – Tina

Tina's Reflection


What were your initial expectations coming to work at U+, and how have they evolved after your first month on the job? 

Initially, my expectations coming to work at U+ were that I would be teaching a lot more. So far for the first month, I’ve found myself planning and making more curriculum than teaching it, but that ended up being a pleasant surprise to me. In fact, I’ve found planning out the curriculum almost equally as enjoyable as teaching it, since U+ has their eye-catching brand designs with mojo and mojito, and I find myself getting more creative with that as I make more camp/textbook material. I also noticed that at U+  not everybody is focused solely on their own independent projects – a fair chunk of us end up helping other colleagues with their projects, so I learned that efficient communication at this organization is also very valued (i.e., making sure we are available on Slack during shift hours). The work here is overwhelming once projects start piling up, but I learned that it is okay to ask for help when there are too many priorities to deal with all at once. For example, running a camp at GPS alongside another camp counsellor requires a lot of communication. If one week, one of us has 5 different projects to work on, then the other can spend more time teaching at GPS to balance that out.

What were your first interactions with the team and how have you been working to build relationships between you and your fellow team members?  

My first interaction with the team was when I started shadowing Tanya and Flora at GPS and met Annabel, my GPS partner. Because we plan the GPS activities and curriculum together every week, we are now constantly together and sometimes get food after a long day at GPS camp. The next weekend, I met Avneet and Connie at the Saturday GPS shadowing with Randy. Since it’s GPS, it felt like we all had a mutual understanding about working with kids who are more special and require more care than others. For example, one of the kids that day clogged the toilets with the classroom’s erasers, and I distinctly remember the four of us having a hard time registering that type of behaviour, as it could potentially come up again. There was also a Storage Cleanout session led by Carson, and I was able to interact with and get to know the colleagues who were there (Zhen, Carson, Tobin). We helped each other out with the cleanout process and divided up our work responsibly, while also teaming up when needed. Overall, it was a great team-bonding experience while still getting work done – killing two birds with one stone, pretty much. Aside from some of the GPS staff and the cleanout team, I had a meeting with my Uni-team at U+ headquarters in-person (Aminah, Esa, Tobin, Macy), and working with them in the office felt really nice as everybody was super friendly and driven about their work! I have only been able to attend one Stonebridge camp training session, but I have also met and talked with a couple other interns like Jodi and Erin!

How do you envision your term at U+ contributing to your personal and professional growth? 

I hope my term at U+ allows me to develop my utmost potential in teaching. Not just the technical skills in teaching (e.g., making slides, worksheets, using the projector, troubleshooting an error when pulling up an activity on a computer or t.v.), but also the soft skills. By soft skills, I am mainly referring to the way I deliver the curriculum and maximize it in both areas of comprehensiveness as well as efficiency. The main goal is for me to be able to garner those skills to deliver the content in a way that works for students based on how they learn (visual learner or not) as well as their age group. It is also important for me if students retain anything or not after my lessons, and a good part of that is dependent on how competent I would be as their teacher.

Who do you want to show some appreciation to the most and why? 

I want to show some appreciation to my GPS students who have to put up with me when I end up getting impatient with them during camp. On top of that, for staff I would like to give a huge shout out to Tanya for being a wonderful guide when answering my questions regarding teaching at GPS camp as well as the virtual math lessons with two students. She was very helpful and answered my questions almost immediately, even when it’d be her off-day.

Choose a meme (or funny picture) that encapsulates your first month/experience at U+ so far

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