For twenty one years, Colleen Wall has been shaping Revelstoke’s youth in the classroom.
“I love teaching,” she explains. “I always wanted to be a teacher, and I can’t imagine doing anything else.”
To Wall, the reward of watching her students make sense of their world is a gift given to educators.
“The light bulb moment is so special,” she says, “when you just see the understanding in their faces.”
A lifelong learner, Wall is currently taking her Masters of Education in Educational Leadership through Vancouver Island University.
“The advent of online learning has been so wonderful for me and anyone who lives remotely or can’t dedicate full time to post secondary schooling,” Wall says.
A large focus of her Masters, and something that she tries to bring into the classroom, is a growth mindset.
“In the younger elementary grades that I teach, it is important to include several components that will help kids all through their lives,” Wall notes. “These are to work hard, be healthy, believe in yourself, set goals, and make choices. This is in addition to numeracy and literacy.”
To Wall, it is vital to inspire her students, to encourage their strengths and to teach them to be resilient through failure.
“You can be the most creative person in the building, but if you can’t goal set, communicate your ideas, or have that growth mindset to deal with setbacks, the world will never benefit from your creativity. I hope to set a foundation that allows my students to become successful throughout their lives.”
“Times have changed,” Wall admits. “Education has to follow suit, adapting and evolving to match the lives these kids will live as free thinkers able to work collaboratively or alone.
One way Wall achieves this is by running pilot programs in her classroom where students have multiple learning spaces, including the floor or vertical stations, and the ability to get up and move when needed.
“I like to learn,” says Wall. “I model that because I want my students to as well.”