By Becky Benoit
Nathalie Reid’s business is teaching. But if you ask the 34-year old teacher, mom and business owner what her career is all about, she’ll tell you that her business truly is learning.
“I learn as much as I teach,” she says, adding that the daily cycle of teaching and learning, the hallmark of every good teacher, is what keeps her passion for her job burning. “I love that every morning, I wake up excited to go to school. I love that I learn more from my student than they learn from me. I love that every day, I’m greeted with living proof that the stereotypes often ascribed to teenagers are wrong,” says Reid, who teaches at Holy Trinity High School.
Reid, who holds a Master’s degree in Education from St. Francis Xavier University, says that a key focus of both her teaching and extracurricular involvement is to bring social justice opportunities to her students. One of her favourite memories of teaching stems from her school’s Fair Trade Market, held last year at Holy Trinity.
“What stands out for me is that through this event, our students gained a deeper understanding of fair trade, marketing, customer service, global citizenship, community spirit and involvement. The students’ pride in their accomplishment carried them forward to do other great things,” Reid explains, adding that the students involved raised enough money to build a school and dig a freshwater well in a village in Sierra Leone.
In addition to a busy teaching career, Reid also runs her own professional writing and editing business and ismom to 22-month old Liam. She says that, while being a mother has made her a better teacher, the reverse is also true.
“I teach big kids and quite frankly, the little ones always scared me,” she says wryly. “I’ve always believed that I am dealing with real people in my classroom, not drones, and so people’s out-of-school life might be a powerful dictator of how receptive they are on a particular day. Being a mom has really reinforced that belief. We need to give students the space and respect to be people, with ups and downs.”
What lies ahead for Reid? Down the road, she says she’d like to pursue a PhD in education. “I can think ofnothing more exciting and rewarding than helping others discover the joys of teaching,” she says, adding that in the meantime, the classroom offers plenty of room for self-discovery and learning.
“The future, whether it be tomorrow or ten years from now, is always an exciting possibility.”