It’s amazing how quickly time can go by. It’s already been four months since Zoe and I were hired at Jer’s Vision. As an educator, it is my job to educate students and teachers based on my life experiences and telling the stories of others in my community with their consent. However, it is important to note that the narratives in our community are so beautiful and diverse, including the ones that students and teachers share with us in wokshops.
Throughout the fall semester we have been invited into approximately two schools per week for several workshops. We’ve spoken to students in elementary schools and high schools across the city and sometimes beyond. From what I’ve experienced in my year of volunteering for Jer’s Vision, plus my four months as the educational programming coodinator, is that everyone is capable of learning… even those who are doing the teaching! In one of our workshops, an Indigenous student told us about their traditional experience with hoop dancing and what it was like for her to be participating in a field that is traditionally for men.
Additionally, as educational programming coordinators, Zoe and I have had to really step up and take up a more participatory role in our communities. From shadowing Rainbow Youth Forum meetings, to Zoe developing an accessible, inclusive survey for Weird Canada, to the Inside Out LGBT festival, we’ve been all over the place representing Jer’s Vision. In the upcoming semester we have plans to table at the University of Ottawa, as well as Carleton University and we have plans to do volunteer outreach and youth drop ins such as Spectrum. We are also in the process of booking University workshops for their gender and sexuality units! Those are always a ton of fun for us. Our main goal for the rest of the school year is to start being in schools an average of three times per week.
This goal would be difficult to acheive without our dedicated volunteers, so we would just like to extend our sincere thanks to our volunteers who are always so punctual and excited to work with us. They really go the extra mile to shadow our workshops, and sharpen their knowledge pools in order to give such great workshops. Of course, we have to thank the teachers as well. Our coodinator-teacher relationship is something we absolutely treasure, because if they were not so willing and open to letting us into their classrooms, there would be no Team Education.
I’m eager to see how the rest of the year goes for Team Education, eager to see some new volunteers and to see some old and new faces in classrooms. Our workshops are always free, but tis the season of giving! We always encourage generous donations to keep our organization going. If you are interested in making a donation to Jer’s Vision for the holidays, please follow the hyperlink. Furthemore, if you are interested in booking a workshop please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions, comments, and concerns.
Educational Programming Coordinator