Matthew is an Ontario Certified Teacher in the Primary and Junior Divisions. He is a graduate of OISE’s Masters of Teaching Program at the University of Toronto and completed his undergraduate degree at Queen’s University in Drama & English. He loves Jalapeño Cheddar dipping sauce and writing in the third person. Matthew has over 10 years of teaching experience in various classroom and educational settings. He developed his passion for education and working with children as professional actor teaching improv, speech, and drama at Second City Toronto where he also served as the Youth & Teen Programme Coordinator. Matthew is a champion of the arts and the powerful effect they can have on students and their learning experiences. His graduate thesis looked at improv’s powerful effect on creating community in the classroom and helping students with their own confidence, problem-solving, anxiety, and voice. Matthew also worked at Sick Kids Hospital as a Therapeutic Clown, a faithful companion to patients utilizing therapeutic play, relationships, developmental and procedural support, humour and laughter. Matthew has been very fortunate to have teaching experience with students from Kindergarten to Grade 6. As a resident of North Toronto, Matthew was lucky enough to have placements at many schools in the area, including John Wanless, Armour Heights, Sterling Hall, and Crescent. Matthew is passionate about developing a strong community in his teaching and tutoring through supportive relationships. He is committed to working with parents, teachers, and students to create an atmosphere where students reach high levels of achievement and well-being. When not teaching, Matthew can be found serving as the Artistic Director of a local Toronto theatre company, or up north at his new cottage in the Algonquin Highlands.
Carol Waters is a retired elementary school teacher with thirty years experience. She taught kindergarten to grade three during her career, and her qualifications include primary specialist and special education. A Lead Literacy teacher for seven years, she coordinated various workshops for colleagues centred on language development for primary students. She also taught the well-regarded Kindergarten Language Program (KLP) for ten years, also known as the KELLI Program, which focuses on enhancing oral communication and early literacy skills.
Carol has a Bachelor of Arts and Education degree as well as a diploma for Developmental Service worker. She coached volleyball, track and field, the Junior W5H teams and the Eco club.
Carol’s love of reading and literature extends to volunteering to read with students at her former school, and participating in an adult book club. She greatly enjoys outdoor activities, particularly exploring hiking trails throughout the province.
Laura is an academic administrator, research writer, and artist, whose work focuses on the critical theory of visual culture within the context of history. She grew up in remote north Ontario before moving to Toronto, where she has earned her Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Visual and Critical Studies from OCAD University, a degree that allowed her to combine studies of psychology, philosophy, the history of science and medicine, and literature into an interdisciplinary framework from which art and society can be analysed. She won the program medal, the highest distinction within each program’s graduating class, in 2016, and went on to complete her Master’s of Art History at the University of Toronto in 2018. Laura has showcased her research papers in various academic conferences throughout North America, and uses her studies to inform her visual arts practice, creating a fruitful cycle of critical investigation followed by the creation of visual language in support of the research. It is her personal philosophy that learning is an amazing and enriching experience, and that curiosity and engagement with the world around us should be nurtured; she strives to make education a positive and inspiring experience for all her students.
In her spare time she likes to get back to her roots and explore the wilderness, whether it be hiking, camping, climbing, or some combination of the three, and advocates for the personal and social benefits of appreciating and preserving nature. Her passion for the outdoors stems from a childhood fascination with geology, palaeontology, and evolutionary biology, as well as a love of animals. Laura has taught several clinics on backcountry safety, and can show you what to do in case of a bear encounter.
Shewit graduated recently from the University of Toronto with a Master’s in Political Science, and a specialization in Political Economy of International Development. She completed her undergraduate studies in Socio-political Anthropology at Concordia University (Montréal), while she was also studying for a Diploma in Translation at McGill University (Spanish to English). Shewit’s diverse academic background stems not only from her educational experience, but also from her personal experience living in different cities and countries. Having spent her formative years in the city of Asmara (Eritrea), she has lived, studied and worked in Winnipeg, Montréal and now Toronto. Shewit obtained her first tutoring position back in 2011 when she was a recent high school graduate. At that time, she organized and coordinated various after-school classes and learning activities for middle school students, including one-on-one sessions to assist them with homework and assignments. Some of the disciplines that she tutored included Social Sciences and Humanities (including Languages).
As an undergraduate student at Concordia University (Montréal), she volunteered as a Student Support and Note-taker for three years at the University’s Centre for Students with Disabilities, also known as ACSD. Through these experiences, Shewit has learned to identify and respond to the various learning styles and needs of different students, partnering enthusiastically professors, parents and university directors to create learning environments that motivated students to reach their full potential. More recently, while she was pursuing her graduate studies at the University of Toronto, she had the opportunity to serve as a Teaching Assistant for undergraduate courses, where she assisted professors with their lectures by grading assignments and/or exams, and by conducting tutorials.
Through her work experience with students of different academic levels and learning styles, Shewit came to realize that engaging students using their curiosity and interests is crucial in helping them gain the confidence they require to succeed in academia. Aside from her diverse academic background, her ability to speak different languages has enabled her to relate with students with different cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds, recognizing the importance of not pre-judging students.
Aside from her tutoring experience, Shewit has six years of work experience encompassing the following roles: International Development Research Assistant-Associate, Advisor and Consultant within the Vulnerable Sector (Immigration and Refugee agencies and Development oriented organizations) and as Trilingual Translator and Interpreter. Presently, she’s a Graduate Associate at the Centre for Critical Development Studies (University of Toronto), she also works as an independent contractor for the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada and MCIS Language Solutions.
During her spare time, she likes to draw and cook, she also enjoys reading historical biographies.
Marissa attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario for her BaH and BEd as a Concurrent Education student; this means that she took education courses and spent time co-teaching in various classrooms throughout her undergrad and BEd years. She completed a medial in French literature and English literature while also enjoying courses such as psychology, children’s literature, ancient cultures, Italian, and Spanish. In her BEd year, she specialized in Educators Abroad which gave her basic ELL training as well as a solid base in cultural awareness.
Following her time at Queen’s, she worked for two years in Mexico at Colegio Americano de Torreón. She taught 8th and 11th grade English Immersion (almost identical to 8th and 11th grade in Ontario, but with more grammar). While there, she helped run the OLWEUS committee that created lesson plan choice boards to help teachers engage students while instilling in them cultural awareness and kindness. With this program, she ran donation drives as well as field trips so that students had the opportunity to give back to their community. During these two years in Mexico, she also ran an intensive program to help students recover information that they had missed during class. This involved creating a specialized program for each student to suit his or her needs. She used test data to find the gaps in student knowledge and aided them in their path towards grade level standards. She also tutored a student one-on-one for the SAT. With Marissa’s help, the student was able to increase her English score 150 points in a short 3 months.
As Marissa’s contract ended at the end of June 2019, she is now home in Toronto and has been hired as an occasional teacher by the TDSB, so there is a chance that she will be in your child’s class this coming year.
In her spare time, Marissa loves to read, run, play cards, bake, and work on DIY design projects. She comes from a large Italian family, so cooking and laughing also come to her naturally.
Angie is a teacher and musician living in Toronto. For the majority of her career, Angie has worked with students that have special needs, in particular, those with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder, and Behaviour-based disorders.
Until recently, Angie taught grades 3-5, and vocal music K-8 in a small private school. Currently, Angie is an Occasional Teacher with the Toronto District School Board, and like a superhero, she goes where she is needed the most. In her spare time, Angie likes to play music, watch sports, hike, and contribute to her blog.
Tina is an experienced teacher with over 30 years of experience. She attended McMaster and Brock University. Tina also has a specialist in special education and has spent 20 years working with students with various types of disabilities. She has worked closely with the interdisciplinary teams at various schools and is proficient in the development, implementation and understanding of individual education plans (IEPs). Tina has a thorough knowledge of the special education policies and regulations as outlined in the Ontario Ministry of Education and has sat on many Identification Placement and Review Committees (IPRCs). She is also fluent in French and Italian and taught French from Kindergarten to grade 8. Tina also has her Primary Specialist from Brock University.
Julia is an Ontario Certified Teacher who grew up in Toronto. She recently received her Master’s of Teaching degree from the University of Toronto where she also completed her Bachelors of Science in Biology. Julia has a passion for teaching STEM subjects and completed her research thesis on how to improve science teacher self-efficacy in elementary school teachers. Prior to completing her Master’s she worked for over 4 years in Taipei, Taiwan as a classroom teacher and developed a love for the country’s culture and food. Aside from classroom teaching, she has also taught SSAT prep and loves to help her students reach their academic goals. When Julia isn’t teaching, she loves biking and has done many long distance rides all over the world.
Tareque is a graduate from the University of Toronto who completed a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, majoring in English and History. Currently, Tareque is enrolled in the Master of Teaching program at University of Toronto/OISE, and is in process of becoming a Certified Ontario Teacher. As an MT, Tareque is researching the benefits and ways of integrating video games as a pedagogy and course material in the classroom. Tareque hopes video games as course material can lead to new ways of learning and more representation of underrepresented skills. Tareque also has TEFL/TESOL certification, and taught ESL/EFL to numerous students, ranging from young children to seniors. Tareque’s tutoring philosophy is to encourage heuristic learning, help develop good study habits, and find the student’s potential through differentiated learning, which is to approach their learning with an emphasis on their strengths and preferences. Tareque also has interests in music, film, reading, writing fiction, video games, and karaoke.
Jessica is an experienced educator, who has been working at a private school the past 7 years. She enjoys helping students enjoy Language as much as she does, and strives to build a good rapport with all of her students. Jessica enjoys helping students get the grades and recognition they deserve.