Brief Bio

Photo in Header Explained:
Pink-Toed Tarantula Love!
That cute little critter on my sleeve is a pink-toed tarantula.  I was going for a night hike in the Tambopata rain forest (a part of the Amazon) in Peru.  I was there for three days to specifically see the endangered (super endangered! less than 300 left in the world) giant fresh water otters at the Tambopata lake, but of course I ended up seeing even more than that!  I love tarantulas, worms, snakes and all of nature's creatures.  This is why I'm a biology teacher.  Okay...the mosquitoes in the rain forest were not my favorite experience...but the mosquito, as a creature, is a marvel!

Why am I in Canada?
Little Tang and Big Tang
Short story.  I was born in Vietnam.  My mom escaped from Vietnam with me (she has an amazing story about the three times we tried to escape - I don't remember anything because I was too young) and decided that Canada would be a nice stable place, full of opportunity, for me to grow up.  We arrived in Toronto in 1980 with the wave of refugees when I was 4 years old.  Starting afresh at the age of 37, my mom learned English, went to school, got a college degree and eventually became a day care teacher and raised me on her own the entire time.  She eventually saved enough money to get us out of government housing in "the Projects" and bought her first home - a small condo.  I really don't remember a time when I wasn't a confident and self-assured person.  I credit my mom for instilling in me the conviction that I can achieve anything, if I really wanted to.  I will never be put in a situation where I'll have to make as many sacrifices and take as many risks as my mom has (she assured that by bringing me to Canada).  Given that, I feel like I'm not allowed to let anything defeat me, I don't have any excuses and don't want any.  Thanks mom!  My mom is awesome and I will be forever grateful to her.  I try to convey this to my students.  They don't need to be defeated, and they don't need to rely on excuses.

Professional Life:
I have been teaching for 13 years as of September 2014.  I teach high school science and senior biology. On top of teaching the regular classes I have also taught/am teaching ESL science, gifted and enriched science and biology. I love science and find the natural world fascinating (for those that have browsed my entire BBC resources collection, you will know what I mean!).

My Current School:
I have been teaching at my current school for 8 years now.  It is s uniform public school in the Toronto District School Board.  The students come from a lower middle class background with a lot of immigrants.  The school is fairly academic and the kids are well behaved.  I am lucky to be teaching them!

I have been the coach or club sponsor of the following extracurriculars:
Enviro Group - currently
F1 In Schools - currently
Girls' Workout Club - currently
Nordic Ski Team
Cross Country Team
Track Team
Gardening Club
Model U.N. Club
Volunteer Now
Origami Club
Literary Club
Knitting Club
Volunteer Now Club

Staff Related Extracurriculars:
Staff Workout Club - currently
Experiential Learning PLC - currently
Student Success PLC
Collegiality Committee PLC

Outside of School:
I love to travel, bike, workout, cook, eat, attend film festivals and go to the theatre.

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