Feature Teacher: Sarojni Ramdhan-Ganpat
Why did you become a teacher?
As a young child I was always interested in learning about people and different places. I was fascinated by planes flying overhead and people travelling to far away places. I had many questions and sought out my teachers for answers. Since then my dream was to become a teacher because I realized a teacher can empower others to reach their full potential. Over the years, I pursued other careers in Social Services. Once my son was born and it was determined that he has Special Needs, I started volunteering in the school and my passion for teaching was reignited. I became an Educational Assistant and then went to Teacher’s College. Being a teacher is one of the best decisions I made in my life. It is a very fulfilling career especially when I see the students excited about learning and growing.
What is your most memorable teaching experiences?
Two years ago I was involved with a group that was working with the new Social Studies Curriculum. Last year, I initiated a Social Studies Inquiry with my Grade 3 students. This Inquiry was inspired by our trip to the Century School House. We compared the East York area in the 1800’s to the 2000’s. One parent printed us a map from both of these periods. Each student with the assistance from their families traced their family tree from that period. Some went as far back as the 1600’s.
Our focus was our school and the immediate community. The students were very excited when they recognized the school plot of land on the maps that I got from the Toronto Archives. At that time, the school did not have a name and was recorded as “No. 7”.
They made connections to the current street names and families who actually lived in the area, (e.g., Billy McKay who donated the land for the school). A former Mayor of East York Mr. Alan Redway visited the class and discussed the history which revealed facts that were undocumented. This activity generated excitement and passion from students, their families and I who also live in this community.
What are some of your interests and hobbies outside of the classroom?
Art and photography are two of my passions. I attended classes to refine my skills in these areas. I have always enjoyed travelling to different countries while learning about their cultures. Learning is a life long goal for me and I am able to integrate the acquired skills to enrich our learning environment.