Remedial Instructor Anotidaishe has always been moved by the Winston Churchill quote, “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”
As an instructor for LDS’ RISE at Home Program, Anotidaishe believes she is making a life through her role and, in doing so, she gets to meet new people, work with children, and watch them grow. These experiences are so valuable for her, and she is grateful to LDS, the parents, and the children for the opportunities she’s had.
Although Anotidaishe never imagined herself as a teacher, “it’s been a series of small moments that have led me to realize ‘oh this is where I am supposed to be, and this is what I am meant to do.’” It was during a conversation with her grandmother—who had also been a teacher to young children—that Anotidaishe realized that she is very similar to her grandmother, and this is probably where her love for teaching stems from.
“I can’t pinpoint when in my life, but at some point, I realized I love seeing people grow and reach their full potential. So, I wanted to do something that helped people do that, and I guess being a teacher is one of those jobs.”
Anotidaishe’s first experience with learning differences was in university. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Simon Fraser University with a minor in Learning and Developmental Disabilities. During her undergrad, Anotidaishe volunteered and worked with children running summer day camps.
Working with children brings Anotidaishe so much joy, especially seeing their positivity and endless potential. A child’s imagination and their ability to grow and adapt to challenges gives her a sense of fulfillment in her job. “Kids have the most amazing imagination. At LDS, sometimes I ask [my students] to write stories. And the stories the students come up with—I just wonder ‘where did you get this amazing idea from?’”
For Anotidaishe, the biggest challenge of her job is helping her students overcome the mental barriers and self-doubt a student may have due to what they might have experienced, such as being told they are a “bad student” or receiving low grades. “Just give it a try,” she says to her students, “just one small step…and—before you know it—you’ve gone past what you thought you could do.”
When describing her teaching style, Anotidaishe says the most important thing to her is to create a positive environment where students can believe in themselves to overcome academic challenges. She does this by building a rapport with her students to ensure that a student feels comfortable making mistakes, and that they understand that making mistakes is all part of the learning process.
“I just want them to know that you’re in a safe zone, and you can make as many mistakes as you have to, and it’s okay,” says Anotidaishe. “I want students to see that they’re valued and that they are able to do the work.”
The greatest accomplishment is when she sees her students grow their self-confidence and overcome the challenges they face. Anotidaishe tells her students, “Who you are is not what society says you are, but really the gem that is what’s inside of you.”
Rie Stadnichuk (she/her) is the Digital Communications Specialist at LDS. Currently studying Communications and Economics at Simon Fraser University, she hopes to use this opportunity as a way of exploring meaningful work in the field. She is passionate about social issues and creating environments of inclusivity and open dialogue. Rie graciously lives and works on the unceded territory of the Syilx people.