This week the Access Learning Blog returns to our “Meet the Tutor” series. We’re turning our lens around and getting to know tutor and author of this blog, Juliana Allin. Read below to learn more about Juliana and her role with Access Learning.
Introduce yourself in a few words.
Hi, I’m Juliana, tutor with Access Learning and the person responsible for the Access Learning blog posts. It feels a little strange to be writing this, but I’ve been tasked with introducing myself so I’ll try my best!
I’m a single mom of two girls and live out in the country in a little town just past Angus, Ontario. I’ve been teaching or working in child care for as long as I can remember, starting with babysitting and teaching music lessons. I studied music and English in university, earning a Bachelor of Music (Honours Music Education) and my Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario. After that I switched gears and completed my Early Childhood Education diploma through Loyalist College. Aside from teaching, I love to garden, cook and bake, play with my kids and my dog, and write prose and poetry.
How did you get involved with Access Learning?
I met Pamela Robinson and learned about Access Learning through a mutual friend. Pam seemed to think I would be a good fit as a tutor and my work with Access Learning has grown from there! I’ve always had a passion for working with kids and I love the one-on-one interaction I get to have with students at Access Learning.
How would you describe your tutoring style?
I’m always most interested in learning about my students as individuals. Everyone has unique needs, skills, and perspectives; capitalizing on those things makes for the best tutoring sessions. I like to be silly with my students and make learning fun. I also try to get us moving (yes, me too!) so my tutoring students can use kinesthetic experience to help build their academic skills. I’m a very nurturing and supportive person, so I also prioritize creating positive learning experiences when I’m tutoring. Building my students’ confidence is definitely one of my top goals as an educator. Ultimately, I want to help them become confident in their own abilities and I try to use an approach that teaches to the whole child and looks at concepts broadly and creatively.
Now for some fun stuff…what is your favourite meal?
Hmm, I’m going to say curry. Homemade or from a restaurant, I always devour curry dishes.
Top Three Books?
This one is so hard for me to answer, but I’m going to go with Margaret Atwood’s “A Handmaid’s Tale”, Rupi Kaur’s “Milk and Honey”, and the entire Harry Potter book series.
Top Three Movies?
I’d have to say “Inception”, the Planet Earth series, and “Little Women.”
Favourite piece of advice you ever received?
I have two: first, “lefty-loosey, righty-tighty”. My dad taught me this saying when I was a kid and it’s come in handy more times than I can count!
Second, a good friend once told me that I need to remember that it’s okay to take a break and let myself rest. I can be a bit of a perfectionist and I like to challenge myself, so sometimes I need reminding that relaxing is part of living a healthy life. I try to allow myself to take breaks when I need them and remember to have some fun too. Life can’t be about working hard all the time!
What advice would you give to your tutoring students?
The first thing that comes into my mind is to say “slow down and take your time.” When you’re learning something new, you often need to break it down, repeat it, and go at a slow pace until you’ve really gotten a hold on what you’re trying to learn. So, I would counsel my students to give themselves permission to take it slow and work up to a faster pace.
When you were a kid, what did you want to be?
So many things! A teacher, a singer, a farmer, a mother; I’m lucky to have accomplished all those things now. Well, I’ve almost become a farmer! Now that I’m living on a rural property, I’m working on making my farming dreams come true.
What is your favourite part of working with Access Learning?
Again, I have two answers: I love working with my students and seeing them build their confidence and skills. Watching them accomplish their goals and feel good about their progress is incredibly rewarding for me. I also really enjoy collaborating with Pamela and the rest of our team to grow Access Learning and continue improving my skills and confidence as an educator and as a person.