JULY 16, 1999


Teaching is in her genes

This year's winner of the Maxwell Cameron medal in elementary education represents the fourth generation of teachers in her family.

"I always knew I wanted to be a teacher," says Erin Healey. Her mother, UVic grad Joan Hollick, is principal of Fairburn Elementary; her grandfather taught accounting at night school; and her great-grandmother taught in a one-room schoolhouse in Nova Scotia.

After high school, Healey trained as an actor in Pasadena, California, and worked as a professional actor for a year, appearing in local theatre productions. Returning to Victoria, she earned her UVic BA in sociology, supporting herself by teaching drama and dance locally. Then, before returning to UVic in education, she worked for two years for the Ministry of Health, designing and implementing substance abuse prevention programs in Revelstoke schools.

Healey considered pursuing a career in drama education at the secondary level, but decided on elementary because "I like what's going on developmentally with the children at the elementary level."

She did her practice teaching as part of the internship program at the Cordova Bay School. "I had very strong support at the school and in the community as well," she says. I had the Grade 2 kids research the history of Mattick's farm market as a way of learning about the community. They interviewed family members and elders in the community and really learned quite a lot.

"My Grade 5 class explored the local gravel pit for a unit on mines, minerals and non-renewable resources."

Healey has been doing a lot of substitute teaching and hopes to find a regular teaching job in the area.

Robie Liscomb photo

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