I have been working with both Lauren and Angela for a few years now as I am helping to embed Word Inquiry into the culture and curriculum of their respective schools. Although I had come to know them both, they didn’t really know each other much at all before we began this journey, as they live in different countries - Lauren in Thailand and Angela in Vietnam.
However, our mutual love of children’s literature, a desire to support teachers to better understand our orthography so they can empower our students to become ‘word noticers and word knowers’, along with the constant questions we get about what are some great books to use, led us to decide on this project.
We now spend quite a bit of time together discussing books and talking word inquiry!
I am currently the Elementary Deputy Head of NIST International school in Thailand. I have been a lower elementary teacher, language coordinator and literacy consultant at schools in Australia, the UK, Hong Kong and Switzerland. On the off chance, I have some free time, you'll find me reading books, usually picture books or historical fiction. I love spending time with husband Adam and our daughters, Matilda and Abi. We love travelling, family movie nights and eating dumplings. I also love baking and that is where you will usually find our beagle Baxter, sitting at my feet, waiting for any tasty morsels to drop to the floor as I bake.
Word inquiry came to my attention when Fiona came to our school about four years ago to conduct a workshop. My interest was piqued right away and I eagerly took my limited knowledge back into the classroom to dive into with my students. I loved that we were truly involved in the inquiry process together, as I was learning alongside them and had just as many wonderings. I love that now I can never just pass by a word without wanting to discover more about it and it makes my heart happy that books provide the perfect place to go looking. I believe everything can be taught through a good book!
I am an elementary educator who is enthusiastic about books and the positive impact they have in the lives of children. I have gathered experience and engaging books in my time teaching in Canada, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and am now teaching at the United Nations International School in Hanoi, Vietnam. The majority of my teaching career has been spread across both younger and older students in Kindergarten and Grade 5. Most recently I have become a Literacy Coach, working with teachers of 3 year olds to 11 year olds in an international setting. This role has allowed me much insight into the wonderful practices and innovations of so many inspiring teachers and allowed me to talk books on a daily basis.
Outside of school I am mom to two growing girls and wife of another primary educator. As a family we enjoy travel (even packing!) and experiencing other countries and also exploring our home countries of Canada and Australia. This past year our family joy of travel has turned to puzzles, dollhouse building and Thermomixing. You will find me with a book - picture, note or cook, a range of coloured pens, something spicy and a cup of tea.
I am not a natural word inquirer. I loved books and writing and fought against spelling - it just didn’t come easily to me. Once I started word inquiry as an adult, after almost 15 years teaching, I realised there was rhyme and reason to words. I discovered there was a system worth investigating, hypothesizing about, discussing and sharing with students and I was ready to be part of that process. I am constantly learning and asking questions and am so lucky to be learning alongside Fiona, Lauren and you.