Teacher (Elementary Music) @ Greenfield Elementary in New Waterford, Cape Breton
Nancy White. Age: 43 years old. Hometown/Currently Reside: Glace Bay, NS Profession: Teacher Status: Married with 1 child (6 year-old daughter)
What are you most proud of professionally? And who or why?
I am very proud of my degrees and certifications, as they are diverse and practical in my profession. I have a Bachelor of Education Degree in Physical Education (with a minor in French). I have 3 Masters of Education Degrees (Elementary Education, Literacy and Leadership). I have Grade VIII in piano with The Royal Conservatory of Music. However, when I think about the time, money, energy and hard work that went into obtaining these courses; it pales in comparison to the pride I feel when I instil enthusiasm and excitement in my students about learning and performance! Putting these credentials into practice and seeing the amazing results is what makes me feel proud J
What's your vision for Atlantic Canada in 10 years? What’s our biggest opportunity now?
This question was tough for me. I think keeping people "here" in Atlantic Canada is key. I feel like we need to start reminding our youth about potential opportunities that exist in our provinces now (as well as create more opportunities for them.) I worry that my daughter will have to relocate some day to secure employment. Family is everything to me and having the privilege to be able to stay in my hometown of Glace Bay, while pursuing my dream job as a teacher is the ideal situation for me. I would love to see an Atlantic Province in 10 years that provides many opportunities for growth, employment and sustainability of our young citizens.
What was your greatest stage of growth? What made it a shift for you?
My greatest stage of growth to date is, without a doubt, becoming a mom...and finding balance in this role. My daughter, who is now 6 years old, was the shift in my life. It is easy when you enter parenthood to lose yourself, give up your interests and become too tired to continue with your own personal growth. I think all parents are guilty of this to some extent. I am very blessed in that I feel that I now have balance in my life. I absolutely LOVE being a mom and a full time teacher, but I have had to make some adjustments in my life (I get up at 5:30am to exercise most mornings) so that I can still do the things that are important to me....and that make me who I am. This, of course, could not be possible without an amazing support system of family, friends and baby-sitters! Balance is hard to achieve and became even more difficult for me as a working mom. I have learned to try to make sure that I stay healthy and nurture my passions and interests, along with taking care of my family. This was definitely a stage of growth that continues daily. I am a life long learner in this department for sure.
What's your deepest learning from this past year? How did/will you apply it?
"Life Is Short, Buy The Shoes!" I actually mean this in a literal sense as well... #shopaholic. As I age, I unfortunately encounter more frequent stories of family, friends and loved ones falling ill and passing on. It's hard and the realization that time is such a precious gift really hit home. This year, we did not "put off" things as much. Trips, parties, gatherings, etc. won't always be available in the same sense, with the same people, as they are now. I try (it is difficult at times) not to worry about things that really won't matter a year from now. I vow to always spend New Years’ Eve with my husband on a dance floor so long as we are both able. I try to feel gratitude and take advantage of what's in front of me. I hope to pass these lessons onto my little girl....and make every day count!
Who's inspired you, directly or indirectly? How have they inspired you?
My parents are my inspiration. They have raised four kids and are now an integral part of raising 4 grand kids. They are constantly finding ways to make life fun and interesting (they should be the "poster child" of retirement!). They always see "the big picture" and never "sweat the small stuff". Their support and encouragement in anything and everything their family does is unwavering. Always happy and smiling, the have led (and are still living) such a full and balanced life. Music plays from their stereo all day, every day as their house is constantly filled with people, love and laughter. There really is "no place like home." However, the thing I admire most in them both is their sense of integrity and principle. They have strong beliefs and values that they live by and this has not changed over 48 years. As "snow birds", they go to Florida every Spring to escape some of the Canadian cold. Because of Trump, they now refuse to enter the States. Their sense of his wrongdoing "trumps" (pardon the pun) their desire to return to a beloved vacation spot. They just cannot overlook something that goes against everything they believe in and it is stance like this that make them so admirable and inspirational.
What are the principles you live by?
I try to live by very basic principles...sometimes the simple truths are the best. I tell my daughter every single day before she goes to school to be "humble and kind." I try to do the same. Kindness has governed many of my decisions both personally and professionally. It is such an easy thing to be kind, yet it is not always a choice people make.
How have you recovered from fractured professional relationships? What uncomfortable truths have you learned about yourself in those experiences?
I think most times, when a person acts in a manner that seems unfair or undesirable, there is usually something else going on that I am not privy to....a problem at home, stress from illness, etc. I truly try to remember that if a person's behavior towards me is unfavorable, it may in fact have nothing to do with me at all. I generally "liked to be liked"....so I guess an uncomfortable truth for me is to feel that someone does not like me and not having any control to fix that. Agreeing to disagree is something I am working on as I am very much a "peace keeper" and do not love "conflict"...despite the fact it is necessary at times for change!
Mother (that is always the first!), Teacher, Athletic/Sports Advocate (runner, skier, golfer, hockey player, swimmer, soccer executive member, "yogi", etc.), Shopper (my passion is fashion), Faithful (to my religion, my friends, my family), Creative (in home decor, party planning, gift ideas, etc.), Humble (so this form is really difficult for me to fill out...lol)