Both Mrs. Jessie Twiest, Grade 6 humanities teacher, and Mrs. Jess Liniere, Grade 5 and 6 counselor/health teacher have left for maternity leave. They both will be returning part-way through the 2019-20 school year. Mr. Chris Goff, grade 8 science teacher, is also leaving for one year on a sabbatical and will return for the 2020-21 school year.
Mrs. Twiest is excited to be able to stay at home with her family instead of being at school all day. She said, “I’m looking forward to being able to be home with my new baby and my son, Theo, who’s three, and spending time together with them.”
However, she has been at ASL for nine years and will definitely miss it while on maternity leave. She is going to miss her students and colleagues as well as the school in general. She finds the school to be an exciting place that she will unfortunately not be a part of while on maternity leave.
Mrs. Liniere has been at ASL for ten years and plans to return to school by the end of February of next year. She is going to miss her students but she is looking forward to having and spending time with her first baby.
When asked about what she was most excited for about maternity leave, she said, “Just having a baby! I’m very excited to have a little baby.”
Mr. Goff, sees his sabbatical as an opportunity to go back to school to study and learn new things. In particular, he wants to focus on computational thinking.
Mr. Goff has been teaching for 27 years and been at ASL for 19 years. After teaching nonstop for so long, he wants to be able to make sure he is not constantly teaching the same thing. He said, “It helps to keep things fresh so that your teaching doesn’t get stagnant or out of date. You have to keep studying to keep on top of your field. ”
Taking a sabbatical is also allowing him the opportunity to learn new things he hasn’t had the chance to explore. Along with new science standards, Mr. Goff has been given new areas of curriculum that he needs to further develop and define, specifically computational thinking. As a member of the school’s computational thinking sub-committee, he wants to further develop his understanding of teaching this topic.
He is also taking this opportunity to further explore areas he is interested in, such as engineering and programming. He will be participating in programming classes to learn programs such as Python and Java, as well as other engineering opportunities such as building a drone. While on his sabbatical, Mr. Goff will still be coaching the middle school Lego League robotics team.
Despite the great benefits of his upcoming sabbatical, for the first time in 27 year Mr. Goff will not be teaching. Not having a defined structure every day will be a big change that he will miss. Another big change he will have to get used to is having no contact with students, apart from coaching the robotics team.
After returning at the start of the 2020-21 school year, Mr. Goff plans to continue teaching Grade 8 science. After anyone takes a sabbatical, they are required to continue working at ASL for two years. While he does not necessarily need to hold the same position, he will most likely remain a Grade 8 science teacher after his sabbatical.