#CareerGoals: Ontario Secondary School Educator, Kristine Bruynson

An extreme passion for moulding young minds, Kristine Bruynson is not your typical educator – she’s an energetic, vivacious teacher we all wished we’d had!

We had the pleasure of sitting down with her to discuss the path that led her to this role, and how to get into it yourself if you have a passion for teaching others.

How do you get into education?
I started with a passion for business and received my bachelor degree in Commerce. From there, I received my master’s degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resources. Over the years, what I really wanted to do was mould young minds. That is when I decided to go back and pursue a career in education.

What does it mean to be an educator? How would you define your job?
Being an educator is a lot more than being a subject matter expert and teaching others. You have to be a great public speaker, you have to understand psychology and be able to motivate a wide variety of learners.

Why is expertise in your field so important?
I think in order to teach someone in the best way possible, you need to know your subject matter well enough to teach it to a five-year-old. If you don’t have a deep level of knowledge on the matter, you can’t articulate different points in a wide variety of ways. Students come from a variety of different backgrounds, so if you can’t explain things in different ways, you aren’t going to be able to teach every single one of them.

Why do you love your job?
Not only am I able to go home at night knowing I shared knowledge with absorbing young minds, but I also get to hang out with young, awesome, energetic youth – which makes me feel young!

How does this feed your overall life goals?
In my opinion, everyone needs to create values they want to live by. My values include deep learning, curiosity for new knowledge, as well as adventure and creativity. For me, being an educator allows me to live by all of those values. Lastly, I have summers off to spend time with my friends and family!

What are the steps to getting into this career?
You have to have a subject matter you are truly passionate about
You need to get your degree in education
Lastly, you have to hustle! You have to get interviews for supply teacher lists, interview a series of times – really know who you are as a teacher and what you have to offer these schools

What are key factors for being a successful teacher?
First thing is you need to be doing continuous learning yourself, keep digging and find out what drives your subject matter expertise. Secondly, you have to offer interesting content to keep students engaged. Lastly, you need to have a positive energetic attitude. You have to be on all the time! You have to work on your emotional intelligence and to know which environments bring you positivity and which bring negativity because you have to be able to be positive every single day.

What type of person is best suited for being an educator?
I think that being an educator is best suited for all personality types. It’s so diverse, I don’t think there is ONE personality type that is best suited. Learners/students are from all different personality types. You need to have teachers who students can see themselves relating with. My personality type is actually not most common in the teaching profession. I am very energetic, outgoing, gutsy and vivacious. Most teachers are very responsible, diligent and focused. I find that having the combination of teachers is best suited for students. I want students to see multiple different types of teachers and their personalities. As long as you are passionate about sharing your wisdom with a wide range of people, you will do well as a teacher. You can be outgoing, more reserved, whimsical, as long as the students believe and you know and are passionate about what you are talking about!

You can connect with Kristine on LinkedIn.