HAMILTON PROFESSIONALS: Kelly McLaughlin
The Hamilton Spectator
Name: Kelly McLaughlin
For the past three years, I have been working in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board at Ancaster Meadow Elementary School. I have taught Grade 6 for two years and this year I teach Grade 5. At my school I am involved in some amazing extracurricular opportunities. My first year at Meadow, I was able to coach basketball, start an intramural soccer program, start a pop choir for the older grades, create a talent show and start a positivity movement for our school with my class called “Live life, be positive!” Last year I was able to coach volleyball, soccer, basketball and host a movie night with another class raising more than $3,000 for the Syrian refugees coming into our neighbourhood. I was also excited to host a re-creation of NBA All-Star Day with my amazing Grade 8 committee and another teaching friend of mine. We raised $2,000 for Minds in Need of Attention (MINA) and the Hamilton Special Olympics. That was the most exciting moment of my career so far. This year, I have been involved in similar coaching opportunities, an afterschool dodgeball program for the older students and I hope to start planning for our school’s second annual All-Star Day. Teaching is about so much more than what happens in the class. I enjoy creating a culture of leaders, where students create their own leadership opportunities and learn through doing, not just sitting and watching.
Is this the job you thought you’d be doing?
Yes, since I was 12 years old attending summer camp in Oakville for eight weeks each summer, I knew I wanted to be a teacher. I wanted to be able to change teaching. I wanted to be able to make learning fun, just as much fun as my camp counsellors had made camp for me. As a child, I created games for my cousins and sisters and always wanted to teach them things and get them involved in activities. When I attended a high school for the arts in Mississauga, I knew that I would want to become a music teacher, however, during my teaching placement in Redeemer University, I realized that I wanted to be a homeroom teacher.
Advice to others on launching a career
Do everything that you can. Say yes to every single opportunity. If you are in your teaching placement or volunteering at a school, try everything that comes your way. Everyone and everything around you is a learning opportunity. Speak to all the teachers and all the children in the building. They will help you with your career and teach you the most important things there are to know. Volunteer and spend time doing things for your school and other people will notice you.
I was born in Oakville but moved to Hamilton when I started university in 2010. I recently purchased a condo in Hamilton.
I have an Instagram account that highlights the most exciting points in my school year, called “mclaughlins.classroom.”
iPhone, Android or BB?
Recent Tweet or FB update
Going to London during March Break and going to the actual set of the Harry Potter movies.
Favourite restaurant in the downtown
St. James! Best restaurant for family breakfast. Amazing coffee and one-of-a-kind meals made fresh.
Best feature of life in Hamilton
James Street North, the movie theatre in Jackson Square, the excellent school board and the sense of community during festivals in the summer.
What would make Hamilton a better city
I think that many parts of the city could use a bit of love as they do not look or seem as great as they could be. James Street North has had an amazing makeover and as soon as more new restaurants and small shops open up, many more people will come to enjoy all Hamilton has to offer. I also love how McMaster is opening campuses downtown. That will bring a young crowd and create more opportunities for these young adults.
Class website: ames5B@weebly.com
Personal website: misskmclaughlin.weebly.com
The harder you work to get where you want to be, the more it will pay off. Never doubt yourself or the jobs available to you. You will get to where you want to be if you believe in yourself because people will start to believe in you.