Q: What you’re doing now isn’t wholly different from your previous career as a physical education and health teacher, but what made you consider the transition to your current wellness and balance focus?
A: I started my career as a teacher in secondary physical education and health, but my life experience has also brought me opportunities in many other fields of employment and volunteering. Facilitating personal growth workshops is where I became interested in the field of life coaching – geared toward wellness and balance. It is also where I became passionate about using rhythm, movement and music as wellness tools. The program I worked with used drumming as a tool to help people express themselves without fear of judgement. The very nature of the drum circle brought a sense of community support and gave everyone a chance to be heard.
Q: How’d you build drumming and rhythm into your practice?
A: One beat at a time! It truly was, and is, a process as I am not a trained musician. I attended (and still attend) several different trainings for recreational drum circles and wellness drumming because there are many styles of drum circle facilitation. Also, rhythm has become key in the field of trauma studies as a tool to help kids regulate, which puts me on an exciting journey of learning all that I can to help teachers bring groove to their classrooms.
Q: How will your keynote and session support our newest and aspiring educators?
A: Finding your groove doesn’t mean that you need a drum or a percussion instrument at your side. It does call for a bit of creative thinking and open mindedness. The way my keynote will support your newest and aspiring educators is to provide them with tools and activities that will engage their brains, help bring order to chaos and bring a new sense of rhythm and purpose in to their lives. I want to help teachers find ways to stay motivated and to reach their fullest potential. The tools and activities that will be presented in the keynote can be modified and added into the classroom setting.
Q: Why is it important for educators – particularly new and early career – to find balance in their careers?
A: The expectations that are put on classroom teachers are intense. Classroom preparation is extremely time consuming. The behaviors of many of our students are challenging, bringing extra stress into the classroom. That combination can be overwhelming and destructive if educators do not find ways to bring balance to their day.
Q: As a preview, what’s one takeaway you hope conference attendees will get from your keynote?
A: The importance of taking time to discover their personal groove for their health and well-being.
Q: In three words, describe your personal or professional mantra.
A: It’s all About GROOVE. That’s four…I know!
Hear Colleen’s keynote at the INspiring Educator Conference. Registration for the INspiring Educator Conference will close Oct. 4 – get your spot today!