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Lisa Green is advocating for the high school teaching profession

April 22, 2024

Lisa Green pictured standing in her classroom.

Lisa Green is approaching her tenth year teaching at Oak Bay High School in Victoria, BC. She says her family and friends were the first to peg her as a future educator because of her keen curiosity and love of coaching. After picking up the basics of Spanish during her own high school years, she decided to focus on Spanish and English as her core ‘teachable’ subjects while getting her Teaching Certificate at the University of Victoria.

Now, she works at Oak Bay High as a teacher, has an educational book coming out in the fall of 2024 – Outsmarted: The Changing Face of Learning in the Era of Smartphones and Technology - Elevate Books Edu., and is an educational consultant working with teachers in professional development. She also works as a mentor teacher within UVic’s Link2Practice program, a course that provides practical experience for UVic teacher candidates.

What’s it like teaching high school students today?

I love working with teens today because I learn from them all the time. I feel like if you want to know what's going on in the world, look through the eyes of a teenager. Working with an age group who I know is about to set out into the world—helping to prepare them and get excited about those next steps—is something that I love and take seriously.

What’s Link2Practice?

Link2Practice is a course in the Teacher Education program where teacher candidates get to spend a full day of the week observing a real day in a school environment. From about 8:00 am to 3:00 pm, they’ll shadow teachers, counsellors and administrators to get a behind-the-scenes look at different roles within the school. At the end, we meet to discuss what they saw and heard, all the things they expected or were surprised by. It’s an opportunity for them to observe and ask questions in a supported environment, and to get a better sense of what it’s really like. 

What does a typical day look like for you at Oak Bay High School?

Every day is different. I think that's the exciting thing about this profession and definitely one of the reasons I went into it. I could never imagine myself in a desk job. As a teacher, on any given day there will be teaching classes, connecting with students, maybe an assembly or a guest speaker, then there’s marking, planning, and correspondence with parents and school administration. 

Everyone thinks that teachers have an 8:30 am to 3:00 pm day and summers off, but there's so much going on before and after school, especially when it comes to sports and drama–all the important things that students will remember! School is much more than just teaching in the classroom. It takes all of us to make this to make this place run, and as a teacher, there are many different roles you can take on within the environment.

Why did you choose a career in teaching?

You hear in the media that some teachers are getting out of this profession because of increasing responsibilities and lack of support. I think the one consistent truth about teaching is that you're working with today's youth and that you have the opportunity to actually make a change. It sounds cliche, but there are days where I feel like maybe I can make a change or help teenagers today navigate the world ahead of them.

What would you say to someone who is thinking about becoming a teacher?

When you undertake teacher training, you’re actually learning how to work with human beings and ignite curiosity within them. So when you’re learning to teach, you’re learning to prepare and plan and deliver engaging materials. An education degree may lead you into a school setting, but it will definitely lead you to a place where you’re confidently working with others.

I would also say that I think education is more important than ever right now. With everything that’s happening in the world, including climate change and social media specifically, I feel like it’s important to do whatever we can to help students and people of all ages just better understand it all.

Even beyond the classroom, I identify as a teacher. I think education and learning are crucial to society and individuals. That’s why I’m a teacher—to help others get excited to learn more about themselves, society and the world at large.

UVic Teacher Education programs

Are you interested in becoming a teacher? UVic offers several Teacher Education programs including a four-year Bachelor of Education degree and two post-degree professional programs for elementary and secondary school teacher education.