Give your child an early start in life

Nurturing Minds, Moulding Lives.

Kerthiga Manokumar

My name is Kerthiga Manokumar and I am High School English, History and Special Education teacher in the York Region District School Board. I love that moment in teaching when students grasp a concept that I’m explaining and they have their aha moment.

Those are the experiences I hope to create at Step Up Academy as I interact with my students. During the daytime I am with about 25 to 30 students, so the small groups and one on one setting at Step Up Academy is helpful as it allows me to truly get to know all my students, their individual needs, and their challenges so I can find the right strategy to help them out. I use my love for literacy (especially since I’m an English teacher) to create handouts and other tools that will help my students develop their reading and writing skills. I love to learn as well and I find that the more I learn about my students, the more I am able to learn about teaching and become a better teacher.

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Kaylie De Blois

My name is Kaylie deBlois and I am a High School Mathematics and Geography teacher in the Toronto District School Board. As a lifelong learner, I am passionate about finding ways to engage my students and connect the curriculum to their own passions.

Working with smaller class sizes allows me to make meaningful connections with my students and provide the necessary one on one support to help them succeed and reach their goals. I believe that one of the greatest feelings in the world is solving a difficult math problem. By fostering a growth mindset in class I help my students to view each challenge as an exciting opportunity to learn something new. Building up the foundational numeracy skills, I focus on setting my students up for success in future grades. My students and I concentrate on developing their basic numeracy skills, followed by problem solving skills which allow them to work through various application questions using proper mathematical format. It is important for our students to see real world applications of all subject matter. As an educator, I take the time to connect the application problems to each student’s specific interests and engage them in each lesson.

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Shadia Afrin

My name is Shadia Afrin and I am a Grade 3/4 French Immersion teacher in the Toronto District School Board. Having experience teaching primary and junior grades simultaneously, I have gained valuable experience creating and delivering instruction for two curriculums everyday.

Prior to being an educator for the TDSB and Step Up Academy, I was managing an afterschool program for students between K-12.With ten years of experience teaching students of all ages, I have discovered that every child learns in their own unique way. I have a very dynamic and inventive approach to teaching because inquiry-based learning and differentiating to meet the needs of each of my students are the pillars of my teaching philosophy. My goal is to ensure that I incorporate the interests of my students in order to keep them engaged throughout the lesson. As an educator at Step Up, I want to make a difference in the lives of young people and equip the next generation with the tools they will require to be successful in their endeavours. I want to be able to use my knowledge and positive attitude towards learning to engage young learners and promote equitable learning for all. As an educator, I have the opportunity to be a lifelong learner and understand different perspectives while interacting with various types of learners.

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Amanda Cruz

My name is Amanda Cruz and I am a French and English teacher candidate. As a University of Toronto graduate. I’ve had over five years of tutoring experiences which includes Core French, Extended French, Immersion French, Academic/Applied French and

finally the International Baccalaureate program for French. Furthermore, I have tutored English for primary, junior and intermediate grades. I’ve always known that I wanted to be a teacher. French is often a subject that students are scared of. My goal is to make French fun and understandable for any student. I hope to create an inclusive environment and implement the growth mindset in each of my classes in Step Up Academy. I am extremely grateful to be a part of your child’s journey growing in learning. Everyday is a new day to learn something new. Step Up Academy provides this opportunity to showcase my passion of teaching and help my students believe they can succeed academically.

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Induja Indrakumar

My name is Induja and I am Primary-Junior teacher candidate. I obtained my degree in Early Childhood Education at Ryerson University and most recently completed my Master of Teaching degree at the University of Toronto.

I can confidently say teaching is the path I was meant to pursue, and I always look forward to applying my passion, skills, and experiences to build an inclusive learning culture where all students can develop a positive sense of self at Step Up Academy. I believe an engaging learning community is a vital factor in influencing student growth, student choice and student voice. I enjoy teaching at Step Up Academy because we use enriched resources to plan ongoing monthly assessments, and activities that are inquiry-based, intellectually challenging and developmentally appropriate for all students to increase achievement. At Step Up Academy, I want to inspire confidence, and hope in each student and guide them to a place where they will find success both within and beyond the classroom.

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Sarah Lanni

My name is Sarah Lanni and I am currently a Primary and Junior Special Education teacher with the York Region District School Board. I have over seven years experience teaching in a classroom setting ranging from kindergarten to grade 8, with most of my experience in special education.

I also have over four years of experience with one-on-one tutoring. I am passionate about education and helping students enjoy their learning experiences. At Step Up Academy, I like working with a small group of students who want to be there and learn. It is important to build students self confidence and give them the power to learn new things like being a self-starter, taking initiative and that there is more than one way to solve questions. I believe it is important for students to tackle each question as an opportunity to learn and grow as opposed to solving a problem with a fixed solution. My goal is to make each student feel welcome, be eager to take risks and not be afraid to make mistakes.

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Thanusa Selvaratnam

My name is Thanusa Selvaratnam and I am a Primary-Junior Teacher in the Durham District School Board. I earned my Bachelor of Education degree from York University. As an educator, I am committed to creating a classroom atmosphere that is stimulating and encouraging to all students.

At Step Up Academy, the small group setting provides me with the opportunity to get to know my students, their interests, and how they learn best. With this knowledge, I tailor my instructions to personalize the learning individually in order to motivate students in reaching their academic potentials. Working at Step Up Academy is a truly rewarding experience for educators and the variety of engaging resources available on site helps make learning fun and easy for all students.

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