Education, Health / Wellness, Kids, Mental health, Mindfulness

Introducing… Mindful Miss T!

My name is Cassandra!

Although, I’m better known as Miss T. to my students and school community!

I am an Educational Assistant located in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I’ve been lovingly supporting students as an EA for 7 years now and I owe it all to my inspiring Mom (also an EA with Edmonton Public Schools) for choosing this path in the first place. 

My 2nd year at Sherwood Elementary as an EA for Grades 1 & 2 in an Adaptability (Special Needs) Classroom.
My teaching partner and I ALWAYS got in on the ‘First Day of School’ Photos!

When I first started off as an EA, I loved working with kids. I enjoyed helping them learn and watching them grow. Helping to mould and shape their personalities. But it wasn’t until I began working with some very challenging students, when I realized exactly where I wanted to help these kids see success…

I began my career at a small, intimate school, Sherwood Elementary. It was located in a low-income neighbourhood and our community held some of the most vulnerable of families. Half of the school was dedicated to a special needs/adaptability program- which I spent most of my time working in. The other half was our “regular” K-6 program, but it was anything but “regular”… 

The majority of these kids that attended our little home at Sherwood School had been through some traumatic experiences at such a young age- many kiddos who’d been in and out of foster care, families that didn’t have enough money to pay rent or buy groceries, and many instances of abuse. We had some very dedicated families, but often, because of their home life circumstances, students didn’t often remain at our school for the full 7 years. 

As you can imagine, these kiddos had it rough… and so early on in their lives… There were many things beyond their control. It was the first time I’d seen so many hardships under one roof…

Yes, it was sad to see and sure did pull on the heart strings. However, I knew I had a real OPPORTUNITY to help these kiddos thrive- beyond academics! 

Before I let you in on my plan to help these kiddo’s, I’m going to share a personal story with you…

There was a time in my life when I really struggled. During the natural transition from high school to adulthood… 

Becoming an adult was overwhelming. I wasn’t prepared for it. I felt I just wasn’t worthy of a fulfilling life; It just wasn’t in my cards. I was unhappy. 

Although, one thing that I did have going for myself was my willingness to persevere. I have grit. I am not a quitter. Never have been. If something doesn’t go my way, I figure out why and I learn to find a new way. 

I’d got lost in the rabbit hole of self-development and came across this beautiful, deceivingly-hard concept… “Mindfulness.” The practice of being fully present in the moment… 

I say deceiving-hard because the concept seemed easy enough- being fully present and aware in the now, but practicing it was not. It took a lot of hard work, focus, forgiveness and time.

But the end result was that mindfulness saved my life. Quite literally. It offered me a new perspective and allowed me to understand my thoughts and feelings. And the realization that I am NOT my thoughts. And that I am NOT subjected to my circumstances. 

Mindfulness gave me back my power. 

Now, back to my little elementary school…

One day in my self-development journey (because, you know, it’s a forever thing!), I came across an inspiring mindfulness documentary… this time, about bringing mindfulness to kids and into schools…

This provoked me to think:

“Mindfulness helped me. Why wouldn’t it help my students? Other people are clearly bringing mindfulness into schools… Why can’t I bring it into mine?”

And so, this thought propelled me into action! 

The opportunity I had to help these kiddos was through the practice of mindfulness!

Hate to leave you hanging here… but you’ll have to check out my next blog post to see exactly how I turned this plan into action!!

My 4th year at Sherwood Elementary School, and ironically,
Also the year I switched classrooms to Room 4!


With love & gratitude,
Miss T.

1 thought on “Introducing… Mindful Miss T!”

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