Lindsay Gustafson was one of Hoot Reading’s first teachers. She holds a B.Ed from the University of Alberta, a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma of Education from the University of Manitoba and is currently working on a Master of Education.
When did you know you wanted to be a teacher?
I’ve always had such fond memories of all of my elementary teachers and recognized the influence they had on my life. I decided to first try nursing and after one year of nursing school, I realized that I loved to care and educate others. My gut told me that I was meant to be a teacher, so I immediately transferred to Education. Ever since, I have always known in my heart that teaching is my passion. People say that teaching is not a job, it’s a lifestyle and I completely agree!
What’s your favourite thing about guided reading?
Reading is my absolute favourite part of the teaching day! I LOVE seeing the light bulb go off in children’s’ minds as they realize that they are readers! Also, being able to work with kids in one-on-one or small group situations is incredibly powerful.
Why did you become a Hoot teacher?
I couldn’t be happier to have become a Hoot teacher! There are so many reasons that I joined…1. I love the convenience it offers to families and teachers. Going to tutoring centres or hiring private tutors can be very time consuming. 2. I absolutely love to teach reading as much as possible! Hoot has offered the opportunity to read with so many children of different ages and abilities. I feel that I have grown into a more reflective and responsive reading teacher. 3. I love to support local! The fact that Hoot Reading is rooted in Winnipeg, is very special.
What do you love about the Hoot program?
I love the opportunity to make an impact on the lives of children and families all over North America. I have seen so much progress in all of our students and it is so rewarding.
Tell us about an inspirational or funny moment you had with your student.
As I say goodbye to my school this year as I embark on a new teaching adventure, I was so moved by a book that a Grade 1 student wrote for me. She titled it “Be Brave Miss Gustafson”. It was so moving to see her skills grow so much over the year, for her to Take the initiative to write me a story with so much meaning and to see her understanding of the power of words. I will keep this book forever and read it when life leads me to new places.
What do you love doing in your spare time?
I am an old soul! I love to bake and do crafty things, such as crochet and sew. I also love to spend time with family and friends in MB and my home province of Ontario. I love to be outdoors-skiing, biking, fishing, curling… and of course, I love to read a good book!
What are your favourite kids books and why?
- Beautiful Oops: I love this book because it teaches children and adults that the best learning comes from an Oops.
- Don’t let the Pigeon Drive the Bus: This book (and all Mo Willems books!) are a hit with all kids! They get a kick out of these books and they are perfect for beginning readers!
- Have You Filled a bucket today?: I love any books about bucket-filling as they teach children how to be mindful of themselves and others in a kid-friendly way!
- I Am Yoga: I love the words and illustrations by Susan Verde. The book invites mindfulness, calmness and movement.
- Love You Forever: a nostalgic Robert Munich book from my childhood-I think this is a fave for many. What a powerful message about the circle of life.