Listening to Learn
My name is Sarah and I'm the Director of Programs and Impact with Frontier College.
One of the most important parts of my job is listening.
On any given day I hear from colleagues and supporters throughout the country, and sometimes I hear from people who have been connected with Frontier College in the past.
I listen to learn about the successes and challenges people face as they strive to live their lives more fully, despite the barriers they may face along the way. I listen to understand the many learning places and spaces where we gather with learners, partners, volunteers and others. I listen to collaborate with others as we pursue a vision of stronger communities and engaged citizens through the power of literacy.
Whether it's the little boy on the wharf outside his house in Norman Bay, Labrador quizzing me about what's he's seeing in a colouring book, or the scientist I met at a conference who told me Frontier College was the only learning opportunity his father had in the 1950's, or the alumna who, inspired by her prison tutoring experience, has gone on to build a career in restorative justice; like jazz, all of these encounters are about listening and responding in a way that creates a learning experience unique to the place and its people.
I'm proud of the way Frontier College is able to empathize and respond in concert with others. It's key to designing effective, context-specific tutoring relationships centred around the strengths and needs of learners and communities.
Of course, colleagues will tell you I talk a lot too. But then I've been with Frontier College for almost 30 years so I've got things to share.
How about you? What would you share to build a more literate Canada?