When Canadian trainer Colleen MacLeod travels from her Nova Scotia home to Maple Bear classrooms in Brazil, nothing gives her more pleasure than introducing students to the stories of Canadian author Robert Munsch.
“No matter their age, his stories never fail to engage and delight students when they hear them read aloud,” she says.
Colleen has depths of experience in the Canadian education system to share along with those much-cherished Canadian children’s stories.
She spent the first 33 years of her career teaching preschool to grade 4 as an elementary school teacher in Nova Scotia. Colleen has been on board the Maple Bear training team since 2011 and has been on numerous visits to schools all over Brazil.
“The value of Maple Bear training lies in the individualized instruction trainers provide to teachers and administrators,” believes Colleen.
“Rather than instructing from a distance, trainers are immersed in the school environment and are able to work with the unique features of a school as well as identify areas where more training or support is needed.”
She also firmly believes that the custom-fit approach means training sticks: “I love checking with a school months after the training and hear that the strategies are still working,” she says.
As an English-speaking visitor to Brazil, Colleen has experienced many instances of kindness where strangers went out of their way to help her, from translating in the bakery to giving directions, or just a smile on the street.
Most important to her are the friendships she has formed with teachers and owners: “Becoming part of an extended family and enjoying birthday parties, family gatherings, weekend trips and wonderful food is a remarkable cultural experience,” Colleen says. “I don’t look on my assignments as work but as an opportunity to meet with many wonderful people, owners, trainers, teachers, children and parents.”
“I feel very fortunate to be on the Maple Bear Team.”