Lisa Donohue

Lisa is a native of Grenada in the Caribbean and immigrated to Canada at age eight. She received her bachelor of education degree from Nipissing University and a bachelor of science degree in psychology from Trent University. She also completed several courses at Drake University and York University.

She currently teachers fifth and sixth grades and believes that teaching is "a profession of passion. As teachers, we shape the citizens who will lead us into the future. I think it is so important to connect with each student on a personal level, finding the things that interest and inspire each of them. I began teaching not because I was inspired by one great teacher in my life, but by many, and I hope that one day someone may remember me as making a difference in his or her life. The good kids are easy to teach; the kids that are hard to teach are the ones who define good teachers."

The field of education is evolving rapidly, and Lisa believes that it is important to stay abreast of the current philosophies in education. "I think that teaching is part science and part art. As professionals, we need to trust ourselves to personalize, integrate, and synthesize a variety of instructional methods and subject areas into our classrooms."

Writing her book Guided Listening was a way for Lisa to share a successful instructional tool with other teachers. "The concept of guided listening was created for my personal use as a way of integrating professional development around reading strategies into my existing practice of read-aloud and independent reading. There were few tools available for monitoring and assessing students' listening skills, or evaluating their independent reading."

Outside of the immediate classroom, Lisa loves to be involved in school productions involving the arts, painting murals on the school walls, creating artworks, or designing backdrops and props for school plays. After the 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean, Lisa coordinated a book of inspiring student poetry and artwork. "I strongly believe in collaborative classrooms that build caring citizens and have worked on a number of teams to develop 'Character Matters' school initiatives."

When she is not working, Lisa likes to hang out with her husband, Mike, and two kids, Matthew and Hailey. They enjoy the local splash park as well as drawing and reading together.