Episode #120: Many Gifts to Discover with Livia Chan

By Barbara Bray

Join Barbara Bray in conversations with awesome educators, leaders, and influencers as they talk about their passion and purpose for planting seeds for change. Each podcast has a link to a related blog post with more information and resources.

Livia Chan’s true calling was to be a classroom teacher. Her journey led her to serve on the District Staff Development Team in Learning Technologies and recently returned back to the classroom as the Head Teacher at Burnaby School District – SD41 in British Columbia, Canada. Livia has been affiliated with the Teach Better Team supporting educators who contribute to the team blog. There’s so much more about Livia and the gifts she discovered.
Growing up and what it was like as a student
I grew up in a relatively stable working-class community with a mix of Asians, Italians, and other cultures represented so there wasn’t much transiency in our population from K-12. I enjoyed going to school and loved learning new things. I was always active so I would often be found in the gym participating in lunch hour sports activities or after school practices (basketball and badminton). In high school, I also joined a number of clubs so by graduation, I had a lot of service points accumulated. 
As an adult, I earned my Bachelor of Arts degree with a Criminology major and Psychology minor at our local university, Simon Fraser University (where my son attends now). Once I discovered that I was called to be an educator, I returned to complete my teaching degree. A few years later, I pursued my Masters degree at the other local campus, the University of British Columbia (where my daughter will be attending in the fall of 2021). 
I absolutely LOVE to learn. Even though I left formal schooling, I have not stopped learning as still see myself as a student.   
Why family matters
I am the mother of two wonderful children, MJ and Saralynn (aged 19 and 17). I am proud of who they are as young adults because of their heart, their passion for things they love, their gratitude, and kindness. They’re pretty cool to hang out with too! 

Besides my own family, I am the oldest with two younger brothers. They both have amazing wives with two equally amazing children each. Our family is really close. We enjoy vacations together. My loving parents live in our basement suite so our house is like a hub for visits, family dinners, and parties. 
With all of my heart, I adore and love my family so so much. I feel blessed and so grateful every day. My grandma lived with us since I was six months old. She was our caretaker because my parents worked at our family restaurant every day. She hasn’t been with us for over 20 years but the feelings of unconditional love started with her and I still miss her dearly. My parents carry on her legacy and so does the rest of my family. They teach me about unconditional love every day.
Your WHY in becoming a teacher  (Blog)
I didn’t know I wanted to be a teacher until my late 20’s. The thought crossed my mind because people and clues in my life pointed me in that direction. I needed to know that it was the right path to take so I started working part-time to volunteer two full days a week. Once I stepped foot in the classrooms and started working with kids, it just felt right. There was a different kind of joy I have never felt in a job before. I knew it that first day. I was meant to be a teacher.
Serving on the District Staff Development Team in Learning Technologies
Nine years ago, I had the great opportunity to work on our Staff Development Team. After serving six years, I returned to the classroom because I was surplus due to budget constraints. So three years ago, I taught in a unique grade 1/2 classroom with two teachers because of a larger class size than allowed as per our contract. The following year, I moved back to a school I was at before to teach grade 3/4 because I wanted an opportunity to work with intermediates. Last year, I moved yet again to become a new Head Teacher where I also taught grade 5. I’ve been so blessed with amazing school communities, students,

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