SMUS Teacher Feature: Ms. Tawnya Mullen

Ms. Tawnya Mullen is a relatively new face to SMUS. She came last school year to teach Grade 5 during a maternity leave, but we are excited to welcome her as our newest Kindergarten teacher this year. She was raised on Vancouver Island and earned her teaching degree at the University of British Columbia. Prior to coming to SMUS, she spent time teaching Kindergarten, Grade 3 and Grade 5 in Vancouver.

Let’s get to know Ms. Mullen better:

What was your favourite subject in school?
Language arts. I loved reading and writing.

What was your first job?
I worked in the deli at Save-On Foods.

What do you do on a day off?
I love to go for walks. We live super close to Dallas Road so my husband and I walk down to the beach. I also love hiking and yoga.

Where do you most want to travel but have never been?
South America. We are thinking about going to Peru or Chile at spring break because we’ve both always wanted to go.

What’s one goal you want to achieve in your lifetime?
Time magazine put out a list of the 100 best books ever, and I want to read every book on that list.

Why did you want to be a teacher?
My mom is a teacher and I remember going into classrooms to help her ever since I was little. I loved that being in the classroom was different every day.

What did you want to be when you were 10 years old?
A teacher – I wanted to do this as far back as I can remember.

What was the first concert you went to?
Avril Lavigne

What is the biggest challenge you’ve overcome?
Public speaking is my biggest fear. Last year when I had to do the virtue speeches for my Grade 5 class in front of all the Junior School parents, that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done.

What’s one thing you can’t live without?
I could never go without a good book.

What are you currently reading?
The Light Between Oceans.

What movie have you watched the most?
Beauty and the Beast. I watched it over and over when I was a kid.

What has been your most memorable teaching moment?
When I was teaching Grade 5 we did an exhibition about natural resources and conservation, and the kids had to take some sort of action. One of the girls in my class decided for the entire six-week period she was going to only use rainwater to bathe herself. So she would collect it when it rained, boil it with the help of her mom, and that’s all she would use to shower. She recorded how much water she used and how much she saved. It was so cool to see someone at 10 years old do something like that. I was so proud of her.

Have you ever won anything?
I won speech competitions in Grades 6 and 7. Well, I came second in Grade 6 and first in Grade 7. My winning speech was a biography of Walt Disney, and my second place speech was on J.K. Rowling. The fear of public speaking must’ve come later in life.

What was your favourite field trip as a kid in school?
I loved coming to Victoria to Craigdarroch Castle in Grade 8.

What’s the best part of your job?
The kids, definitely. Especially being in Kindergarten, so many things are new to them and they still believe in magic. I love that.

What’s your favourite meal?
Any Italian meal that my Nona cooks.

What do you love about living on Vancouver Island?
I love the outdoors: the beaches and the lakes and the trees and the mountains.

What was your favourite childhood Halloween costume?
I was Belle from Beauty and the Beast a lot… like four years in a row.

If you didn’t have to work, what would you do?
Travelling. But even if I didn’t have to work, I’d want to be somehow working with kids.

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Kyle Slavin
Kyle Slavin is the school's storyteller. Through words and photos, he shares with the community all the amazing things that happen on campus.

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