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Meet the Team: Elspeth Easton ’10, Individuals and Societies Teacher and Debate Coach

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Ms. Elspeth Easton has been teaching at GNS for four years and has been the debate coach for six. She recently finished her Masters in the summer in Education and Leadership Management! 1. How did you choose teaching as the right career path?  It was something I was really encouraged to do and working with kids in an environment that is always changing is always something that appealed. But, I stumbled on it a little bit because my degree is in history, so it was finding my passion through that and then realizing I could share that passion with other people.  2. You went to school here from Kindergarten to Grade 12 and now work here. What made you want to? First and foremost, debate. I was a debater all throughout high school and coming back to coach while I was at university and afterwards was something I was always really interested in. But really, the community at GNS was really welcoming and I always wanted an opportunity to give back to this school and that ended up being teaching. In my Grade 12 yearbook I said that was my dream to come back to teach history and debate here.  3. What is the best part of working at Glenlyon Norfolk School?  The kids, and the community. Even on the darkest days their sense of humour really puts a smile on your face—they are a bunch of goofballs. But, it is also nice working in an environment where everyone is supportive of each other and you can really see a student grow from starting in Grade 6 and graduating up into Grade 12. Or starting at the Beach Drive campus and coming all the way up here. You get to watch that and that’s pretty amazing to see what happens next.  4. What are some of your interests?  For a debate coach politics is a big one, but I’m also a huge literature fan. Anything to do with history, particularly the world wars. Then I actually like looking at how minority groups are shown in museum settings, so more of the public side of things. 5. What is something that most people don’t know about you?  I was awarded a National coaching award for debate by the Canadian National Debate Federation for my work in debate across the country.  6. Congratulations on finishing your Masters, tell me about that process.  I did my Masters in Education and Leadership Management through Royal Roads University. I really focused on two areas. I looked at how communities were built and how you can create comfortable academic communities, and I also looked at effective ways to do things like admissions testing. What I found through my research was that a lot of times we are still a very test-based system, and it’s root memorization, particularity when it comes to some of those forms. When really testing as a way of expressing knowledge isn’t everyone’s forte. So, looking at other ideas to gauge what an individual is able to accomplish and translating it in a way that means schools can create an environment where people of different backgrounds and different ideas can flourish together, because we need a bunch of different skill sets, and if we are only testing for one we are only going to get one. So how do we make it more inclusive?