A Catholic school resource teacher with St. Maurice Catholic School is being recognized by the province for her dedication to students.
Brenda Grieve is the resource teacher for St. Maurice Catholic School's Kindergarten to Grade Six students and has been a part of the school for decades. She is one of the latest recipients of the Teaching Excellence Award, given out by the province during Education Week.
"Vice Principal Bob Beaudry called me for a meeting in the library and I was not certain what the meeting was about. I went up and down the hall to find out from the colleagues (asking) 'why are we meeting' and everybody was grinning at me, not saying anything," Grieve says.
Gathered in the room, Beaudry began speaking, saying Grieve was being nominated for the Teaching Excellence Award. In the nomination, people said she made them feel welcome, and that she shared her ideas and time.
Grieve says being considered left her in shock, honoured to be considered.
"This award is usually presented in March, and March came and went, didn't think anything of it, and then on Wednesday my principal came in with an envelope that I had to open and there was the certificate."
Education Minister Cliff Cullen says "this year, perhaps more than ever, shows how dedicated Manitoba’s teachers are and the tremendous, tireless effort they put in daily." Parents, students, school trustees, fellow teachers, and school or division administrators nominate the educators, recognizing them for their student-first approach.
As a Ukrainian Catholic herself, Grieve's own faith slightly differs from the Roman Catholic faith of her school but continues to feel connected to her connection to God during her work, lightheartedly saying that they "accepted her" into the community.
"It has always been a beautiful part of my job. I can go to mass and then I can go in to a class and then I can go into my office. It just seems natural."
Grieve says her "whole person" is the result of combining her faith and work.
"I love to say I work in a Catholic school," she says. "I think the faith part of it is seeing the natural wonder in children and wanting to bring out the best in them."
The educator has worked in many roles in the school since starting. Grieve married her husband (also a teacher) just before starting her job at St. Maurice in the summer of 1987. Even before being in front of a classroom, Grieve has loved reading and teaching.
"(I) used to play school down in the basement in my home when I was little. I used to love going down to the library. I am old enough that we used to have the travelling library, the bookmobile. I used to trudge down to get my books."
Taking that passion with her as an adult, Grieve considers the school her home.
"I don't ever think of it as work or a job, I love coming to work every day. It has been a long journey."
She says the past year has been tough on educators and is thankful they are still in school, saying "we are still here and still going strong." Grieve says parents can support teachers by spending time with their children, asking about and helping them with schoolwork. She says routine is very helpful.