Vandy Britton`s Biography
I have had a varied and interesting career path. After completing my BFA in Theatre (Acting) at UVIC, I moved to New York City to pursue a career in musical theatre. After performing in a number of shows in and around New York (No, nothing big!) I decided to travel and found my way to Japan where I worked as an actress, a commercial print model and an English teacher. It was my work as an English teacher that helped me to realize that I could combine my two passions (education and theatre) in one by becoming a drama teacher. Two years later I moved back to Canada and enrolled in Teacher Education at UBC.
After completing a B.Ed in English/Theatre, I was immediately hired by the Burnaby school district. I worked happily in a number of Burnaby high schools (teaching English, ESL, Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre) until I went on maternity leave. During my time at home with my children, I completed a M. Ed in Arts Education at SFU and began work on a PhD. In my PhD dissertation, Appreciating Autism: Stories of my Son, I used auto-ethnography as my research methodology to complete an appreciative inquiry into autism, writing about my experiences of raising a child with high-functioning autism.
I began teaching at SFU shortly after completing my Master’s degree, first as a Sessional Instructor in the Faculty of Education (courses in the social development of school-aged children, drama education, academic literacy, personal/professional growth and methodology courses in English Language Arts and Drama), and then in Professional Programs (Teacher Education) as a Faculty Associate (working with 7 different cohorts of student teachers in two different programs within Teacher Education) and finally as a Program Coordinator (supervising Faculty Associates as they worked with student teachers). During my tenure at SFU as a Program Coordinator, I spearheaded the re-visioning of the Program Goals for Professional Programs, bringing them more into alignment with the current focus of the teacher education program. I was also charged with designing, organizing and interweaving the course requirement in Special Education into the fabric of the existing PDP. A highlight of my time at SFU included working in support of the International Teacher Education module (based in Dharamsala, India) where SFU student teachers are paired with Tibetan-in-exile teachers.
My career path has been drawn based upon my passion and interest in education. As a lifelong and life-wide learner, I am excited to be moving into another chapter of my career as new faculty in the Teacher Education Department. My curricular interests include the following: teacher education, language/literacy education, arts-based education, social justice, international education, and inclusive pedagogy. I am particularly interested in how teacher candidates construct their identities and am engaged in developing different arts-based avenues by which this exploration can occur. I currently teach courses in Elementary and Secondary Language Arts, Elementary Fine Arts, Secondary Arts-based Education Methods and Reflective Practice. I live in New Westminster with my husband and two teenaged children where I sit on two Parent Advisory Committees, the NWSS Music Auxiliary Committee and the executive board of the New Westminster Minor Hockey Association.