Good Learning Anywhere is pleased to announce that Tina Hiltz is our October Learner of the Month!

Upon receiving notification that Tina won this award, her mentor Louise, asked her the following questions.  Here was Tina’s reply in her own words.

1. What advice do you have for someone thinking about upgrading their skills?
2. How did you start?  Did you face struggles?
3. What is your greatest achievement?
4. What are you goals for the future?

If you think you need to upgrade for yourself or your work, you probably do. Don’t be afraid – there will
be people able and willing to assist you if you do need help. I was concerned at first, but the instructors
and fellow classmates were great! It feels really good to know that I can do things now that I couldn’t
do two months ago…and it will make me more valuable to prospective employers.

I had just moved to Ontario from Nova Scotia and was on Employment Insurance for the first time in
over 20 years. I’d been working as an Educational Assistant for the past eight years, but knew that
I had to be competitive here, which meant upgrading skills that I would use working with teen-agers.
I went to an information session at the Trenton Military Family Resource Centre and met Petra from
Contact North in Madoc, who was doing a presentation about on-line learning. I was quite upset,
because of the job situation and needing to work around a physical disability that comes and go. Free
on-line learning in the areas that I needed was a real blessing to me – and the fact that the classes
were recorded and you could do it on your own time was even better (although I really liked and tried
to do every class with the groups)! That allowed me to still network and look for a job, while I was
still “settling in”.

The biggest struggle I had was with the “Computers for Work” course; I was taking some art classes
in the community at the same time, so missed the beginning of two of the classes and my laptop was
uncooperative, but I e-mailed the instructor and he helped me through the issues. It was also a bit
tricky doing the courses while we were going through renovations. (It was a good thing that I had
headsets to block out all the banging!)

In life, I would say that – after going through some really tough stuff and then dealing with it years later
in a group environment – I learned to forgive. The group facilitator had made one statement about
how many people who abuse have been abused themselves. When I thought about it, it was just like
someone turned on a light and I was able to understand and, in turn, forgive.

With regard to my courses, I would say that it is difficult to choose my greatest achievement, because
I achieved a lot. In my Creative Writing class, I would close my eyes and really listen to everyone’s
stories, so that I could experience them. In all my classes, I tried really hard to listen to my classmates,
so that I could take in everything that they had to say and learn from their comments and questions. I
guess the listening is my greatest achievement, because sometimes we don’t take the time to really
listen to what people have to say.

My goals for the future include using all of the skills that I’ve learned over the past two months. I had
never used G-mail before and now use it for my course work and other important writing, so that I can
access it anywhere. I will use the blogging to keep up my writing and sharing, and the social media to
help promote myself and do my best to make money doing something (else) that I love. I have also
arranged for a few professionals to read and edit my writing and help me make connections in the
field. When I get back to teaching in a classroom, I’ll have more skills to share. Thanks Good Learning

Congratulations Tina!