Hi, I'm Janice!
I am a childbirth & parenting educator, fitness instructor, educational assistant and mom of two amazing girls. I have a diploma in social services and childbirth education and a degree in family and community social services from the University of Guelph-Humber.
I have been teaching childbirth education classes for 17 years and have experience teaching both hospital and community based classes. I began my career as birth doula providing labour, birth, and postpartum support including breastfeeding and newborn care. I moved into education after graduating from Humber and Women's College childbirth and parenting education program and started teaching a variety of prenatal classes including early pregnancy, childbirth preparation, cesarean birth preparation, newborn care and breastfeeding.
For the last ten years I have been teaching "all about puberty" workshops in Montessori schools all over Toronto. I have to come to realize the importance of this rather HUGE topic and the positive impact it makes just by learning and talking about it. Kids are extremely curious, have a million questions, want the information, and consider it important and necessary. Additionally, I run parent evenings that go through talking to children about sexuality. Not only have I run these workshops for Montessori parents, but also TDSB parent councils, Autism Ontario and other other parenting groups.
I was a figure skater for 17 years, ice-danced competitively, and was an amateur coach. After I stopped skating at 21 I became a fitness and dance instructor. I have instructed fitness kickboxing classes, boot camps, circuits, HIIT, Zumba and stroller fitness classes. I have instructed events for Sunnybrook Hospital, University of Toronto Scarborough, Autism Ontario and many others.
My background in Social Services led me to take an 18 month contract position with The Toronto Foundation for Student Success as the food rescue coordinator, a pilot project done in collaboration with Second Harvest. I facilitated relationships between TDSB student nutrition programs and local food retailers that would donate surplus produce to these programs. It was a great feeling to know that perfectly edible food was being saved from landfill and going to children that were hungry and needed it. After the contract ended I wanted to give back to my own community so I volunteered as the student nutrition coordinator at my daughters' elementary school. I saw firsthand the importance of proper nutrition and the difference it makes throughout a child's day. As a part-time educational assistant for the TDSB I have had the pleasure of supporting ESL students for the past year and they've taught me so much. My experience in this area also includes supporting kids with ASD and learning disabilities.
Finally, I am married to my partner in crime Aaron, and I'm a mom of two AMAZING girls ages eight and ten. My ten year old daughter Aili (pronounced eyelee) is going into grade 5, competes in singing and musical theatre and wants to be a music teacher and animal biologist. My younger daughter Avery is 8, going into grade three, takes graphic art and one day would like to own her own art studio and teach classes.
No matter what I'm teaching or presenting I like to have FUN in the process. Everything I do comes with some humour and a lot of laughs which makes learning easier, more interesting and more relaxing. I have a lot of experience both personally and professionally in these areas and have a passion for making education fun and rewarding!