A Day in The Life of Cassandra Vermeulen


My name is Cassandra Vermeulen, and I live in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. I teach human resources and career readiness courses. I have a few degrees – B.Sc. in Molecular Biology, B.Sc. in Physiology and Developmental Genetics, Graduate Certificate in Human Resources, Certificate in Adult Education and an EMBA that is in progress. I have also taken a ton of special interest and communications courses online.

One of my favorite things about my city is all the festivals we have. I volunteer at the Fringe, which is a performance and theatre event each year. I attend as many plays as possible!! Some of my favorite actors come back year after year, and I love to see them in new plays.

What I do:

I am a teacher and HR practitioner. I have taught in a few post-secondary institutions in Canada, including the University of Alberta. I have been teaching a variety of subjects for 20 years. I have taught everything from math, cell biology, accounting, and physiology. I moved into human resources 11 years ago, and I use my love of teaching to coach and train people at all levels in organizations.

I have taught a wonderfully diverse set of students. Many of my students are learning English for the first time (What an incredible challenge to learn English and new skills!!). I have worked with students with various learning challenges, and I enjoy working with each student to customize my approach to match their learning styles. We all learn in different ways, and when a teacher can pivot and adapt to meet that student, they are more likely to be successful.

I am also a student. I am taking an EMBA starting September 2021. It is part-time and a huge goal that I have wanted to undertake for years. I finally decided to do it earlier in 2021, and I am thrilled I did. It added lots to my plate, but I can stay on target when I can plan for assignments and meetings.

Why I love what I do:

I love teaching. Simple as that. I enjoy passing on my knowledge, encouraging people to look at something in a new way and look when everything falls into place. I learn so much from my students, and the more I teach, the more I want to teach!

My students have such a wealth of personal experience. We can share that experience and learn so much about each other. These different perspectives are so valuable, and they let us see ourselves through different eyes. Sometimes, we do not know what we have to offer or how we can add value until someone points out how incredible our skills are or our unique experiences. Teaching allows me to foster this unique experience upon the course material for an all-around, immersive experience.

I started teaching by teaching ESL and laboratory courses in person. Over the years, I have moved to teach online. I love the flexibility and the reach that online learning offers. You can learn and be taught by experts around the world. You can learn at your own pace, according to your own schedule. There is no limit on what you can learn or who you can network with using online learning.

Daily routine:

My planner guides my daily routine. With so much to do, planning out my tasks optimizes my time.

5:00 am:
Wake up and have a cup of water and relax. I prefer to take a few moments to wake up slowly.

5:30 am: Have a shower and then breakfast. I usually have eggs and coffee. Sometimes toast as well. My breakfast is very light most days.

6:00 – 8:00 am: Make a cup of coffee and start marking, reply to student emails and set up my day

8:00-10:30 am: Work my regular job, snacking when hungry 😊

10:30-11:00 am: Take a walk, grab a coffee or a team

11:00-1:00 pm: Back to work!

1:00-2:00: Lunch and either a walk around the block or sit and meditate

2:00-4:30 pm: Finish up my workday

4:30-5:00 pm: Quick dinner and stretch break

5:000- 6:30 pm: Flip on the webcam and start teaching

6:30-7:30 pm: Work on new course ideas and reply to student emails. I will check my social media and post or share content that I like

7:30-8:pm: Note any tasks for the next day in my planner. I have a very tight schedule, so I make sure that all my tasks and deadlines are in my planner for the next day. For more significant events, I also schedule them in Google calendar, so I get the reminder.

8:00-9:30 pm: I work on my EMBA courses which include meetings and writing papers.

9:30 pm: Start to wind down. I love to watch an anime or light show to help me unwind

10:00 pm: Off to bed. Sometimes I will grab a book and read a few pages before bed

About the author:

Cassandra has taught for over 20 years. She teaches a variety of students and she adjusts her style to match and optimize learning. She has taught at 2 post-secondary institutions and taught dozens of business and managerial-focused courses. Cassandra has created courses for 2 post-secondary institutions.