Emily Duncan smiles outside. She wears glasses and a yellow shirt.Emily Duncan, BEd’22, wanted to be a teacher for as long as she can remember. After spending her first year in Concurrent Education at Bader College, Duncan spent much of her time during her degree working for local organic farms. Emily attributes much of her work and career trajectory to what she has learned from her experiences growing up rurally, as well as the values of the mentors she has had throughout her life.

After graduating in August, Duncan was hired as an Occasional Teacher with the Limestone District School Board. At this same time she also began her job as a GROW Educator at the Loving Spoonful in Kingston. Loving Spoonful is a nonprofit organization that connects people with good food across Kingston & Area. The organization offers a number of programs including providing access to foods, operating community kitchens, assisting with community gardens, and running the GROW project.

Loving Spoonful’s GROW project is an educational experience that teaches in 21 schools across Kingston and Area. The goal of the GROW project is to promote good food, community, collaboration, and environmental stewardship. As a GROW Educator Emily Duncan hopes to empower learners to build strong communities surrounded by good food. Duncan took a concentration in Teaching and Learning Outside of Schools during her time at the Faculty of Education. Concentrations are courses taken as part of a teacher candidate’s final year of study and allow students to tailor the program to their interests. The GROW project is an experience focused on interacting with students outside of the classroom.

“In September and October I led 14 field trips at our local farm as well as specialized workshops at a few schools. I am so inspired by the community of people who are working so hard for our food system. Loving Spoonful recognizes education as a key component to this work and I saw first hand through the field trips the impact that GROW has on students,” said Emily.

Duncan’s contract has now been extended and she will have the opportunity to develop new resources for the GROW project.

Emily reflected that “the BEd program at Queen's guided me to explicitly consider my values and identity as an educator. In these past four months I have been able to explore more deeply how these values express themselves within my life and work.” With this new contract Emily will also have the chance to reconnect with the Faculty of Education by hosting a teacher candidate for their alternative practicum in March.

Are you working outside of the classroom? Share your story with our Faculty of Education Alumni team.

Emily Duncan displays a large harvested vegetable to a group of students.