Lishai has worked extensively as an arts-educator, designing and facilitating creative programming in schools and community centres throughout Canada. She has worked with youth in Toronto, Hamilton, Saskatchewan, Halifax, Victoria, Fort McMurray and Calgary.
For over a decade, Lishai has worked with The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) in the capacity of an arts-educator and is currently completing an artist residency for tdsbCREATES. Through the TDSB she has also had the opportunity to design and facilitate specialized anti-bullying, creative curriculum, in partnership with Toronto Public Health. She has also worked as a poetry coach for The Toronto Public Library and countless other youth-serving organizations.
While visiting the renowned Rishi Valley School in India, I heard a teacher share a Tamil expression, which has left a lasting imprint. The rough translation of the expression is that “to be a teacher is to live a hundred lives.” She went on to explain that, as a teacher, you have the power to help shape the lives of hundreds of students, and you do so with care, love, and responsibility. I have over a decade of work experience in elementary and high school classrooms, a deep love for education and a strong commitment to helping students actualize their potential.
My approach to designing workshops and programs in grounded in the lived experiences of learners and popular education models. In 2014, I workedon a TDSB pilot project, The Diversity of Student Voices Program, and spent an academic year teaching kindergarten and grade one students to tell their unique stories and those of their families. This program, which sought to make space for diverse stories to be explored and celebrated among younger school-aged children, gave me profound insight into the importance of cultivating the capacity for students to locate themselves within their cultural context in the early years.
I'm interested in the ways children canlearn through their own cultural and experiential orientation within an inquiry-basedclassroom, which draws upon their own lived experience as an entry point to learning.
Past Teaching Collaborations
- Humber College
- Hamilton Youth Poets
- Stomping Ground After School Program at Art City
- Toronto Public Library (Poetry Saved Our Lives Program)
- Toronto Public Health
- Toronto Culture
- Ryerson Poetic Exchange
- Women's Newcomer Services Toronto
- Facing History and Facing Ourselves
- Agincourt Community Services
- SpeakOut Poetry
- Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton
- Unity Charity
- Children’s Peace Theatre
- Culture Days with Canadian Authors Association
- Youth Roots Day with Quebec Writers' Federation
- Asian Arts Freedom School
- Da Street To Da Ear - Trey Anthony Studios
- UrbanArts Toronto
- Ada Slaight Youth Arts Mentorship Program
- NGen Youth Centre
- FCJ Refugee Centre
- Albion Neighbourhood Services
- Access Alliance
- Rishi Valley Education Centre, India
- Women's Empowerment Club, York University
- Contact Alternative School, Toronto
- Toronto District School Board