Back to School Adventures

Algonquin College in the Ottawa Valley lessons learned

It’s not what you think.


I’m not a perpetual student although it sounds like a fine way to spend life – learning, thinking, sharing. I know I can do that in my every day, non-academic life too.


No, this time I’m going back to school… to teach.


Back to school at Algonquin College


Four years after I started the transition out of a more-or-less traditional finance and accounting career, I will teach about tourism, marketing, and small business and how it relates to the outdoor adventure industry.


I’ve stepped away from the support of the back office of a wonderful company to make some space to explore. Teaching is one component of the creative sabbatical I’m taking this the fall. The second piece of the sabbatical is tangible in its creativity – getting a book idea out of my head and onto paper. I will continue to work on my photography as the third piece.


I am excited to think about my work from a different angle, to explore it with people who are perhaps new to business. And I hope it’s something they are willing to explore with me. I fully understand classroom work to be the challenging part  for students who would rather spend their time outside exploring, swimming rapids, climbing walls, or going for a long paddle. I get it. I get grumpy when I’ve spent too much time indoors. I usually get kicked outside to go play.


There’s an exciting foundation to be built here though, whether students want to work for a small business or start up their own. I’m thankful to the college for entrusting me with the laying of that foundation.


Classes start Monday as this past week was spent at Fall Camp (ah yes, Fall Camp). In between classes I guide two more canoe trips in Killarney. At the end of the month I’ve enlisted the help of a writing coach at Firefly Creative Writing to get me over the hump of where-the-heck-do-I-start-on-this-book.


Stay tuned to join me on this next leg of my adventures.

Published by Kate Monahan

Travel happy. Outdoors professional. Writer. Photographer. Educator.

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