From Music To Teaching
Passion for Music and Teaching
In 1977, Lynn decided to combine her passion for music and for children and began to teach music in Peel Region, part-time.
For the next 6 years, while teaching music part time, Lynn continued to work concerts in Canada and USA. She appeared as a regular singer on TV shows with George Hamilton 1V and also continued recording.
On February 10, 1979, Lynn and her band were thrilled to be the entertainment for the Peel Teachers Annual Dance at the Constellation Hotel Galaxy Ballroom. Everyone loved the music especially from their co-worker Lynn!
The part time teaching kept demanding more of her time and so in 1983, Lynn decided to pursue her love of working with kids, and took up teaching full time for the Peel Board of Education.
Why in the middle of a successful popular music career, did Lynn Jones make the big change?
“I always wanted to be a teacher and a singer. I didn’t think I’d ever be a singer. I almost became a teacher after graduating from University of Toronto in 1964, but caught on as a singer by accident.”
“I’m very lucky – now I’ve had both.”
And so followed a fun filled, busy, multi-level, 26 year career from part time music teacher to Principal!
Teaching & Learning
While teaching music and a range of subjects from Grades 1 to 8, Marilyn (Lynn), went back to school part time evenings and graduated in 1989 with her Masters of Education Degree.
Again as a Forward Thinker – Marilyn (Lynn) wrote her thesis for her Master’s Degree on “A Study of Boys’ and Girls’ Attitudes towards Computers.” “I got the idea for this project while in a class on gender issues led by Dr. Cecilia Reynolds. In my school classroom I had been noticing a difference between the boys and the girls in their use and attitude towards the computer.” After much research and many questionnaires filled out by students and teachers, in her report Marilyn (Lynn) found that there does appear to be a gender bias in favour of boys toward computers. A trend that seems to continue, in spite of best efforts by teachers and parents.
On Stage Again
Then in 1990 an opportunity to “audition” for “School Mistress” at the Old Britannia School House in Mississauga captured Marilyn’s (Lynn) attention.
This was an original restored one room, public school from 1852, which the Peel Board used to teach Canadian History to students in Peel schools.
“This was one of the highlights of my teaching career.
After a class signed up I would go to their school classroom and discuss the culture, history, dress, lunches, games, and discipline.”
The Britannia school was set up with the single seat wooden desks, slates, wood burning pot belly stove, roof top school bell and games of the era.
“When the students arrived at Britannia School House they were greeted by me in a dress and wig as a school mistress from the 1800’s. The students also were dressed in period clothes. Many appropriately brought their lunches in cloth bags, picnic baskets or small metal pails. Each received a slate with chalk and a workbook.”
And then the lessons began with ‘singing the British Anthem to reading, writing, arithmetic and discipline’.
“They loved the discipline I handed out from the dunce cap, standing in the corner, kneeling on beans, and ‘the strap’”.
“It was such a wonderful way to teach History which the kids loved and will probably remember forever!”
Resource Teacher to the Teachers
After being the Teacher-Entertainer at Britannia School House, Marilyn (Lynn) spent several years as a Resource Teacher working with teachers to help them implement new teaching programs and workable solutions in difficult classrooms.
“This was a unique way to help the students by working with individual teachers in their day to day classrooms.”
Vice Principal to Principal
To continue in the next stage of her Education Journey, Marilyn (Lynn) resumed with the ‘after school’ courses required to qualify as a Vice Principal applicant. Then, after interviews with the Peel Board and Peel Superintendents for the position of a Vice Principal, she was appointed to Corliss Public School.
“I loved working with the staff, students and parents at this school. For many of the students they were learning English and were very appreciative of the opportunities to learn.”
Over the next 3 years at Corliss, Marilyn (Lynn) continued the courses required to qualify as a Principal applicant and again went through the interview process. In 1997, Marilyn (Lynn) was appointed Principal to Forest Avenue Public School.
“This was a great school of students and teachers. I loved the setting up and planning of programs with the teachers. Over the next 6 years, it was exciting to watch the students mature, learn, and develop their social skills.”
“We were honoured with a visit from our Mayor of Mississauga, Hazel McAllion, when she came out to talk to our Grade 3-4 students in their social studies classes. Everyone listened attentively while she talked about politics and the running of the city.”
Careers, Travel, Sports & Pets
Being an entertainer and traveling all over the world gets you to a lot of countries and cities, but as Marilyn (Lynn) and most entertainers will tell you, “there is not a lot of time to see the sights.”
Always an avid sports fan, Marilyn (Lynn) played golf, skied, loved swimming, boating, camping and hiking with friends. Once settled into her teaching career and a permanent residence, Marilyn (Lynn) was able to pursue these many interests.
While singing, playing guitar, banjo and occasionally the saxophone, Marilyn (Lynn) followed many types of music. She enjoyed many visits to theaters for classical and stage productions.
In 1984, Marilyn (Lynn) bought her first power boat and immediately studied and wrote her examine for the Power Squadron – winning a trophy for writing a perfect examine!!
Marilyn (Lynn) spent lots of summer weekends touring with friends and family in her boat on Lake Ontario. The highlight of her boating was a trip with boating friends on the Rideau Canal Waterways.
“The 3 boats left from Hamilton Marina travelling to Kingston, then on up towards Ottawa and back. We spent over 3 weeks on the boats with perfect weather. It was beautiful scenery and lots of fun.”
Travelling in the summer with a Camper van, Marilyn (Lynn) had great trips to the East Coast and West Coast visiting family and friends along the way.
Of course, her guitar was always a must for evenings in the Camper or around the campfire!
Retirement June 2003
After 2 very successful careers, Marilyn (Lynn) decided to retire and do more golfing, travelling and relaxing!
2005 Florida Sunshine!
While visiting friends in Florida, Marilyn (Lynn) decided playing golf in the winter was a much better option than shovelling snow, and in March purchased a home in Lakeland Florida.
July 2005 – The Battle of Her Life
On July 30, 2005, Marilyn (Lynn) suffered a severe disabling stroke.
And so began a very long trip back to regaining lost motor function of her right side, speech, memory and comprehension. Marilyn (Lynn) was left with a permanent Speech and Comprehension Disability called Aphasia.
One thing that Marilyn (Lynn) did not lose was her humour and the ability to sing!
Determined to do whatever it took, Marilyn (Lynn) spent many, many hours, days, weeks and months relearning how to read, write, speak, do math, with the help of a dedicated team of Speech Therapists. Her team of Physiotherapists helped her relearn how to walk, swim, ride a bike, golf and drive a car – again!
In January 2008, Marilyn (Lynn) was able to resume spending her winters in Florida golfing, swimming and having a great time with family and friends.
Along with spending her winters in Florida, Marilyn (Lynn) has also traveled to Alaska and recently to Australia and New Zealand.
“Every day is a challenge to communicate my thoughts and understand others.”
Marilyn’s (Lynn) strong determination has brought her a long way back and continues to keep her active.
“I love being alive and living my life to the fullest. If you are recovering from a stroke, never give up!”