Whether it’s dressing up for Halloween, participating in staff events, or helping referee Knights Athletics, Junior School teacher Dean Carter has made an impact in his first four months at Calgary Academy. With a previous career in theatre, he’s not afraid to try new things—like teaching at a new school after 19 years at a previous institution.
Mr. Carter is one of the school’s new faces this fall. With decades of teaching experience, he brings warmth, energy, and a love of storytelling to the classroom.
From the Stage to the Classroom
Before finding his path as a teacher, Mr. Carter spent several years as an actor. He had started his career in education immediately after high school but felt he was too young to teach. He decided to pursue theatre, first in Red Deer and then at a conservatory school in Toronto.
He spent several years touring in different shows throughout Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and the United States. Mr. Carter sees these years as fundamental to his teaching style—he understands the importance of connecting with your audience.
“You have to find a way to connect… Imagination is one of the best ways to connect with children. I like to use many things in my teaching: theatre, different ways of approaching things, stories, and getting the students out of their desks.” – Mr. Carter
After nearly a decade in theatre, the classroom called Mr. Carter back. During his late 20s, he worked on a show performing Robert Munsch’s stories. He got to work closely with children, which reminded him of why he first wanted to be a teacher. In his opinion, spending time with his students is the best part of being an educator.
“I love building connections with students and seeing them succeed and do something well in class. They’re really proud to show you.”
Bringing His Experience to CA
Mr. Carter worked at his previous school for 19 years before coming to Calgary Academy. While he loved his time there and learned a lot as an educator, he felt it was time for a change. He was interested in working with students requiring unique needs, support, and learning—which led him to Calgary Academy.
Though in a new school, Mr. Carter has plenty of experience working with students. His teaching philosophy is to ensure everyone feels safe in the classroom. He remembers how his teachers treated him as a child—kind and gentle with a great sense of humour.
“I want students to feel comfortable… My teaching philosophy is to create a classroom where everyone feels welcome, safe, and seen. If the students can do that, the academics will come later.”
Mr. Carter works closely with his partner teacher, Ms. Powell, in the Academy program. It’s the first time he has team-taught before—one of many new experiences at CA.
Technology is more utilized than at his previous school, and he has never had the support of a Learning Team before. He has the encouragement of his fellow teachers to thank for his positive experiences thus far.
As Mr. Carter continues his first year teaching at Calgary Academy, he believes he’s only seen the “tip of the iceberg” of what the school can offer. He looks forward to seeing his teaching progress, making more connections, and, most importantly, seeing his students improve and learn.
“I’m excited to see how these kids grow in the class and how I continue to adapt to the curriculum. I’m also really excited to get to know people even more.” – Mr. Carter