Education had always been important for sisters Robin Sallewsky and Ronda Nix.
Robin had worked as an education assistant. Ronda had originally planned to be a teacher, but learned a skilled trade instead. After years of working, Robin decided to go to teacher’s college, attending the Hamilton campus of Brock University. Inspired by her sister, Ronda went to the same school the next year.
Both are now working. Robin teaches Aesthetics at Delhi District Secondary School, and Ronda teaches Horticulture at Simcoe Composite School.
They love their new jobs. Robin said teaching a trade is really rewarding because she can show students how to do something hands-on. Ronda said it is great because “every day you have the opportunity to change someone’s life. You don’t always see it at first, and it’s not always in the classroom.”
It was not always so clear; with kids at home, and the stress of finding a job after, they worried about their decisions. “It’s not easy to make a change when it affects others,” said Robin.
“It was a huge leap of faith to leave a full-time secure job,” said Ronda. “I didn’t know what would come of it, and it’s different when you have others to worry about.”
When the stress of going to school was setting in, their families were supportive.
“When I would be working late and have piles of paper on the table, I would question my decision,” said Robin. “My husband would say. ‘How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.’”
Despite the challenges, the sisters are glad they did it. “You can never stop learning,” said Ronda. “Once you’ve learned something no one can take that away from you. And I still learn from my students every day.”
“I would recommend it to anyone,” said Robin. “Life goes on anyway, so you have to take the opportunity and do it.”
Story by Rob Rombouts
Photo by Blackbird Photography