The Vitality Project: Karen Tomlinson

Karen Tomlinson, 2012 Citizen of the Year and Pemberton Secondary School teacher, took up our challenge to explore Vitality for the Vitality Project.

I asked the staff at Pemberton Secondary School to give me some input on this topic “What Does Vitality mean to you?”

I thought this was a good group to survey as we work with kids all day and our vitality is affected by, and affects our interactions with, those kids.

In terms of what vitality is, it is a feeling, a joy of life, love, laughing, enjoying life.


Vitality is having the energy to do the job to the best of your ability.

Vitality is boosted with positive energy, and not dwelling on the negative.  It is boosted by surrounding yourself with like-minded people, working towards the same goal.

Vitality is found by spending time with people, and connecting with the outdoors.  It is found in friends, books, and imagination.  In our job, we find vitality in our students, in their curiosity, their mischievousness, their thoughtfulness, and sometime, in their quietness!  When we can share a great story about what a kid did, said, or wrote with the rest of the staff, it has a way of lifting up everyone’s spirits.


Vitality is inspired by fresh plans, and trying out new ideas in the classroom.  However, the greatest gift of vitality comes from those “aha” moments that we have with our students.  When the light bulb goes on in a student’s head, when they finally get a concept that they were struggling to understand, that is what truly inspires vitality!


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