GET TO KNOW ANJU...
Dr. Anju Bajaj is the Vice Principal and STEM Educator at Holy Cross School, Manitoba Catholics School (MCS), Archdiocese of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Anju Bajaj is more than a teacher — she is a Let’s Talk Science Teacher Leader, consultant, and public speaker, whose passion for lifelong learning is passed onto her students in her STEM classes. Through numerous engaging, hands-on learning opportunities in and outside the classroom, she fosters students’ intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development and cultivates their leadership abilities. She has led many provincials as well as national in-services and been a leader at various conferences including Education in Diversity: Diverse Teachers for Diverse Learners-Unleashing the Power and Potential of Newcomer Youth in Manitoba. She regularly delivers webinars, seminars, and leads various STEM activities with Let’s Talk Science organization, Green Teacher, Society for Canadian Women in Science & Technology, and many other organizations. Her efforts have been recognised with various awards including: 2021 Prime Minister’s National Award for Teaching Excellence, Science Teacher of the Year –STAM (Science Teachers Association of Manitoba), Global Educator Award –MCIC (Manitoba Council for International Cooperation), Outstanding Science Educator –Bioscience Association of Manitoba, Teacher Appreciation Award –MSSS (Manitoba Schools Science Symposium), Manitoba Education and Training’s Excellence in Education Award, and K12 Ed TechK-12 Canadian EdTech Award.
Q & A
Q: What is it like to be a woman in bioscience?
A: As a woman in the biosciences, I am always interested in hearing about the experiences, successes and failures women face as they advance in their careers.
Q: Who or what inspired you to become an Educator?
A: Around the age of five I had a natural interest in learning new things and solving problems, to the point that I was obsessed with encyclopaedias, breaking things and putting back together-my parents were worried I wouldn't read anything else.
I find motivation and inspiration in a variety of people, things, and places I would have to say that the person who has most greatly inspired me has been my grandmother (my gramma). She always had a smile on her face no matter how hard she worked and she loved everyone. She was well respected and always gave more than she received. I try to live like she did, as much as I can.
Q: Who are your women role models and not necessarily in science?
A: There are quite a few: Helen Keller, Jane Goodall, Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and many more!!!
Q: How did your each your level of success, given the sector’s gender gap, especially among leadership?
A: I am fully aware that I need to educate myself, to be resourceful, should never be afraid to ask for help and my success needed to be tied to the success of others. I am not hesitant to pull out people and ask "What is your "Why"?It helps things get going. I believe in myself that my input and contribution are valuable to the society.
Q: If you had the option to give advice to a younger version of yourself, what would that be?
A: That’s a tough one! Don’t be afraid to say no. It took me along time to learn that.
Everything happens for a reason. Whether it's good or bad, everything comes into your life for a reason, even though at the time, something might seem to come into your life to hurt you. It is only natural to feel like things are not meant to happen this way.
People are not meant to leave, you are not meant to get rejected, accidents are not meant to happen and if you had done something differently, the situation might have turned out different. However, as time has passed, you realize that things were supposed to happen the way they did because one event led to another.
People come into your life to teach you something. Things that seemed horrible, painful, or unfair at the time happened for a reason. And in reflection, you realize that they happened to help you become stronger.
"The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep."
- by Robert Frost
LinkedIn : @Anju Bajaj Ph.D