Aparna Singhal identifies as a South Asian, Hindu, first-generation settler, straight, cisgendered woman whose love in life is nurturing relationships. She treats strangers as friends, friends as family, and family as even more important than herself. For Aparna, love and laughter with people who embrace all that life has to offer is key to fulfillment and joy. Her passion for food, nature, photography, and travel have allowed Aparna to cultivate strong connections with people all over the world. Yet, the place she feels the greatest sense of happiness and peace is at home with her husband and family, sipping a warm cup of chai and enjoying board games, movies or quiet time to read, reflect and meditate.
Aparna’s commitment to learning led her to education where she has taught middle and secondary school students for over 20 years and held various leadership positions within different schools. Her commitment to fostering environments where students can explore their identities and find the power of their voice is a direct result of her experiences as she learned to explore her own identity: being Brown in Canada. Born and raised in Thompson, Manitoba before moving to Mississauga, Ontario, Aparna also spent many summers speaking Hindi and learning about her family and heritage. Throughout her upbringing, Aparna learned to respect the importance of being curious, asking questions, and engaging in self-reflection.
Aparna thrives when she is engaged with people in deep, rich conversations, and especially enjoys being challenged and challenging others to grow in their understanding of self and community. She dives into every opportunity full of energy, whether it be teaching and learning in the Mathematics classroom, building a social justice campaign with students, or creating spaces for students and educators to learn and unlearn their understanding of equity and anti-oppression.
Aparna's desire to connect with others motivates her in every aspect of life. This is highlighted when she has the opportunity to participate in or facilitate affinity groups for educators or students. A student once shared with her that “the opportunity to be honest about myself and share with other students I trust and who have similar experiences as me is the greatest gift as a teacher you have given me. It changed my life forever.” This is why Aparna believes that no matter what age-group or discipline, it is every educator’s responsibility to explore their own identities and commit themselves to anti-oppression work. This fuels her dedication to provide spaces where educators can affirm and nurture their lived experiences, self-reflect, and commit themselves to the necessary work needed to affect change.
B.Ed. - Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)
B.Sc. – Biology & Chemistry, University of Toronto