When it comes to career paths, Lloyd Bloomfield did not exactly have the typical journey to becoming a teacher. What started off as a career being a Red Seal journeyman carpenter led him to becoming a teacher of construction and technologies. A few back surgeries and a long-standing interest in the education field led him into his new profession.

He was able to use his experiences and expertise as a carpenter and pour them into his interest for education, where he has now been working for 18 years. Bloomfield is currently the Assistant Principal at Amiskwaciy Academy in Edmonton, which provides academic programming within an Indigenous context.

Bloomfield explains how he came to believe so strongly in education: “I quit school after grade 10, but a few years later, I decided to go back to finish my grade 12 and get my GED. Not having your high school diploma closes a lot of doors.”

Bloomfield adds that students need someone to support them. “You have to look back at your own experience and use it as the voice they need to hear because it’s easy for them to fall through the cracks,” he explains. “So you need to give them support and be that voice that inspires them to get up and follow their dreams.”

As a firm believer in building rapport with his students, Bloomfield sees teaching as more than sharing his knowledge with his students. “Seeing kids develop a passion, and developing that passion in them, that’s my job,” he explains. “After you develop that passion in them, their learning comes naturally.”

According to Bloomfield, one of the most rewarding feelings is when students ask him for references, and once they finish their post-secondary degrees, still ask him for more references.

Over the years, Bloomfield has also been very involved in professional development to both refine his knowledge and encourage other teachers. “By developing my skills and improving my skill set, I get to give back to my students. Your involvement improves what you do for your students’ benefit,” he says.

When it comes to being a good educator, Bloomfield says the work goes beyond the walls of the classroom. “It’s also about supporting your whole community. It’s about working with passionate people towards the same goal.”

The Alberta Teachers’ Association nominated Lloyd Bloomfield so that his proven dedication to his students, which earned him the Outstanding Indigenous Educator award, could be recognized and honoured.