Insider Look – Spice Maybee


Spice Eden Maybee

Subjects and year levels taught:

This year I am teaching French to grade 8 and grade 9 students. I have been teaching junior and middle school French for over a decade. And amazingly, I love it more every year. 

Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself:

I grew up in Wakefield, Quebec, which is north of Ottawa. My parents moved there in the 70’s to live off the land. It was a unique experience. I am grateful for it now, but back then, I would have traded it all for a “normal” life.

I enjoy cooking, gardening and building. And I LOVE outdoor activities like hiking, kayaking, mountain biking, or any reason to be in nature. I have an extensive community of family and friends. While I relish quiet time, I also love time with my people.

What is one thing people may not know or expect about you:

When I was in my teens, I was very unhappy and wasn’t able to finish high school. So I worked as a bike mechanic, and then later as a baker. It was only in my 20’s that I was able to go back and complete my high school diploma. When I was ready, I completed my undergraduate degree at University of Toronto, as well as two master’s degrees. Academic success is important, but it is just one measure of our human achievement.

Who is your ‘teacher best friend’ so far?

I wish I could say that I have a ‘teacher best friend’ already. However, I can say that I am grateful for the kindness and support from the staff in the Modern Language Department. They are a unique and kind group of individuals. I’m looking forward to getting to know them better.

Your three favourite songs or albums: 

I have eclectic and wide ranging taste in music. Hard to narrow it down to just 3 songs or albums. The best I can do is to give you some musicians from three great genres: 

For Jazz – Roland Kirk, Classical – Arvö Part, Hip Hop – Oh there are just so many good ones. Beastie Boys, Tribe Called Quest, Salt N Pepa and De La Soul. Ok, I think for me old school hip-hop wins.

What is one of your hidden talents?

I believe that the people in my life not only feel cared for, but also feel we are connected through our shared humanity. At least that’s what I would like to think. 

What would you share if you could pass on any wisdom to your students?

Here is my recipe for a good life:

  1. Find a place and time to regularly look up at the starry sky. Contemplate the vastness of the universe.
  2. Don’t get tangled up in the small stuff. And by this, I mean the daily losses and wins.  What seems important now, might not matter later on. If you’re unsure what matters, go back to #1.
  3. Failure is integral to success. Be brave, make mistakes. 
  4. Take time to listen to your inner voice. Practice being true to yourself.
  5. Focus less on being happy through material achievements and spend more time being grateful for what you have. 

What is your favourite aspect of UCC so far?

UCC’s commitment to pluralism is commendable. This is challenging, but I have been very impressed by the commitment of everyone I meet to inclusivity. But… my favourite part has been the remarkable students I’ve met. They are insightful, curious and compassionate.