News and Events

Sophie Hocking, Superhero

At Island Pacific School, we are small by design. One of the reasons is to provide quality, one-on-one support for each student who attends the school – to develop their sense of self and cultivate their humanity.

Every month, we will be featuring one of our superheroes and will share just a little bit about their ‘special sauce’ – (because we can’t share all their secrets!).

This week it’s our grade 7 Individuals and Societies teacher Sophie Hocking. Here’s how she answered our questions —

What are some wild, fun and wacky experiences you have had during your years as an educator at the school?

When I think of all the schools I’ve worked at, never have I ever worn as many costumes as I have at IPS. Donning a wacky costume is practically a weekly occurrence for teachers and students at IPS. Whether that be for a wild house lunch, a game of ultimate, or a classroom activity, there is no shortage of theatre here!

Why do you enjoy teaching Middle School Students?

There is something magical about the middle years. You will never laugh harder than when in the company of gregarious 13 year old’s. The humour and energy they bring to school each day is contagious and keeps you young and vibrant. They are keen to learn and can throw themselves into their work when you catch their interest.

Why would you recommend Island Pacific School to families?

When I first joined Island Pacific School I was told it feels like one big family in a big house. Since then I have found that to be spot on. If you’re looking for a place where teachers care deeply for their students and know each of them as individuals you’ve found the right school. Small class sizes allow for individualised instruction and opportunities for students to push their limits academically. I always see tremendous growth in every student as they complete the program.

Tell us about the value of school excursions in your opinion

Middle school students are wired for social and real world experiences. Pushing their limits physically, mentally and socially, the school excursions support the development of the whole child. Plus they make for a lot of great stories!

Are there any specific experiences or memories that have stood out for you?

The first that comes to mind is the opening night of our annual Mainstage production. To see months of the students’ hard work come together in a beautiful and hilarious show in front of a packed audience brings me enormous pride and joy. The show always embodies the spirit of our students. A close second for me would be the small in-between moments. Chatting with students outside during lunch, sitting around the fire during discovery week, riding the bus back from an excursion. These moments of one on one connection always deepen my relationships with students and I learn so much about who they are outside of class.

“Things Teachers Say” (a spinoff of our campaign “Things Kids Say”) – Give us yours!

“You’re not done yet…”

Tell us something about yourself that most people might not know. Ideas: where did you grow up? Favourite author? Who influences your work ethic? Hobbies?

With a toddler at home and a baby on the way, I can’t say I have much time for hobbies these days! I spend a lot of my time close to home working in my garden with my backyard chicken flock. I have always had a keen interest in sustainability and animal welfare. I earned my Bachelor of Science from UBC in 2015 with a focus on farm animal health and welfare. Most days you could find me on the cow farm, documenting their behaviour and even taking part in calf birthing! My dream would be to have my own hobby farm full of kids taking part in hands-on learning.

Casey James
Director of Communications
Island Pacific School
Email Casey