Location: Toronto, Canada
What I do:
I am a PECT Trainer, certified teacher and coach. I am committed to empowering educators to transform classrooms into places where children and youth are given the tools and practices of positive education to become their best selves, for themselves, for each other, and for the greater community. I also thrive on sharing the tools of wellbeing to those who need it most in their lives.
Lead trainer for the PEC Program with the Center for Positive Enducation. I absolutely love working with these groups of passionate educators as we explore and practice the tools and skills of positive education and well-being to make schools and classrooms better places for children to thrive.
Coach and Wellbeing educator – providing personal coaching and workshops on the skills of wellbeing with my business, Lina Maria Coaching
Co-creator and facilitator of Learn to Thrive with Post-Concussion Syndrome; a well-being workshop series for individuals recovering from head injuries.
Before my training in positive psychology, I spent seven years as an elementary teacher working in international schools in South Korea, Colombia and China. I have a Masters Degree in Education from Buffalo State University, a Bachelor of Education from Nipissing University and a Bachelor Degree in Peace & Conflict Studies & Psychology from the University of Toronto.
I was born and raised in Toronto, Canada. My first degree was in Peace and Conflict Studies, as I wanted to find the most effective way to bring meaningful and positive social change to societies and the world. Through my studies, I came to feel that the best approach to social transformation was through education; one that includes a broader range of skills, knowledge and awareness than what was being taught in most schools. I then became a teacher and lived overseas teaching at private international schools while continuing my studies in education. Each year I became more interested in the latest research on how to best help students thrive and grow in all areas of their lives, which led me to the field of positive psychology. After seeing the transformative effect the positive psychology tools and skills had on my students, both in their learning and their mindset, I decided I wanted to share these tools and skills to more educators around the world. I completed my CAPP and PEC Training and then went on to complete my APPC coaching training with The Flourishing Center. I have also been on a healing journey for the last decade, having to deal with the challenges of navigating Lyme and more recently a TBI. Positive psychology has been integral to the resilience and outlook needed to move through and grow from these experiences. After an adventurous decade living abroad, I am happy to be staying in one spot, building connections, connecting with my creativity and living my purpose.
I am always working on some sort of script – a stage play or screenplay or more recently, comedy sketches. I play a bit of guitar and ukulele and recently started learning to play drums and the cajón. I’ve also enjoyed making paper-cut collage art. I’m at my best and happiest when creativity and art are a part of my day.
I start most days with a cup of coffee while looking outside and sweep of the kitchen floor – a new habit that I enjoy more than I ever would have thought. This is usually followed by a lovely energizing walk through a park- especially on sunny mornings!
A Little Known Fact About Me…
I’m bicultural and bilingual, having grown up in a very Colombian household in Canada. And I love winter dips in the lake!