Dairy Queen Leads to Reflecting – Teaching

This summer I have a few big things (a short learning opportunity) that might be happening in August – fingers crossed! For this reason, I did not seek a summer camp job although that would have been awesome!

I just started working at Dairy Queen and have survived my first week! I needed something to do this summer and also needed to make some money. I had previously worked at Wendy’s and then took a year off from work because I completed my internship in Yorkton and then when I came back to Regina, my last semester of classes kept me busy enough without a job. At Wendy’s after my first two months there, I became a supervisor. I worked all positions and was comfortable with the operations and serving customers in a quick service food industry. The job kept me busy, kept me doing things and kept me on my toes! And so, I decided that Dairy Queen would be a good fit for this summer.

DSC00186 by number657, on Flickr
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License  by  number657 


I was at the bottom of the pyramid this past week as the “new employee”. (One of my former crew members from Wendy’s is working at Dairy Queen and she one of the supervisors – how’s that for role reversal!)

Sure, I have worked tills, made sandwiches, worked drive through and made some ice cream at Wendy’s but at Dairy Queen, there is much more ice cream and a completely different point of sales system (tills). The ice cream is a learning curve, but after the first few days, I am starting to get the hang of it, although there is room for improvement! The people I am working with are great and my new bosses are amazing. I feel like I fit in and am starting to get into a routine at work. There is however so much more for me to learn in terms of procedures, daily schedules, where all of the stock is kept, properly making all the ice cream treats and drive through positions. I am starting to get the hang of things and look forward to the weeks that will follow.

In general, the other employees and supervisors have been really supportive and helpful – I am so lucky! However, I have found myself being reminded of how as a teacher I will interact with my students, which comes from how some of my supervisors interact with me:

  • I was learning till and where the locations of the buttons were. The supervisor working with me didn’t provide me the answers right away. However, when it took me a long time and I  was serving customers and I was struggling, I was provided with assistance, not all the answers.
  • I was reminded of the importance of giving students time to reflect, to inquire and to figure things out for themselves. If we do everything for our students right away and do not let them learn and explore by themselves, what are we teaching them?
  • It is important to be there to offer assistance but our students also need to be independent and to know that they can ask for help and you will be there for them.
  • Tone of voice is important when explaining and giving directions. I do not know everything yet and I do still need assistance and clear directions on where things are, how to accomplish tasks, or the order in which they should be done is very helpful. 
  • There is always a learning curve – sometimes we catch on quicker and other times, it takes us longer to process new information and skills. 
  • One role of the teacher is to help facilitate and to guide learning. I believe that there will be a division between teachers and students but that they need to build strong relationships and be able to communicate effectively with one another. No student should feel bad because they do not know something or think that they are not good enough. Their should be high expectations and goals for students to reach and surpass.
  • Teachers should ensure that their tone of voice is welcoming and that students know their teacher’s communication style.
  • Students do not know everything, just like teachers do not know everything. It is okay to learn together and it is good for students to ask questions and to clarify understandings.
  • It is important for direction and that students know what is happening throughout the school day, where things are to be kept and their teacher’s expectations.


I didn’t think that working at Dairy Queen would have me reflecting on teacher/student relationships, but it did and I am glad. I was reminded of how I want to treat and interact with students in my classroom. I want:

  • Clear and open communication where my students feel comfortable, respected and that they belong
  • Positive relationships between students and teachers
  • Expectations and goals for my students
  • For students to ask questions, to ask for support and guidance
  • For students to work together and learn from one another
  • To be able to support my students and to help them achieve success
  • To create a safe learning environment

I wonder what I will learn and reflect on next week …


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