I was elated when I received my letter of acceptance for the teachers education program at the University of Northern British Columbia, I knew would be good hands in terms of faculty and overall learning experience as I heard nothing but positive reviews from previous teacher candidates who also attended the education program at UNBC. The building in itself has a beautiful wood design that provides an excellent learning atmosphere that represents our wood industry locally and what it means to study in Northern British Columbia. This design is unique and encourages beautiful vantage points of the city and provides an inviting learning environment. I have visited other universities and I can honestly say that UNBC is one is the nicest campus that I have had a chance to visit. Aside from the aesthetics, UNBC is considerably a smaller than other major universities around Canada, but allows students to experience an intimate learning experience. So when I was accepted into the education program, It was a no brainer that I wanted to get my Bachelors of Education here in my hometown. I had heard over the years from peers who had completed the program at UNBC who convinced me to how supportive and caring the program is and specifically how faculty members that go above and beyond to ensure that all students. This in comparison to other larger universities where students may not be able to gain valuable one on one time, which is so readily available on this campus. Everything that I was told prior to beginning the program came to fruition, as I was delighted with how supportive and caring the members of this program were. You could genuinely feel that all faculty members cared and wanted all students to succeed which was refreshing to say the least. I was fortunate to be guided by these mentors and also appreciate the relations I was able to build with my fellow peers, who were embarking on the same journey as myself. I would recommend the teachers education program at UNBC for anyone considering to earn their bachelors to become a future educator. Personally, attending the UNBC was one the best decisions that I made in my life. Thank you for the faculty members of the education program for making my learning experience memorable, I appreciate all your support and mentorship during the last few years.
My one word for 2021 is the term acclimatize, which is defined as the process in which an individual adjusts to a change in their environment (such as a change in altitude, temperature), allowing it to maintain performance across a range of environmental conditions. This word is often referred to climbers that adapt or adjust to the drastic changes in the environment before climbers can ascend to summit spectacular mountains such as Mount Everest. I use this term metaphorically to resemble my focus for this upcoming practicum and for my future teaching profession by becoming more comfortable and accustomed to the profession and attempt to improve each and every day. This will also allow me to contour my educational pedagogy or imprint in the process, before I start my career in teaching. I chose this word as it represents the early stages in my teaching journey in which I will have to adapt to my new environment on daily bases and strive to do my best, but also to seek advice and knowledge from my coaching teacher and practicum evaluator to grow as an educator. I just have to trust the process and although it may not be easy, I am ready for the challenge to grow from this experience to carry forth into my teaching career. My hope and area of growth for my 491 practicum will be to keep improving on aligning learning intentions and utilizing all assessment tools necessary. This will allow me to show a solid conceptual knowledge in all subject areas in education (Standard 6). Also I want to keep improving on differentiated learning and classroom management, although I do realize it takes educators many years to master these skills, it is important for me to improve daily in these avenues of teaching. My last practicum will provide me the opportunity allow myself to begin my teaching journey ascent into this life long profession. Much like the fearless adventures, who dare to summit some of the highest peaks around the world, one must first gain the required knowledge of the terrain and adjust to their environment before any attempts to conquer these amazing feats can occur. Similarly, I will comprehend and gain knowledge and the proper tools and skills for my educational toolbox before I can make an educational difference in my profession and in our community. Luckily for myself, my environment will consist of a warm classroom setting, rather than the blistering snow winds and low air pressure systems that make up the environments of the world’s largest mountains.
I have chosen a rock as my metaphor object for teaching for few key reasons. The rock can represent teaching by simply its characteristics of being to able adapt and move through our land if required. The movement of the rock represents teachers adapting to provide inclusive learning to all students. It is also grounded on our land and for teachers it is important to be grounded and empathic of student learning needs. The rock is firm and we as educators have to be firm and be the steady presence in our classrooms and school community to promote and guide students to a positive learning environment.
There are two main reasons why I decided to get onto the path of becoming a teacher. The first being the influence of my past teachers of mine that I appreciated and left a lasting positive impression of myself and also enabled me to think that teaching is something that I could enjoy. These teachers made learning fun, were able to connect with students and gain their trust. I value building relationships and supporting and mentoring to kids to believe in themselves whether it being a educational or sports related. The second reason that convinced me to start on a path of becoming a teacher was my first coaching experience for a junior basketball locally at John McInnis Secondary School, where I gained essential experience in dealing with children and it is where I really noticed that I possessed an innate ability to build positive relations and help build motivate these students with their self-confidence on and off the basketball court. The three years I coached at this school really allowed my to grow and realize more about the strengths and weaknesses that I possessed. Most importantly, it made me realize how much I like being around young kids and valuing their perspectives and energy which become contagious and really brings out the youth in myself, to live vicariously through my former players. It is still rewarding for me when I run into my former players locally and to check up on how they are doing and reminisce about their years on the basketball court. These ever-lasting relationships are a main reason in what influenced me to go into the teaching profession, realizing i have a lot to offer in this field aside from delivery the best curricular content, but to help guide students and to help motivate and build up their self esteem. I hope my experience in handling children in past will serve as a platform for me to improve and hone the art of teaching in my future endeavour.
I was fortunate enough to been apart of the Indigenous Day of Learning on September 25, 2020 held by SD57. It was truly a remarkable experience and very insightful, thanks to the in depth perspective of Indigenous education and struggles highlighted by Dr. Dustin Louie and Dr. Niigaanwewedam Sinclair. Although not being in person, the workshops were an amazing experience through zoom and I really appreciate the hard work everyone put forth to provide us the opportunity to gain more knowledge and insight to try to incorporate Aboriginal Education in our classrooms. Something I really took away from this experience asides from the amazing Indigenous resources and curriculum content, that it is imperative that we future educators attempt to weave Indigenous content and school community. With repetition, familiarity, and confidence teachers can feel comfortable and successful in embedding Aboriginal Education in their classroom and a provide a more inclusive environment for all students. Diving into Aboriginal education is vital for our communities and surrounding Northern regions where Aboriginal youth represent a large portion of the population in our school systems. Some of these youth struggle with issues of identity and loss of culture, as well as other extenuating circumstances that may be prevalent in their lives and hinder their learning experience at school. I firmly believe that if we commit to Aboriginal content from Kindergarten to grade twelve may provide some Indigenous students a sense of pride, identity of who they are and engage or express themselves in the classroom to celebrate diverse classrooms. This is even more beneficial for non-Indigenous students to help them understand and empathize Truth and Reconciliation and Indigenous perspective and cultures. My next step is to utilize and try to implement the valuable resources we have been provided in this workshop when i become a future educator and try to improve and educate myself more on Indigenous education and ways to implement the great resources provided to us in our classrooms.