A female moose at home in the deep woods of Yukon Territory. Photo courtesy of Northern Power.

A happy wanderer.

I work at UVic as a communications officer for the Faculty of Human and Social Development. I write web content for the BC Government on occasion and, at one point, I was teaching five courses per year. In 2017, I decided to take a break from teaching communications at Royal Roads University and go back to school. I wanted to be a better teacher.

Freedom is a major personal value for me. I enjoy variety and adventure. This love of freedom influences my professional values as an instructor through constructivism and the theoretical work of Jean Piaget. From him, I learned about teaching students from ‘where they are at’ by building on what they already know.

As for ‘truths’ of teaching, the following items from Stephen Brookfield’s The Skillful Teacher (page 9) resonate most:

  • I will never be able to initiate activities that interest all students all the time.
  • I need to watch out for my tendency to engage in too much self-deprecation.
  • Making full disclosure of my expectations and agendas is necessary if I am to establish an authentic presence in a classroom.

Lastly, I want my students to know that I care about their learning and their experience with my teaching. I am exploring ways to make that connection so that no one slips into a failing grade or feels abandoned in their studies. I learn a great deal from observing my instructors in VCC’s Provincial Instructor Diploma Program who model an ideal I aim to achieve.

I also enjoy listening to lectures from subject experts, as with Dr. Eugene Geist, associate professor of childhood education at Ohio University, who talks here about constructivism and democratic schools in this 25 minute podcast titled How to make learning fun again.

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