The teaching profession's standards of practice and ethical standards guide teachers throughout their career. Reflect on the importance of these standards and explain how they are shaping your development as a teaching professional.
International education has profoundly impacted my life and my teaching career. I have lived and studied abroad in Australia, China, Germany, the United States and Canada. When I studied in China, I was paired with a “cultural guide/student teacher” from Yunnan University, and I discovered that the teacher and the student become more knowledgeable and grow as individuals from their shared experience. For the first time, I was given the chance to deeply engage with a person whose life experiences were extremely different from mine. This made me realize that to learn about culture, language, traditions, and religions in school is vital to a deeply rewarding education. It also taught me that honesty and genuine interest are necessary for building strong relationships, especially when language is a barrier to communication. I try to instil these ideas in every lesson I teach.
As a Teaching Assistant at the International School of Bremen, Germany, I gained invaluable experience with teaching the International Baccalaureate curriculum to an incredibly diverse student population, including political refugees and students representing over forty countries with different socio-economic backgrounds and numerous first languages. I was able to gain respect and admiration from the students I taught because, I believe, I was able to show that kindness, understanding, and cultural awareness are indispensable traits that lay the foundation for positive student-teacher relationships. I discovered my authenticity and excitement for learning gives me a natural ability to connect with students from across different cultures, and that my type of leadership skills, ranging from the ability to lead productive discussions to conflict resolution, are necessary in teaching. I have worked on developing these skills throughout my practicum and courses as a OISE I/S Master of Teaching Candidate.
Outside of the classroom, I am involved in mentoring, academic research, and Hart House Theatre’s Spotlight Series. As a mentor for the Monk School’s Global Ideas Institute, I was able to provide a safety net in which students could fall and bounce back as they tested out their ideas and learned from their mistakes. I pushed the team of students I worked with to be creative and showed them the importance of taking on new perspectives when exploring solutions to complex problems. Teaching English language and literature to high school students necessitates a deep appreciation for creativity and open-mindedness, two characteristics I have developed, in part, because of my international education experience. My interest in global cultures and perspectives has translated into my academic interests in researching and teaching multicultural literature and Inquiry-Based learning in Ontario secondary schools. I believe that finding a way to express one’s culture and individuality is vital to a student’s success, and traditionally underserved communities and cultures need voices in their schools. As a teacher-researcher, I can use my academic acumen to positively change the education experience of students who are overlooked or unengaged so that they feel confident in their ability to be contributing members of our democratic, globally minded society.
I am an enthusiastic and conscientious educator. I use my blog to connect my personal experiences and adventures to my pedagogy.