Graduating with a Bachelor of Education degree
How did you pick your major of study, and why did you choose the University of Windsor?
I chose my major of study after completing an undergraduate program in Child, Youth and Family, where I was able to study child development from infant to young adult. These classes sparked my interest in the life long learning of a child, as well as allowed me to work with children of many ages in two placements. I knew that my passion was to work with children and my volunteer experience in the classroom showed me my love for teaching. I chose the University of Windsor because I love the city. The city of Windsor is like a second home, my parents being from Windsor, and I can remember making the hour trip from Sarnia to Windsor many times a month when I was younger. This city has such a rich culture and character and I knew I would enjoy my year in Windsor as a student.
What were your expectations of university? Has the University of Windsor met those expectations?
I did not know what to expect from the University of Windsor. I came to the University with an open mind and an excitement to experience something new. My first day on campus was comfortable and welcoming and I knew that I would have a great year. The people in my program, from colleagues to professors, were so approachable and personable and made the transfer from a different University extremely easy. The University of Windsor has been incredible, and the whole experience has been above and beyond any of my expectations.
What would you say is the most important thing you have learned at university: about yourself, about other people, about your field of study, or about the world?
The most important thing that I have learned at the University is the importance of relationships. As a teacher, the relationships that I will develop with my students will be the most important thing that I will have to do in my classroom. Without positive and trusting relationships with my students, I can not teach to my greatest ability and I can not help my students to be the best that they can. I have learned that relationships are the base for all learning in the classroom and without it, you can not begin to teach. This concept was so inspiring to me, that I have already tried to implement it in my current placements as a students teacher, for I also learned that you may never know when or where you can touch a student. The relationships that I am building now with my students may be the support and care they need now in their life to succeed as a person.
What would you say has been the most memorable part of your UWindsor experience?
I was very fortunate to be able to play on the University of Windsor women's basketball team for the 2010/11 season. I say fortunate because I almost passed this opportunity up if it wasn't for one of my best friends, teammate and colleague. I came to the University of Windsor in September as just a Faculty of Education student but was soon persuaded by my colleague and friend to come try out for the women's basketball team at the University. I was able to talk to the head coach and after a week of tryouts was officially a member of the Lancer women's basketball team.
This year was extremely important for the team because they were hosting the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championship. All of the best teams in Canada would be coming to Windsor in March to compete, and the University of Windsor had a free ticket into the tournament. The entire year was a whirlwind balancing practice, training and games, with assignments and placements. However, I survived the year and March had finally come with a 22-2 season, an Ontario championship and a number one-ranking in the country going into the national championship tournament. All the long days and hard work, balancing both academics and sport, would come down to three games in one weekend.
We played our hearts out that weekend and all of our hard work paid off. We won the CIS national championship in front of a home crowd of almost 3,000 fans! It was the most incredible experience that I have ever had. It was something that I once only dreamed about as an athlete and now I was living it. During the entire year the support from fans, family, friends, faculty and staff from the University of Windsor was unbelievable. I felt like I had been adopted into a new family. It was because of the University of Windsor that I was able to experience all of this, and I am ever grateful.
Please tell us why you are proud to be part of the University of Windsor’s graduating class of 2011.
I am most proud to be part of the University of Windsor's graduating class because I know that all of us, including my Faculty of Education colleagues, have worked incredibly hard over the last school year. We have done and experienced some incredible things such as raising money for the Tanzania Project and listening to an inspiring speech from Craig Kielburger. I believe that this graduating class has the qualities to change the people around us for the better and will use their experiences from Windsor to create positive opportunities for others. I am proud to have met some of these people and I am proud to be able to graduate with them .
Did you have a course, professor or classmate who inspired you?
Professor Allan was one of the professors that truly inspired me this year. Professor Allan taught a course in math but his teaching went beyond the math textbook. It was Professor Allan that showed me the importance of the relationships we build, not only with each other as colleagues, but more importantly with the students that we will teach. It was he that helped shape my teaching philosophy and how I interact with my students.
Professor Allan also was an inspiring person in himself by sharing with us his work that he was currently doing in Tanzania. Professor Allen has been raising funds and travelling to Tanzania to help an orphanage. Professor Allen has taken his own money and time to not only help these children in Tanzania but also help create awareness on the University of Windsor campus. I believe that his efforts and his teaching perspective are truly inspiring and it has changed my perspective on what kind of teacher I want to be.
What are your plans following graduation?
Following graduation, I plan to apply to different school boards as well as look at teaching overseas. Also, now that my basketball career is over, I hope to get involved in coaching in the local community so that I can share my love and experience of the game with others.