Student Experiences

"Any time someone is fortunate enough to be able to travel, they evolve; due to in large part to the transformational influence a new culture, and the unique experiences they offer, has on humanity. I am not the same Jason that arrived here in Opunake, NZ six short weeks ago. I believe my  teaching experience over the past number of weeks has brought out the best in me and all that I have to offer - and this has undoubtedly made me a better teacher.

Throughout past practice teaching experiences, most of my attention was placed on the lessons, pedagogy, and the material I was to cover with my students. Being in a system that requires students to take more responsibility for their own learning (and positions the teacher as guide throughout that journey) allowed for me more time to cultivate my relationships with the staff and students at the school. This concept was often visited and explored throughout many of my classes at UPEI; and is a primary focus for the educators and staff at Opunake High School.

My time at OHS has taught me how far I’m willing to step outside of myself in order to be the best teacher I can be for my students. I’ve realized that I have so much more to learn about what it is to be a teacher; and that this is only the beginning of my journey. I am more confident that because of the stellar training I received at UPEI, combined with some of the most amazing practice teaching experiences a PST could ever wish for, I am more than aptly prepared for anything the future holds.

As my travels carry me to new and unfamiliar places, I will build upon what I have learned here in Opunake so that I may continue to help in the strengthening of educational systems around the world. What better gift could I give to my students?"

Jason Cook
2013 BEd Graduate with a specialization in indigenous education and a specialization in international education

A broadened perspective

"The SIE Program gave me an experience I will never forget. Through the program I acquired a broadened global perspective and a deep appreciation for cultural diversity. It was a great way to see a school system entirely different from what I was used to, and I enjoyed the challenge of teaching in that new environment. I cherish the memories of the people, the culture and the many new and different experiences I had during my time in Kenya. Such a profound experience that I would not have encountered outside of SIE."

Gillian Lenentine
2009, Kenya

Education is a privilege

"My time in the SIE program was without a doubt my favourite part of the UPEI B.Ed program. Everything leading up to my trip to Kenya was so exciting and it was wonderful to be a part of a group of other teachers feeling the same way. My experience teaching in a rural Kenyan school was absolutely wonderful. The staff and students were so welcoming and grateful that you could not help but have a smile on your face every day. Working in Kenya taught me to be the kind of teacher that is able to think on her feet, to teach in the moment, to appreciate everything and take nothing for granted. The things I learned in Kenya still help me today in my own classroom. My students love hearing my stories and seeing the differences between the schools; it also teaches them to be grateful for what they have and that an education is really a privilege that no one should take for granted."

Jessica O'Hanley
2009, Kenya

Caring and knowledgeable instructors

"The Bachelor of Education program at UPEI has been unlike any other educational experience I have ever had.  The small class sizes and the incredibly caring and knowledgeable instructors felt more like being a part of a family than an institution.  My instructors have given me the confidence to go out into the world and use the skills that I’ve learned to create interesting and engaging lessons to motivate and inspire my future students.   Pre-Service teachers learn a lot about themselves and what their strengths are in the education profession, and on the whole this program prepares us for the real-world of teaching."

Sarah O'Donnell
BEd, 2012

A life changing experience

“I came to UPEI specifically for the Indigenous Specialization, and it was everything I hoped it would be.  As a Mi'kmaq student from Newfoundland, I was eager to learn more about my own culture and to learn about other Indigenous cultures in Canada. This program allowed me to do that, and so much more. It truly was a life changing experience for me, opening my eyes to my true calling.  I will be forever grateful for this gift.” 

Julia Blanchard
BEd, 2012

"Faire partie du baccalauréat en éducation français langue seconde à UPEI est une expérience incroyable. Notre cohorte est devenue une petite famille qui va, je suis certaine, rester en contact pour toujours. Nous serons des collègues pour la vie, peu importe notre destin final. Nos professeurs nous reconnaissent comme professionnels et nous aident à développer les compétences nécessaires pour devenir d’excellents enseignants. En plus d’avoir des cours en français à UPEI, nous faisons aussi nos stages en français. Ces expériences de travail vont certainement nous ouvrir des portes dans le futur. Ce programme est tellement complet; il qui couvre tous les aspects de l’enseignement et de l’enseignement en langue seconde et je suis très fière d’en faire partie!"

Brittany Gallant
BEd (fls), 2013

"Le programme d’Éducation (français langue seconde) est la définition d’un travail collaboratif. Avec l’aide des autres membres du programme et les excellents professeurs, j’ai eu l’opportunité d’apprendre des techniques d’enseignement pertinentes, d’apprécier l’importance de promouvoir la culture française avec la langue, et de perfectionner mon français à l’oral et à l’écrit. Je me suis inscrite dans le programme en reconnaissant qu’une spécialisation en français langue seconde me donnerait un coup de pouce sur le marché de travail, mais je me suis retrouvée avec une expérience irremplaçable!"

Emma Boswell
BEd (fls), 2013

"The Master of Education in Leadership in Learning complemented my teaching background by providing me the opportunity to become a critical reader and researcher. As an adult learner, I was able to explore my own research and leadership interests while being supported by a wonderful group of faculty and staff. Becoming an educational leader requires commitment and passion, and UPEI's MEd provided me with the support and encouragement I needed to succeed."

Gabriela Arias de Sanchez
MEd, 2010

I have thoroughly enjoyed my experience in the M.Ed (Community College Leadership) program! While initially I did not think online learning was for me, the combination of in-class summer institutes and online classes turned out to a very effective way to create a community of practice within our cohort. There are ample opportunities for networking, relationship building and real-world application of learning through the interactive face-to-face and online learning environments that were created. ”

Gary Torraville
Coordinator, International Hospitality Management
Culinary Institute of Canada, Holland College

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