Standard 6: Educators have a broad knowledge base and understand the subject areas they teach.
Educators understand the curricular, conceptual and methodological foundations of education and of the subject areas they teach. Educators must be able to communicate effectively in English or French. Educators teach students to understand relevant curricula in a Canadian, Aboriginal, and global context. Educators convey the values, beliefs and knowledge of our democratic society.
My Artifact: The image below is a collage of courses from my transcript during my time at UBC. These courses led to a Bachelor of Arts in English.
My Reflection: In order to successfully teach students in their Secondary years of schooling a teacher must have a strong understanding of the material surrounding the courses they are teaching, as well as a broad knowledge base from other subject areas to draw on. Throughout my four years as an Undergraduate student at the University of British Columbia I was offered many chances to explore different subject areas, all while completing my Major in English. My transcript collage shows that I have taken a large number of courses across a variety of disciplines. My courses in English span all eras and types, and have been supplemented by learning in Family Studies, Geography, Spanish language, Philosophy, Psychology, Political Science, History, Anthropology, German Literature, Slavic Studies, and Russian Literature.
In my very first year I was in a program called Arts One, in which English, History and Philosophy are taught simultaneously in lectures, seminars, and small group tutorials. This interdisciplinary outlook gave me a deeper understanding and appreciation for the texts we studied, and was a way of bridging different subjects by focusing on where they connect. This type of thinking is something I continued throughout my Undergraduate degree as I formed my own connections between material I was learning in different courses. I hope to be able to encourage this own type of meaning making in my students.
Additionally, I have been able to supplement my classroom learning with life experience, including living in a foreign country. After completing my Bachelor of Arts degree I moved to Colombia to teach English in a private school in Chia. The opportunity to move to a country and be immersed in the culture and language is truly a life changing one. Living and working in an unfamiliar language and having the opportunity to experience life in Colombia, not as a tourist, but as a local was one that has changed my way I view the world.
This experience combined with my degree give me not only a strong understanding of English as my subject area, but also how I can connect that knowledge to the world and make it relevant to the students I am teaching. This combination allows me to have a greater understanding of the difficulties faced by our multicultural classrooms and how to ignite in them a passion for English.