OCT OEEO

PS_March_2017

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SINCE 2003, THE ONTARIO COLLEGE OF TE ACHERS HAS RECOGNIZED E XCELLENCE IN TE ACHER EDUCATION BY AWARDING SCHOL ARSHIPS TO HELP THOSE STUDYING TO BECOME TE ACHERS. WE CAUGHT UP WITH THREE OF OUR PAST RECIPIENTS TO DISCUSS THEIR CAREERS, HOW THE Y CONNECT WITH STUDENTS, AND THEIR ADVICE FOR NE W TE ACHERS. C hristopher Carswell always knew he want- ed to teach. You could even say he went into the family business — his father, stepmother and stepfather are all teachers. After graduating from the teacher education program at OISE/ UT in Toronto, Carswell started teaching in private schools, putting his passion for different languages front and centre. Now in his fifth year as a teacher, Carswell can be found teaching Latin at the University of Toronto Schools (UTS), an independent secondary school that admits students based on academic merit. He speaks proudly of the school and the work he does. But teaching classical languages to high school students can be chal- lenging, so finding a way to connect with students is key. "It begins with talking to them in a meaningful way," says Carswell. "Ask them about clubs they're going to join, favourite T V shows and tying that to something in class. Find out whether they have a nickname they'd prefer to be called instead of their given name." He stresses the importance of going beyond the principles and philoso- phies of teaching. "New teachers are focused on what they learned, but there is so much more to teaching than just conveying information to students. Humanizing ourselves and being accessible will help build those relationships." Carswell also believes that to be effective in the classroom, teachers must be willing to be "lead learners" and show that they, too, are learning new things. When asked what advice he would give new teachers, he warns against trying to be perfect for their students. "It's counter-intuitive, but what's key is to think back and look at what could be done better. By continuing to ref lect, new teachers will get to where they want to be." Christopher Carswell, OCT 2010 recipient of the Joseph W. Atkinson Scholarship for Excellence in Teacher Education 39 March 2017 | Professionally Speaking ILLUSTRATION: MARTIN O'NEILL/THREE IN A BOX; LEFT TO RIGHT: SHYLA POGANY, OCT; MEGAN HAMILTON CLIFFORD, OCT; CHRISTOPHER CARSWELL, OCT F R O M Student T O Teacher Past College scholarship recipients share lessons learned from their first years in the profession. BY OLIVIA YU

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