As Monica Louie reflected on what she has achieved over the past year, she recognized that her success was not a solo effort.
It was with the support and guidance of Brock staff that the 24-year-old Master of Education student was able to excel in her role as a teaching assistant (TA). Her efforts were lauded on Tuesday, April 9 when she received the Novice TA Award at the TA Reception at Pond Inlet.
The 22nd annual event, hosted by Brock’s Centre for Pedagogical Innovation (CPI) and the Office of the Provost, recognized the accomplishments of the University’s seminar leaders, lab demonstrators and teaching assistants.
The University relies on hundreds of teaching assistants, who aid students in Brock’s seven Faculties each year.
Alongside Louie, other TAs recognized Tuesday included Master of Economics student Yihong Bai with the International TA Award, Psychology PhD student Caitlyn Gallant with the Graduate TA Award, Master of Psychology student Jennifer Roters with the Graduate TA Award and Master of Applied Health Sciences student Nicholas Gadea with the TA Award.
In addition to the honours, 78 certificates were handed out to 63 recipients who completed various workshops to enhance their abilities as TAs.
Louie said the support she received from CPI while completing a certificate program proved invaluable.
“CPI has been very supportive,” she said. “The Saturday workshops were great, and I have learned so much from the expertise of staff, who helped guide me as a teacher and a learner.”
Though she spent time working in an elementary school classroom during her undergraduate studies, Louie found that TAing allowed her to expand her teaching scope for a post-secondary audience of learners, who in turn valued her commitment.
“I had a good grasp of teaching younger children, but being able to work with adults has tested what I have learned in a more dynamic way,” she said. “I am able to actively share my perspective with them. I believe in open and honest communication and showing who I am as a person through my teaching.”
Providing an inclusive environment proved particularly important during Louie’s TA duties in the Faculty of Education’s Diversity Issues in Schooling course.
“We talked about many diversity issues in education and within society, such as sexism, racism and homophobia,” she said. “I structure my seminars to help my students understand the concepts and see how they have experienced or never experienced these issues, as well as how they plan to navigate them in the classroom and daily life.”
Lianne Fisher, CPI’s Educational Developer, said it’s important to celebrate Brock’s accomplished TAs, who support the University’s ongoing commitment to teaching and learning.
“Our TAs are so willing to give their time and expertise to work with each other and their students,” she said. “They form an incredible community that the entire University benefits from.”
For Louie, the award highlights the beginning of what she hopes will be a lifetime of teaching.
“It was very exciting, but also incredibly humbling to receive,” she said. “Putting together the dossier needed for the award nomination allowed me to reflect and appreciate what I have done so far. Thanks to the lessons I have learned from CPI, I have seen my teaching abilities grow, and I am able to continue learning to be the educator that I have always wanted to be.”
For more information about the TA awards, visit the CPI website.