Testimonials

“Being a part of the Urban Communities Education Cohort empowered me to teach in a wider variety of settings and help a far greater diversity of students and student needs than I would otherwise have been able to. Only a few months after finishing the B.Ed program with the cohort, I was working as a supply teacher in a high school near my home, and only a few months after that I was working on a term-long replacement contract. Today and for the last year I am working full-time as a high school English teacher at a school that boasts a student body coming from across the region of western Quebec. This tremendous good fortune is no doubt the result of my participation in the Urban Communities Cohort. The cohort got me into schools sooner, and made sure that I was learning not in a plastic bubble of artificial ease, but with the students and challenges that a teacher new to the profession necessarily faces day in and day out. Learning to see beyond the difficult student, to the difficulties of situation and the unique possibilities of challenging, and changing individuals in a classroom setting was no easy task, but the Urban Communities  Cohort and its thoughtful, creative, and dynamic instructors gave me the best chance possible to develop my craft.” ~ Brennan McConnell, BA, BEd, MA, OCT; Teacher – English, WOTP, History and ESL; Philemon Wright and Hadley Junior High School; Alumni 2015

“My experience in the Urban Communities Cohort over the past two years has shaped who I am as a teacher. It provided me with a learning community where my colleagues and I developed the skills necessary to meet the unique challenges that can exist in urban schools. The support and instruction I received from my professors and associate teachers inspire me every day to improve as a teacher. My three practicum experiences enabled me to build relationships with students and feel integrated in the different school communities. I completed my second year CSL placement in Haida Gwaii, British Columbia. This was a life changing experience, as the school was located in a small island community with a primarily First Nations population. The Urban Communities Cohort has prepared me to be a more compassionate, adaptable and inclusive teacher. I will always remember the incredible support I received from my instructors and colleagues.” ~ Graeme Shaw

“I came to the B.Ed program with several years experience teaching abroad, I was amazed by the unique opportunities and experiences offered by the Urban Communities Cohort. It introduced me to incredibly diverse school communities with unique needs, difficult challenges, and the most deserving students. Learning to plan, teach and assess with those students needs firmly in mind has changed the way I view education and has helped me become a more effective educator. In my job interviews for international schools, it became clear that Principals valued the skills, mindset and pedagogy I learned in the Urban Cohort. As I plan my lessons and classes for the coming school year, I am glad the Urban Communities Cohort prepared me as a teacher, but also as a lifelong learner.” ~ Peter Panacci, B.Ed: J/I History; Spec Ed 1, Teaching ELL 1, Elementary Teacher Sunway Iskandar

“As one of the largest Bachelor of Education programs in Ontario, the University of Ottawa was able to provide me with the education, support and resources required to be a 21st Century educator. Ottawa as a city features a diverse demographic of students. Being a member of the Urban Communities Cohort provided me with the foundational knowledge and experiences necessary to be an educator in a number of diverse learning environments. The Urban Communities Cohort formed the basis of my Personal Learning Network (PLN). Together, we shared many of the same classes,, supporting and challenging each other to be the best educators that we could be.  The practicum experiences added the practical learning element that cannot otherwise be achieved in a university classroom. For weeks at a time, I was able to fully experience what it is like to be a teacher by being in a classroom, working with students, and co-teaching with an Associate Teacher. The Urban Communities Cohort ensured that my placements were in high-priority schools that truly valued and benefited from my presence there. These schools truly embrace your involvement in the school community as a Teacher Candidate, allowing you to start clubs, coach sports, and lead extracurricular activities. The amount of learning that occurs during practicum is invaluable. This cohort provided me with a holistic educational experience, helping to prepare me to be an inclusive, empathetic, and innovative educator. I am truly grateful to have been part of the Urban Communities Cohort!” ~Spencer Burton @SpencerBurtonCA

“My time in the Urban Communities Cohort was nothing short of amazing. Little did I know that one seemingly small decision would change my life so much and set me up for success the way it has. It starts with the professors who are willing to go above and beyond to help you especially in your lowest moments. They create an atmosphere of inclusion while pushing you to discover who you are as an individual educator. The next best part of the cohort for me was the people that you meet. We are a very diverse group all with the common goal of helping others. That diversity helped me grow by learning the perspective of other people on the same path that I am. I am eternally grateful for the Urban Communities Cohort, I have made life long friendship with my peers and my profs and I would recommend it to anyone who is looking to be pushed out of their comfort zone and grow as an educator.” ~ Brandon Lowe

“The Urban Communities Cohort really prepared me for life as a teacher in a range of settings.  After graduation, I had the opportunity to work in an international school and now in an urban elementary setting in Quebec.  I made great friends, was well supported by my professors and learned a ton.  Through the cohort, my perspective on teaching and learning was challenged and this has made me more self-reflective and aware of the lens I bring to the important work we do with children.  I left the Urban Communities Cohort with a number of effective planning and instructional  strategies and feel prepared to face any teaching context.”  ~Evie